This last two centuries has seen a rapid urbanisation of Africa as the nature of economic and social activities on the continent changes. This urbanisation has led to the growth of Africa's first mega-cities such as Lagos, Cairo and Kinshasa and like mega-cities the world over this growth can come at cost to its inhabitants.
ClickAfrique looks at the recently released annual cost of living survey from Mercer Human Resource Consulting and identifies the most expensive cities in Africa.
The survey incorporates the cost of housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment.
African Rank No.5 - World Rank No.50 - (2006 World Rank: 51)
Algiers is the capital of oil rich Algeria and the only city in North Africa to feature amongst the top fifty most expensive cities in the world.
African Rank No.4 - World Rank No.37 - (2006 World Rank: 31)
Africa's second most populous city after Cairo, and the commercial capital of Africa's most populous nation. Vibrant Lagos has long held a reputation for being expensive, although it has seen a slight drop in the cost of living in this year's survey compared to previous years.
Abidjan (Cote d'Ivoire)
African Rank No.3 - World Rank No.36 - (2006 World Rank: 60)
Abidjan tree-lined boulevards, cafes and Patisseries has given the Cote D'Ivoire's commercial capital the nick name of the Paris of West Africa. Like it's name sake (13th most expensive in the world) this urban chic comes with a price tag.
African Rank No.2 - World Rank No:33 - (2006 World Rank: 45)
Like Abidjan, Senegal's Capital has imbibed a lot of Parisian influences and on the plus city has produced a modern dynamic city on the negative side it is the second most expensive in Africa.
African Rank No.1 - World Rank No:24 - (2006 World Rank: 27)
If you were to name the most expensive city in Africa, you would probably think Lagos, Cairo, Johannesburg or Kinshasa, well you would be wrong. The 'accolade' as it were, goes the Cameroon's main commercial city Douala. Like expensive cities everywhere the reason partly lies in a disconnect between the growth and efficiency of providing services and the size of the city and until Douala sorts this out it will retain the dubious honour of being the African city where you get the "least bang for your buck".