In the Africa.com article “The Top 10 Most Livable Cities in Africa”, I was excited to see the city that I currently reside in — Accra, Ghana — listed as the second most livable city in the continent. As you might guess, it’s many of the continent’s main attractions that find themselves on the list — both Cape Town and Johannesburg, in South Africa; Nairobi, Kenya; Gaborone, Botswana; and Tunis, Tunisia are just some of the upscale cities that find themselves on the list.
One of the challenges I’d like to pose is to the article’s very perspective on “livability” — and how that influences which cities end up on this list. While the editors acknowledge that they considered both quantitative and qualitative factors in their determinations — “availability of goods and services, quality of infrastructure, and overall security (which is defined both in personal terms and in national political terms)” — they conspicuously leave out important economic (and other) factors that in my mind, play an immense role in making a city a positive, affordable, safe, and productive space to live and work in. I also am a bit uncomfortable with the distinct emphasis on these cities as travel/relocation destinations (and leaving out any emphasis of these cities’ livability from the perspective of residents already living there).Continue Reading