If you are in search of a high quality of living Melbourne is the place to be, well at least according to the latest Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Survey.
The survey assessed 140 cities worldwide according to the “challenges that might be presented to an individual’s lifestyle.”
The cities that were at the top of the list are perceived to be in the “very top tier of livability, where few problems are encountered … presenting few, if any, challenges to residents’ lifestyles.”
I was rather disappointed that no African cities made it into the top ten. And at the bottom of the list were seven African cities, Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire), Douala (Cameroon), Tripoli (Libya), Algiers (Algeria), Lagos (Nigeria), Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea) and Harare (Zimbabwe).
I’ve lived in five African cities throughout my life, but only spanning three countries. There is no disputing that there are problems in terms of infrastructure and service delivery.
But in the same vein I have also been to Europe, the United State and Asia and nothing compares to living in an African city.
There’s a certain buzz in African cities, the people, the crowded streets and taxi’s that whiz by you without a care, much to your irritation in the moment.
The flea markets, where you can find anything from a brand new watch to morning slippers.
Fresh produce in abundance at a fraction of what it will cost you in the store. Mind you it’s not mass produced, and before “organic” became a selling point for marketers that is what we were raised on.
The list could literally go on and on…
I do wish every household on our continent had access to electricity, water, and decent sanitation. That we had access to effective transportation systems, decreased crime rates, political stability and less pollution.
That perhaps is not the reality of the African state, and it may not be ideal. But I wouldn’t trade my reality, because as far as I’m concerned our cities are still environments fit to live in and we can only work towards making them better.