Some of the most expensive locations in the world for expatriates are in Africa with Luanda (Angola), and Libreville (Gabon) featuring in the top 10. Maseru, Lesotho, remains the cheapest location in the survey and is one of 7 African locations in the bottom 10 globally including Durban (236) and Gaborone (Botswana) (235) where the weakness of the Rand and Pula, respectively, have contributed to low cost of living.
For expatriates, particularly those paying with US dollars, Angola’s capital Luanda is the most expensive city in the world. The cost of living for those hankering after imported food rather than local produce is higher in this African metropolis than in Tokyo, Paris or London. ECA International, which carried out the research, explained that its cost of living survey compared a basket of 128 consumer goods and services commonly purchased by expatriates in over 370 locations worldwide. “Certain items and brands typically purchased by expatriates, can be very expensive in a location such as Luanda where they are not readily available locally.”
The research for ECA’s 2008 survey was conducted in March 2008 and is based on a basket of goods and services most commonly purchased by western expatriates. The basket does NOT include items such as accommodation, utility costs, school fees or motoring costs. ECA International is the world’s largest association for human resources (HR) professionals. It was set up in 1971 and includes among its partners companies such as Deutsche Bank, Robert Bosch, Fujitsu Services, Heineken, Philips und Rolls-Royce. The organisation provides remuneration advice and data for internationally operating companies.