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Nairobi is Africa’s 4th most expensive capital city

A view of Nairobi. The city hosts various international organisations. FILE PHOTO | NMG
A view of Nairobi. The city hosts various international organisations. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Nairobi is Africa’s fourth most expensive city to live in, according to a cost of living index prepared for various cities across the world.

Expatistan, an online cost of living calculator, has placed the Kenyan capital, which hosts various international organisations including UN Habitat, behind Harare, Port Louis and Pretoria.

But the survey also found that Nairobi has the fourth cheapest domestic labour in the world and the lowest purchase price for a Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSI as well a pair of basic denim jeans.

Expatistan, however, found that Nairobi has the most expensive furnished accommodation and fast food restaurant combo meals in Africa.

A combo meal in a fast food restaurant such as Big Mac Meal costs an average Sh724, while a basic lunchtime menu, including a drink in the central business district costs Sh914.

Monthly rent in a leafy Nairobi suburb averages Sh173,704 and the cost of Internet per month at a speed of 8Mbps stands at Sh4,447 nearly half of what residents of Harare pay.

Similarly, a flat screen 40-inch television set costs Sh64,567 in Harare compared to Sh37,816 in Nairobi.

Last year, domestic consumption analysis by Nation Newsplex and the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) found that residents of Nairobi had the highest spending power in the country.

The average monthly consumption per person stands at Sh19,625, or more than twice the national average of Sh9,237.

In contrast, with a monthly average spending per person of Sh2,705, the spending power of the average resident of Wajir, the lowest ranked county, is three times less than the national average and seven times less than the Nairobi average.

The port city of Mombasa, with a spending of Sh15,629 per person was second on the spending power list, Kiambu (Sh13,898), Kisumu (Sh11,827) while Nakuru (Sh10,720) came in fifth.

Kenya is East Africa’s largest economy and Nairobi has been looking to cement its position as the region’s business hub.

The Kenyan capital, however, continues to grapple with poor roads, traffic jams, unstable electricity supply and garbage collection that have removed some shine off its appeal.

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