Mercer Ranking 2022: Two CEMAC cities ranked among the most expensive in Africa for foreigners

For expats living in Africa, the city with the highest cost of living on the entire continent is Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic (CAR). The 2nd most expensive city on the African continent is Libreville, the capital of the Republic of Gabon. This is one of the main lessons to be learned from the 2022 ranking on the cost of living, which Mercer publishes each year. In addition to holding the golden palm of the two most expensive cities in Africa for foreigners, the countries of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (Cemac) aligns a 3rd city among the 10 most expensive African cities for expatriates. This is Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of Congo.

According to the 2022 ranking on the cost of living published by the firm Mercer, CEMAC, which brings together six countries including Cameroon, Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Chad and CAR, therefore alone aligns three cities in the African top 10. The cities of Douala in Cameroon, Ndjamena in Chad, and Yaoundé in Cameroon, are respectively ranked 12th, 13th and 14th in Africa. This positions six political and economic capitals of CEMAC in the top 15 African cities in which the cost of living is the highest for foreigners. Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea, does not appear in the ranking.

This ranking of the capitals of Cemac in the hit parade of the Mercer firm reflects the inflationary surges observed in this sub-region throughout the year 2022. Indeed, according to the Bank of Central African States (Beac ), the inflation rate accelerated in 2022 in CEMAC, reaching a rate of 5.5%, i.e. 2.5% more than the 3% tolerance threshold accepted in the sub-region.

The sub-regional monetary institution explains this acceleration of inflationary tensions by the war between Russia and Ukraine, which resulted in a sharp increase in the cost of products and transport on the international market. This has resulted in many importing countries such as those of CEMAC, in a sometimes considerable increase in market prices and production costs in companies. These higher production costs were passed on to the consumer, in order to allow companies to guarantee a certain margin.

Outside of Africa, the most expensive city in the world for expatriates is Hong Kong. It is followed by four Swiss cities, namely Zurich, in second position, then Geneva, Basel and Bern. This makes Switzerland the most expensive country on the planet for foreigners, with four cities in the top 5 of the most expensive nations in the world for expatriates.

The Mercer ranking is based on criteria such as the cost of housing, transportation, food, clothing, household items and entertainment in the cities selected for the study. For the year 2022, the study covered 227 cities located in five continents. According to Mercer, ” IThe data collected provides all the key elements employers need to design effective and transparent compensation plans for expatriates”.

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Mercer Ranking 2022: Two CEMAC cities ranked among the most expensive in Africa for foreigners