Thursday, March 4, 2021

Gaborone in top five of Africa’s most habitable cities

Despite frequent power disruptions due to electricity load shedding and regular water rationing, Gaborone has been listed as the 5th most habitable city in Africa after Cape Town, Accra, Nairobi and Johannesburg. A review by Africa.com says though youngÔÇöhaving only gained independence from Britain in the 1960sÔÇöGaborone has flourished.

Politically stable and economically buoyant, Botswana’s capital is considered to be a peaceful city. It’s likely partly due to it being small in size, with a population of just over 230,000, but still offers a diverse mix of people, and places to see. Gabs, as it is popularly known, is located in a country known for being one of the world’s largest producers of rough diamonds. The precious stone continues to play a major role in the city’s development. Just recently, leading diamond producer de Beers announced it would be moving some of its operations to the sub-Saharan country from London.

Apart from diamonds, the economy is also driven by its beef exports, the majority of which is sold in Europe as well as the growing tourism industry. The development of modern sports facilities saw the city successfully hosting the Africa Junior Athletics Championships in 2011, and has made it a popular contender to host the 2014 African Youth Games. Gaborone is also well connected to South Africa’s capital, Pretoria. It’s strategic location means that you’ll find South African stores in Gaborone’s many large malls. It shares many similarities with its neighbour, though is considered to be somewhat safer. Gaborone has been listed ahead of Libreville, Tunis, Dar es Salaam, Windhoek and Kigali.

Topping the list is Cape Town which according to Africa.Com is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, let alone Africa, having already won a number of prestigious international travel awards. It’s where most people in South Africa wish they lived. It possesses all of the amenities and sophistication of a urban area, yet the pace is decidedly relaxed, with the city being nestled between the ocean and the mountains, creating an ideal mix of work and play. A short drive away and you can find yourself in one of the hundreds of vineyards that produce some of the world’s top wines. While summers (OctoberÔÇôApril) are lovely, winters can be dreary with much fog, rain, and wind. That’s why some would prefer to call Cape Town the “Windy City”ÔÇöit’s in fact known at the “Mother City” and is the caretaker of the insurance and now burgeoning digital sector. It’s also where you’ll find the advertising execs and creatives, with many retailers and fashion designers headquartered there.

Housing options vary, from Tuscan-styled homes (a trend seen across the country), funky “SoHo”-style downtown lofts, and gated urban estates. While crime rates remain high, security is generally considered to be less of a concern than in Johannesburg, and is evidenced through the conspicuous absence of the ubiquitous high walls and electric fences on each and every home as seen in some parts of Johannesburg and Pretoria. Like many 2010 World Cup host cities, Cape Town’s public transport infrastructure was given a boost, primarily through the MyCiTi rapid bus service. Routes are still limited though, so unless you’re willing to commute via railway or chance the minivan taxis, it still is the kind of city where it’s best to have your own car to get around.

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