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Old 06-12-2012, 09:13 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Would you say any African country is really livable? I mean South Africa still seems to have a rich upper class, but given the crime rate there, and the fact that if you drive a BMW and live in a posh side of town you have to live in gated communities with armed guards, how comfortable is life there really?

I imagine Algeria, Morocco.etc have 'comparatively' good quality of life, but they are still Muslim nations and it would probably be hard for an outsider to adapt. I think Algeria was easier for French people to live in during the Colonial era (as was much of Africa for wealthy Europeans).

Zimbabwe probably wasn't too bad pre-Mugabe - if you were white, that is. Kenya actually sounds somewhat livable, particularly Nairobi, and maybe Zanzibar in Tanzania. In West Africa, can't really think of many nations, Ghana or Liberia is probably not as violent as Sierra Leone or even Nigeria.

Most other African nations just seem really bad for poverty. Not that I have any intention of moving to Africa, but I'm wondering if you think any African nation is not too bad a place to live or will become better in the years to com.
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Old 06-12-2012, 10:09 AM
 
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I think it depends on what you mean by livable. Technically speaking, they're all livable, I mean, more than a billion people reside on the continent. However, if you're looking to simply carry Beverly HIlls, Paris, or New York over with you to Angola, Nigeria, or Egypt, you will be sorely mistaken.

Countries that seem most livable, however, seem to be Morocco, Mozambique (well, maybe just Maputo), South Africa, Ghana, and Kenya. These countries also seem to have the most future, as Angola continues to funnel its money into few hands and Nigeria consistently grapples with Muslim fundamentalism.
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:41 AM
 
Location: Leeds, UK
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Libya, Tunisia and South Africa come to mind as being the most livable African countries. South Africa is still plagued by high crime so the rich live in gated communities, especially in Jo'burg. Cape Town looks nice.
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Old 06-12-2012, 12:01 PM
 
Location: Kowaniec, Nowy Targ, Podhale. 666 m n.p.m.
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I'd go for Botswana... Aside from the AIDS-epidemic, that country is doing really well, and is, as far as I know, the only country on the African continent without real slums. There is of course still rural poverty, as the rural population is still largely made up of off subsistence farmers and tribespeople, but no extreme deprivation to the extent seen in other African countries.

Half Botswana's GDP comes from mining, but opposed to most other resource-rich African countries, the proceeds go largely to education, pension funds and investments within the country. On top of that, Botswana has been a stable representative democracy since independence which is also rare among African countries.
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Old 06-12-2012, 01:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Proterra View Post
I'd go for Botswana... Aside from the AIDS-epidemic, that country is doing really well, and is, as far as I know, the only country on the African continent without real slums. There is of course still rural poverty, as the rural population is still largely made up of off subsistence farmers and tribespeople, but no extreme deprivation to the extent seen in other African countries.

Half Botswana's GDP comes from mining, but opposed to most other resource-rich African countries, the proceeds go largely to education, pension funds and investments within the country. On top of that, Botswana has been a stable representative democracy since independence which is also rare among African countries.
I too agree that Botswana is a livable country. Besides what has already been mentioned there is no racial tension there and the crime rate is low.
Botswana is considered the jewel of Africa (at least the southern part) for people interested in safari and African wildlife.
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Old 06-12-2012, 01:16 PM
 
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Many countries in africa are actually generally safe countries to live in despite the media's overblowing the crime problem of a few countries to include all of africa. Most of east africa (except Ethopia and Somalia) and almost all of North africa (except Libya) and South Africa. In fact i have a cousin that lives in Arusha, Tazania and says its not hot, poor or crime infested unlike what he thought it would be like there. Its only 75 degrees there right now
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Old 06-12-2012, 02:08 PM
 
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Just about every African country has a certain number of foreign expats living there, usually in the bigger cities. Some are there for business (Chinese and Lebanese people especially), some were born in European countries or the US/Canada but have relatives back in Africa, and some expats are there out of a preference for the climate, the lower cost of living (especially for fixed-income pensioners or retirees), or because they have local spouses.

Expats on limited incomes may not live lavishly, but they also don't live in the slums, and their standard of living is usually comparable to middle or upper-middle class locals. They usually have consistent power (backup generators are standard in many middle-class homes across Africa), reliable tapwater (often run through filters before coming out of the faucet), a car or moped, internet service (often some combination of a local ISP and a satellite backup), satellite cable TV, and the normal range of appliances common in the modern west (refrigerator, stove, mobile phone, fans or air conditioning units, etc.).

One thing to note is that prosperity and "livability" don't always pair up like we might expect. Lagos is probably the most prosperous city in its region, with the biggest GDP and population, but expats who live there often find it challenging unless they pay fairly high rents (by western standards, not just local ones) for a place in a desirable area which is isolated from the rest of the city.

On the other hand, a city like Ouagadougou ("Ouaga") in Burkina Faso is not as wealthy, but it is much more relaxed, and expats seem to appreciate that - even the driving isn't nearly as chaotic as other African cities. And you can walk from the airport right into downtown if you feel like it. And it's still inexpensive to rent a house and courtyard near the central city with some outdoors space, fruit trees, built-in outdoor grills, large garage, etc. Doing that in Lagos would probably cost ten times as much, if not more.

"Livable" is a very local standard, basically.
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Old 06-12-2012, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Atlanta & NYC
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Originally Posted by dunno what to put here View Post
Libya
How?!
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Old 06-12-2012, 02:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by tablemtn View Post
and the normal range of appliances common in the modern west (refrigerator, stove, mobile phone, fans or air conditioning units, etc.).
Right.. So folks in China, India, Indonesia and most countries in the modern East do not have those..
It's amazing how y'all sometimes talk about non occidental peoples as if they were just a bunch of primitive, static societies..
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Old 06-12-2012, 03:27 PM
 
Location: Leeds, UK
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Originally Posted by ja1myn View Post
How?!
Yeah, the recent war was bad, but Libya still has the highest life expectancy in Africa.
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