Lusaka: Rated 11th in top 25 best cities to live in Africa

Many capital cities on the African continent offer attractive environments in which to do business, and the quality of living is an essential component of a city’s attractiveness. The appeal of cities as a place to live and work is a key aspect of attracting talent as well as global and local businesses. 

In Africa, Port Louis in Mauritius is the city with the best quality of living and also the safest. It was closely followed for overall quality of living by the South African cities of Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg, though these cities still rank low for personal safety, and issues around water scarcity contributed to Cape Town. Gambia’s progress toward a democratic political system and improved international relations and human rights meant that Banjul had the most improved quality of living in Africa, but also in the world, rising six places this year. 

Living conditions were analysed based on these 10 categories: 

  • Political and social environment (political stability, crime, law enforcement, etc.). 
  • Economic environment (currency exchange regulations, banking services). 
  • Socio-cultural environment (media availability and censorship, limitations on personal freedom). 
  • Medical and health considerations (medical supplies and services, infectious diseases, sewage, waste disposal, air pollution). 
  • Schools and education (standards and availability of international schools). 
  • Public services and transportation (electricity, water, public transportation, traffic congestion, etc.). 
  • Recreation (restaurants, theatres, cinemas, sports and leisure). 
  • Consumer goods (availability of food/daily consumption items, cars). 
  • Housing (rental housing, household appliances, furniture, maintenance services). 
  • Natural environment (climate, a record of natural disasters).

This article focuses on Lusaka, the capital and largest city of Zambia. It is also one of the fastest developing cities in all of southern Africa. New buildings are going up everywhere, chain stores and shopping malls are springing up all over the sprawling suburbs. There are many good restaurants in the city including coffee shops, takeaways, night clubs, and pubs. There are upmarket clubs and restaurants in the suburbs. 

Lusaka is the centre of both commerce and government in Zambia and connects to the country’s four main highways heading north, south, east and west. English is the official language of the city, and Nyanja and Bemba are also common. Zambia’s largest institution of learning, University of Zambia, is based in Lusaka. Most major world religions are represented in Lusaka with the outstanding majority belonging to Christianity. 

The superb climate means warm sunny summers, interspersed with cooling thunderstorms and mild winters with loads of sunshine. It can get very hot between October and March if there’s no rain. The average rainfall, between November and April, is about 950mm. Summer temperatures range from 20 degrees to 32 degrees C. Winter temperatures from 10 degrees to about 26 degrees. Humidity is usually below 40%.

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