The best African cities for your business

The best African cities for your business


Let’s have a look together at the 2022 Africa’s top business cities, in case you 're planning to expand your empire on the side of this incredible continent full of surprises and with great possibilities for the future.

From Cairo to Nairobi, via Cape Town or Casablanca, here are the top ranked African cities to start or continue your business adventure.

Here is a quick reminder of nowadays facts:

  • the African continent has numerous business opportunities for entrepreneurs to invest their time, money and resources: Fintech (as of 2021, there were 576 fintech startups with headquarters in Africa, a figure that increased from 491 in 2019, a 17.3% growth), Healthcare, Agriculture, E-commerce and Packaged Food Manufacturing
  • the continent's population is expected to exceed 2 billion by 2050
  • natural resources (diamonds and gems, sugar, salt, gold, iron, cobalt, uranium, copper, bauxite, silver, petroleum, cocoa beans, tropical timber…)
  • one of the fastest growing economies in the world (according to World Bank figures, emerging and developing economies, most of which are in Africa, grew by 6.3% at the end of 2021)

Below rank established by Statista gathers 4 subindices : economy (economic strength & level of development), society (population development, areas of education & standard of living), operational environment (infrastructure & logistics) and charisma (tourism, culture & the environment).

The expert’s voice : “Why not Abidjan ?”

Abidjan is clearly one of the current hotspots in Africa. Due to its size and the dynamism of its economy, Côte d'Ivoire is one of the economic engines of the region. A financial center with continental ambitions, an increasing number of infrastructure projects and a pool of talent and skills are among the assets of the Ivorian economic capital. Cooptalis has been established there since 2020, with offices in the Cocody Danga district and a local team.

In addition to being dynamic from a business point of view, Abidjan is also a lively city, pleasant to live in and very festive. For future expats, the cost of living is relatively high.


Top business cities ranking

Cairo, Egypt

In addition to being ranked #1, Cairo is globally known for its millenial history and its citizens' high level of education (Egypt has the largest education system within Middle East & North Africa). Also note various opportunities regarding tourism, oil drilling and healthcare.

The city itself makes up around 11% of Egypt’s total population and 22% of its PPP (Purchasing Power Parity)

Johannesburg, South Africa

Johannesburg is South Africa’s economic centre. The city has attracted all the top players in business and includes many national headquarters for various multinational companies like including Coke, Nokia, or McDonalds (more than 70% of companies operating in Africa have regional headquarters in Johannesburg).

Founded after the discovery of huge gold fields, the city has grown to be a major centre for both business and education, and hosts one of the largest airport of the world (O.R. Tambo) and the largest convention centre on the continent.

Casablanca, Morocco

Casablanca, Morocco’s second largest city, is said to be its biggest financial centre. In addition to its international airport or strategic seaport open to the Mediterranean Sea, Casablanca is home to the 1st North-African professional district (more than 1,400,000 m² of office space).

The city also hosts the Casablanca Stock Exchange which is the 3rd highest performing Bourse on the continent and is also the dominant exchange for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

Nairobi, Kenya

The capital city of Kenya, Nairobi, has been ranked the top city in Africa according to Knight Frank’s Africa Horizons Report 2021/22 (subindices: quality of innovation factors, innovation infrastructure, funding, and motivation to innovate).

The city is a marketplace full of opportunities regarding agribusiness (coffee, tea, flowers, avocados), manufacturing (renewable low cost energy, medical supplies, value add of agricultural goods), real estate (affordable housing), financial services (fintech, alternative investment management), tourism, pharmaceuticals, information communication technology, digital trade, and infrastructure.

Accra, Ghana

Accra is really easy to access with its two large ports and lots of international flights on a daily basis.

Due to Ghana’s stability and English-speaking population, it is viewed as an attractive destination among many multinational companies and institutions. The country is also home to the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

Lagos, Nigeria

Nigeria is Africa‘s biggest economy ($429 billion in 2020) and is its most populous. The country’s population is expected to double by 2050 (202 million World Bank estimate in 2020). The potential of its markets, human capital, and natural resources is vast.

Nigeria remains Africa’s largest economy, despite a recession caused by the covid-19 pandemic, a decline in oil prices, and increased risk aversion among investors.