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Every African-American has at least considered visiting the Motherland, and some of us have even thought about leaving for good.
Thats because the American Dream is still possible, just not in America.
With life in the United States becoming increasingly more difficult, Africa has become the new promised land. Here are 5 African cities you should consider visiting that will help you see for yourself.
How We Came Up With These Cities
We also asked these 5 questions:
Is English one of the primary languages spoken?
English is the primary language of most Africans in America, and while we encourage everyone to learn an African language, starting off in an English speaking country will make the transition that much easier.
Can money be made with a reasonable amount of effort?
A healthy economy is usually the next most important factor for anyone moving overseas. A healthy economy means opportunities for starting and growing a business or getting a job that pays the bills.
With that being said, it is easier to come up in some countries because of their poor economies. An entrepreneur with connections to resources and an established network and income can do well in nations with weaker economies.
We took both factors into account to find countries with just enough underdevelopment to make them appealing to entrepreneurs, but with a strong enough economy to make it worth the effort.
Is there a strong infrastructure?
There are some things that we have gotten used to in the United States that may not be a given in some African countries.
How reliable is the electrical grid? Is there reasonable internet access? Are the roads easy to navigate? Are the airports reliable, safe, and accessible? Will there be clean running water when you need it?
Infrastructure can make the difference between a successful and a failed transition.
Is the Culture Easy to Integrate Into?
In surveys that we have done, more Americans say that the culture of the country that they are considering matters just as much as its economy and infrastructure.
It would be much harder integrating into say, the Masai culture than the city culture of Nairobi. Likewise, it would be ‘uncomfortable’ at best for a Christian to migrate to a Muslim country.
How Legitimate is the Government?
Most of the atrocities that take place on the continent come from corrupt governments. The government of the United States is far from perfect, but finding yourself in the middle of a coup is not our idea of a come-up.
We looked at countries with the least likelihood of political turmoil, and countries where the turmoil that happens is either short-lived or relatively non-violent.
The Top 5 Best Places To Check Out In Africa
Considering the 5 factors above, African American expatriates (expats) have some great options in borders of Ghana, Kenya, Botswana, Tanzania, and Rwanda.
Official Language: English
Cost of Living
▶︎ Consumer Prices in Kumasi are 70.55% lower than in Atlanta, GA
▶︎ Rent in Kumasi is 90.05% lower than in Atlanta, GA
▶︎ Restaurant Prices in Kumasi are 57.65 % lower than in Atlanta, GA
▶︎ Grocery Prices in Kumasi are 32.77% lower than in Atlanta, GA
Ghana has long been considered the best place on the continent for African American expatriates due to its fun, familiarity, English speaking population, stable government, and its ties to the Atlantic Slave trade.
Rent in Kumasi for a 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom, fully furnished home or duplex is $315 American dollars. Compare that to $1,449 on average for the Atlanta suburbs. You can check out some of the properties for rent at Mequasa.com.
If you do decide to make the move to Ghana, you will be in good company – so many African-Americans have already made the move that there is a large permanent population of African American expatriates living there who can show you the ropes.
Ghana also supports entrepreneurship and is an important area for international trade and commerce.
Note: Accra was listed here but we have replaced the city because – due to white and Asian foreigners – Accra is now one of the most expensive places to live in West Africa.
Official language: Swahili, English
Cost of Living
▶︎ Consumer Prices in Nairobi are 42.04% lower than in Atlanta, GA
▶︎ Rent Prices in Nairobi are 72.33% lower than in Atlanta, GA
▶︎ Restaurant Prices in Nairobi are 51.08% lower than in Atlanta, GA
▶︎ Groceries Prices in Nairobi are 44.38% lower than in Atlanta, GA
Kenya is by far one of my best places to vacation in Africa! Its capital city of Nairobi offers a stable government, a welcoming business climate, and a quality of life that is unbeatable in most of Africa.
A 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom house will run you about $ 339.50 a month. You can check out other listings at Jumia House.
Housing options include many comfortable suburban style homes at affordable prices relative to other African cities, often with a reasonable amount of land. Apartment compounds have also sprung up in recent years, many with the comforts of swimming pools and fitness centers.
If you are considering Kenya to save money, Mombasa has a 90% lower cost of living, but it is a Muslim city, so starting off in Nairobi and moving to Mombasa later might be a better idea. If you are going for quality of life, Nairobi and smaller surrounding cities are a better option, but expect to pay more.
Nairobi is also known for its great nightlife. Just watch out for the slay queens.
Official language: Tswana, English
Cost of Living
▶︎ Consumer Prices in Gaborone are 44.33% lower than in Atlanta, GA
▶︎ Rent Prices in Gaborone are 68.89% lower than in Atlanta, GA
▶︎ Restaurant Prices in Gaborone are 49.96% lower than in Atlanta, GA
▶︎ Grocery Prices in Gaborone are 46.99% lower than in Atlanta, GA
Gaborone might not come to mind as one of the best places to vacation in Africa, but it is a hidden gem.
Botswana is one of Africa’s most stable countries, and is the continent’s longest continuous multi-party democracy. The country is land-locked by some pretty “quiet” neighbors (Zimbabwe, Namibia, and South Africa), and is a hot tourist destination for Safari.
Gaborone, the capital city of Botswana is one of the most livable cities on the continent of Africa.
However, Securing residency visas and work permits in Botswana can be quite a daunting task and the process of application can be tedious and confusing. You will probably need to hire the services of an immigration consultant if you plan on staying for longer than 90 days.
Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
Official language: Swahili, English
Cost of Living
▶︎ Consumer Prices in Dar Es Salaam are 38.24% lower than in Atlanta, GA
▶︎ Rent Prices in Dar Es Salaam are 52.31% lower than in Atlanta, GA
▶︎ Restaurant Prices in Dar Es Salaam are 54.76% lower than in Atlanta, GA
▶︎ Groceries Prices in Dar Es Salaam are 54.02% lower than in Atlanta, GA
There is a lot to love about Tanzania, but to be honest – theres a lot not to love. Dar Es Salaam made the list for its economic stability and its infrastructure, but the culture will take some getting used to. A lot of getting used to. Heres what one Tanzania expat wrote:
It is a fact that life in many developing countries is very cheap. Well, this is not true in Dar Es Salaam. Simply because for an expat, in general, to live strictly like a local is not a plausible option on the medium-long term. Cheap food along the road is feasible just until your first serious stomach disease. You’ll enjoy local markets and experiments with local recipes, but after some months eating chicken and chips, rice and beans, you’ll be starving for imported products.
Boredom kills you on this side of the World, if you cannot afford to pay the entrance fee to leisure places, because there are not public parks or public beaches where you can go and relax for free. Prices are a bit lower than in Europe, but you will need to buy and pay for many more reasons.
With that being said, if you can negotiate these challenges then Tanzania is definitely one of the best places to vacation in Africa. Just be realistic with your expectations prior to arriving, and be flexible once you are there.
Official language: Kinyarwanda, French, English
Cost of Living
▶︎ Consumer Prices in Kigali are 53.59% lower than in Atlanta, GA
▶︎ Rent Prices in Kigali are 73.71% lower than in Atlanta, GA
▶︎ Restaurant Prices in Kigali are 60.95% lower than in Atlanta, GA
▶︎ Groceries Prices in Kigali are 57.18% lower than in Atlanta, GA
Yes, Rwanda! The same country that conjures up images of Hutu-Tutsi genocide has come a long way since its days of civil war.
Here is what one Rwanda expat had to say:
There are aspects of living in Kigali, Rwanda that are simply wonderful. First off, it is beautiful- everywhere- all over the country I am constantly stunned by the beauty of the landscape. Also, it is safe- incredibly so – and while, as with anywhere, you are wise to stay vigilant and protect your belongings, the chances of something very bad happening to you in this capital city are much much less than, say, Washington D.C. or Berlin.
It is friendly, there are good restaurants, and while yeah- it’s quiet, and yeah- there is only 1 TV station, and yeah- you have to boil and filter your water. Generally life here is comfortable and very pleasant. It’s hard not to like it.
It is no secret that Rwanda’s nightlife leaves a lot to be desired compared to other countries in the region. With little options that tend to draw the same crowd, some complain that
it is easy to get bored. But with that being said, there are some establishments that will seem familiar to you. African American expats go to Shooters in Kacyiru which has spoken word on Wednesdays featuring poets, musicians, writers, and artists.
African American expatriates have an abundance of choices when it comes to African cities. We included 5 here, but Namibia, South Africa, Senegal, and Malawi all hold promise, too.
Did we leave a city off that you think should be on the list? Have you been to any of the above cities or countries? What did you think? Leave a comment below!