Study shows African cities growing, but ‘less livable’

Wednesday August 30 2017

Nairobi, the only East African city in the

Nairobi, the only East African city in the survey, was among the most improved, climbing five positions to 120, up from 125 last year, boosted by a significant improvement in its stability score. PHOTO | FILE  

By VICTOR KIPROP
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No African city is listed among the world’s top 85 most livable cities, according to a report by The Economist Intelligence Unit, which ranks the most pleasant cities to live in.

The latest Global Livability Index 2017 shows that African cities registered a significant improvement in the survey, but only two of them, Johannesburg and Pretoria, made the top 100 on the list.

The study surveyed 140 cities, based on five categories: healthcare, education, infrastructure, stability, culture and environment.

Nine of the 15 African cities included in the survey were ranked among the bottom 20 performers, with average scores of below 60 per cent.

Nairobi, the only East African city in the survey, was among the most improved, climbing five positions to 120, up from 125 last year, boosted by a significant improvement in its stability score.

Nairobi’s general health care was rated ‘intolerable’, while public education, transport, road network and water supply, are all measured as ‘undesirable.’

Nairobi, however, scores highly in the culture and environment category for having a good climate, albeit with an undesirable culture of corruption.

Most improved

Lagos, Africa’s largest city according to the World Atlas, was among the worst performers, dropping to position 139, from 137 last year, saddled with the continued threat from terror groups such as Boko Haram.

For the seventh consecutive year, Australia’s Melbourne is the most livable urban centre, closely followed by the Austrian capital, Vienna.

Tehran, Dubai, Abidjan, Harare and Colombo are the five most improved cities over the past five years, although they still remain in the lower half of the rankings.

Conflict and political instability were responsible for the lowest scores, with nearly all the bottom ten cities in countries embroiled in or recovering from civil conflicts.

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