Photo by Paulo César Santos (Wickipedia)
The Mercer global Cost-of-Living Report 2011 has disclosed some changes in the world’s most expensive cities in the world. The good news is that Kitwe is not among them, despite the impression a lot of residents get, due to high food and transport bills. If it were to appear on this list, Kitwe would be way down with the cheapest cities to live in.
Out of a total of 214 cities from all over the world, the top five most expensive cities for expatriates are:
- Luanda (Angola) – population 5 million
- Tokyo (Japan)
- N’Djamena (Chad)
- Moscow (Russia)
- Geneva (Switzerland)
London is 18th and New York is 32nd on the list.
“Our indices comprise the following categories, weighted according to our research results:
- Alcohol and tobacco
- Clothing and footwear
- Domestic services
- Food at home
- Food away from home
- Personal care
- Household supplies
- Sports and leisure
The Mercer report is relied on by multi-national coorporations and governments in deciding the terms and conditions of expatriate staff being posted to different lands. It’s produced by one of the world’s largest HR consulting firms.
In Angola (one of 18 Angolan provinces), a posh 5 bed house with 4 bathrooms and a swimming pool is advertised for rent at K83m per month ($17,000)! Compare this with the house prices in Kitwe.
The country has 243 airports of which 32 are paved. Security is still an issue in Angola and adds to the cost of living in the towns.
With their abundant oil and diamonds, Angolans have massive wealth. There is, however, a sharp divide between those living in the cities and those living out in the village.
A 2008 survey by the Angola Instituto Nacional de Estatistica classified 58% of Angolans in the rural areas as poor, based on UN criteria (Wickipedia).
Kitwe can be proud of being a cheap city to live in. At the same time, there is a lot that still needs to be done to improve its appeal to those considering living and working here.