Kampala Beats Hyped Kigali, Nairobi In City Rankings

An aerial view of Kampala city
An aerial view of Kampala city

The verdict is out. Uganda’s capital, Kampala has been ranked the best East African capital city to live in.

This is according to the latest Quality of Life Survey in the world’s 230 top cities conducted by Mercer.

A photo showing Kampala city's gorgeous skyline at night
A photo showing Kampala city’s gorgeous skyline at night

The study examined social and economic conditions, health, education, housing and the environment, and is used by big companies to assess where they should locate and how much they should pay staff.

Kampala is named in 169th place, ahead of Nairobi (184), Kigali (191) and Dar es Salaam (198).
One of Kampala's posh suburbs
One of Kampala’s posh suburbs

Only two African cities, Cape Town (92) and Johannesburg (95) make it into the top 100 cities, which are dominated by Europe, North America and East Asia.

This news comes on the heels of reports and social media commentary that Kigali is the envy of many East African capitals.
Kampala residents participate in an annual city carnival usually held in October
Kampala residents participate in an annual city carnival usually held in October

War and political unrest are behind all the worst-ranked cities in the world. Surprisingly, Damascus is named as only the seventh worst, ranked better than not just Baghdad but also Bangui in Central African Republic, Sana’a in Yemen, Port-au-Prince in Haiti, Khartoum in Sudan, and N’Djamena in Chad.

The largest economy in Africa, Nigeria’s capital Lagos took position 211 with the bottom spot on the continent being occupied by war-torn Bangui in Central African Republic at 229.
Kampala is divided into five boroughs that oversee local planning: Kampala Central Division, Kawempe Division, Makindye Division, Nakawa Division, and Lubaga Division. The city is coterminous with Kampala District. Surrounding Kampala is the rapidly growing Wakiso District, whose population more than doubled between 2002 and 2014 and now stands at over 2 million.