A 2019 report from global consulting firm Mercer has ranked N’Djamena, the capital of Chad, as the most expensive city in Africa for expatriates to work in.
N’Djamena also made it to 11th in the global rankings that took into consideration the average cost of living for foreign employees in 209 cities across the world.
According to Mercer, N’Djamena is a city where expatriates would pay about $2,000 and upwards a month for a two-bedroom flat in the city center.
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That sort of pricing puts the city above average prices in London and within the levels of New York. N’Djamena also beats Geneva and Tel Aviv.
The inherent irony in N’Djamena’s apparent expensive accommodations is that Chad is one of the poorest countries in the world.
According to the World Bank, in a population of over 15 million, the number of Chadians living in extreme poverty is projected to reach 6.3 million in 2019. That is about a 25% increment of 4.7 million at the beginning of the decade.
Chad ranks third to last in the world UN human development index, a table that ranks countries according to services in health, education and the general quality of life.
Chad’s economy is heavily dependent on oil, which brings foreigners and foreign exchange. But basic amenities come at a premium even to the people of the commercially vibrant N’Djamena.
The prices on accommodation make the city almost inhabitable for locals whose average monthly salary is about CFA 60,000 or $100.
But expatriates may not be as worried. Chadians have gotten used to “European quarters”, expensive neighbourhoods that house expatriates and some of the country’s richest people.