14 Pros and Cons of Living In Africa

by | Africa

Mar 20, 2022

Do you want to know what living in Africa is like? Consider reading this first because there are many pros and cons to living in Africa. 

Africa is the world’s largest continent and home to some of the world’s most beautiful tourist attractions cultures and is also home to more than one billion people. Many movies and documentaries explore these beauties. 

Stories are told about them. So much that one, having listened to numerous tales about Africa, may just find himself lost in the desire to experience these beauties face to face. He may find himself consumed with the need to go to Africa and start a living. 

Whether you’re coming to live temporarily, starting a new job, retiring, or just looking for a new adventure, Africa might just be the place for you.

Pros and Cons of Living In Africa

Whether you’re looking to move for work or to retire in Africa, or just because you like nature and animals, there are many reasons, both pros and cons that could impact your decision. Let’s take a look at what else makes it worth living in Africa.

Pro: Friendly Environment

Africa, at least, many parts of the beautiful continent, have a beautiful and appealing environment. Environment, as used here, takes into consideration the climate, the atmospheric conditions, etc. 

Smoke. Noise. None of these will present much trouble. Since Africa offers many rural experiences, you are sure not to be affected much by industrialization. 

Also, you will come face to face with nature and will be intrigued by it. The sound of birds. The grunts of animals. The pattering of rain upon your roof. 

In many regions in Africa, the hot Saharan Africa area, for example, has got quite a friendly environment. 

Here, you will get the chance to appreciate nature for what it really is. In the morning, birds sing, and wildlife appreciates the tunes. Trees dance. 

You can automatically live and work in Africa if you live there. There are not many bureaucratic hoops to jump through to get a job or start a business.

Africa is very welcoming to foreigners. It doesn’t matter your nationality, color, or language you speak. Africans love everyone, and they are ready to assist you in any way they can.

It’s all beauty. All beauty. 

Pro: Little Language Barrier

Most African countries were colonized by European countries, and so they speak many European languages as their official language. 

Communication will not constitute a barrier for you if you speak or understand many European languages. 

The Nigerians and Ghanaians, for example, speak English. An English-speaking individual will have little problems with communication here. 

Senegal speaks French. If you understand French well enough, you’ll have no problems speaking with the locals. 

There are also countries that speak more than one language. Cameroon, located in central Africa, is one. The Cameronians speak both French and English. 

Pro: Rich, Healthy Food

Many African communities believe in eating healthy, so they rely more on unprocessed food than processed ones. Of course, farming is the major occupation in some parts of Africa, considering African lands are arable. 

If you are seeking to move to Africa, be sure to eat a variety of fresh and healthy foods, including vegetables and grains, and legumes. 

In Western Africa, especially amongst the Efiks of Southern Nigeria, a dish called Afang soup stands out. It is considered a ceremonial food, made from a leaf called Afang, cooked alongside meat and seasoned to produce such an inviting flavor. It is eaten with a mold called Fufu. 

It is considered a ceremonial food and is prepared using a leaf called Afang, some seasoning, and animal protein. It is eaten using some molded substance called Fufu.

Bobotie is common in South Africa. It is another African dish that truly stands out. It is cooked using meat, some spiced curry, and cherries. There is also plenty of eggs and custard. It is eaten with some yellow rice. 

There are several others, and they are rich and appealing. 

Another well-known fact about Africa is its vibrant outdoor dining and food culture. You can find streets full of small bars and restaurants which play beautiful music and sell very cheap food with drinks that you will enjoy.

African recipes are very close to nature. Many of these recipes are very healthy and would give your taste buds quite a stimulation. 

Some of the popular foods are:

Pro: Tourist Attraction Sites

Tourism is one of the pros of living in Africa. Africa has many tourist attractions sites you will enjoy. If you move to Africa, you will be living the dream of many tourists. It is true: every year, many tourists from around the world come to Africa to behold its beauty. 

If you move to Zimbabwe, for example, you will have the chance to access Victoria falls easily.

In Morocco, you will come face to face with the sand dunes, and they offer a splendid view of the Sahara desert. 

In Egypt, the pyramids of Gaza stand in their glory, magnificent, tall, and glorious. 

Lake Retba, a pink lake, lies in Senegal. 

The longest river in the world, the Nile, is in Egypt.

Pro: Taut Communities

Many African communities are small and very taut. That is to say; they consist of people who most times relate with each other on a personal basis as regulated by customs and traditions. 

In a typical village in Nigeria, especially amongst the Igbos of the South Eastern region, there is the possibility that you may know all your neighbors. If not personally, then on a casual level, at least. They may know your name and may even check up on you from time to time. 

What is better than living around neighbors who actually care about you?

Pro: Great Cultures

African cultures are exceptional and beautiful, and they are morally sound, too—at least the majority of them. Living here puts you in the face of very beautiful cultures. 

Africa has a unique and rich culture and bustling social life. Many Africans love going out to bars to drink and spend time with friends. They prioritize family and know how to have fun.

The stories are very entertaining and teach children what unity is and should be from a young age. 

In South Africa, there are the Zulus. Zulu dances are a sight to behold. 

In Nigeria, there are the Yoruba’s and the Igbos, etc. The Yoruba’s have great dances too. 

Amongst the Ibibio people of Akwa-Ibom, Nigeria, there is a tradition where children gather around an older adult at night and listen to stories. 

There is a street party in Calabar known as the Calabar Carnival, the biggest street party in Africa. Display of culture upon display of culture is seen in this party. 

African people are very often religious people too. Their religions take roots from years of learning and unlearning. 

Pro: Good Higher Education

While lower-level education may not be so pronounced in Africa, higher-level learning centers in Africa are quite unique and special, ranking high amongst the world’s Universities. 

In South Africa, the University of Cape Town is ranked to be the top first university in Africa and has a global score of 109.

The University of Witwatersrand is also in the same country, having the great Leader, Nelson Mandela, as one of its alumni. 

In Nigeria, the University of Ibadan has contributed greatly to Nigeria’s economic and political growth. The great novelist, Chinua Achebe, was one of its alumni. 

Many African universities award postgraduate and undergraduate degrees and welcome foreigners. 

Con: Corruption and Compromised Security

Africa is not very lucky when it comes to government. Many African countries are very corrupt, and this corruption takes a toll on them. 

Corruption creates a breeding ground for violence. Due to the crime and unemployment in many African countries, many of its youths are corrupt and violent. There are also several terrorist organizations wreaking havoc in some parts of the continent. 

They also take drugs and engage in vices that further endanger society. 

If you are seeking to move to Africa, be sure that you move to an area with no intertribal or politically motivated wars. 

Con: Power and Electricity

Many African countries do not develop and distribute enough energy to meet the power demands of their citizens. That is to say, the electricity is not constant. You could only be exposed to electricity for a couple of hours a day. 

In Nigeria, there is barely enough power to go round. In some regions of the country, people have access to just about 4 – 6 hours of power supply daily. Same as in Cameroon and Zimbabwe. 

This will prove problematic for people who must have already been used to having a constant power supply. 

You might not be able to handle this if you are used to having electricity all year round. There isn’t always hot water, and the power cuts every now and then.

Con: Sanitation

Sanitation is one of the cons of living in Africa. It is an issue many African countries are still battling to handle. 

Many African communities cannot access good and drinkable water. For this reason, many of these communities are more prone to diseases. The slums of Lagos, for example. 

Sewage and refuse disposal constitute a problem too. Plastic wastes litter streets and cause all forms of health problems. For example, in some parts of Nigeria, one can find heaps of garbage and plastic on the streets. 

There is also a problem with drainage. Many African countries have a huge annual rainfall and are prone to small flooding. Streets become waterlogged, and houses aren’t left unaffected. 

This is common in the area where there is a delta. 

Oil spillage is also a problem. In Delta State, Nigeria, many communities have been hit by the effects of crude oil spillage. Fishes die. Water becomes black and not consumable.  

Con: Heat

Many African countries are in temperate regions and very hot. This is especially true of countries around the equatorial region. 

The Saharan region is quite a hot place to live in. You will have to consider how well you can cope with heat before moving down there. 

Con: Health Care

Healthcare is still a challenge in many African countries. Many Africans do not have adequate access to healthcare, especially in rural areas. 

This is due to a number of reasons, and corruption is one. In many rural areas, villagers rely on self-medication, which in the long run becomes problematic. 

According to a United Nations article, due to no proper healthcare in 2015, About 1.6 million Africans died of malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV-related diseases.

Con: Bad Roads and Housing

While it may be different from urban areas like South Africa’s Johannesburg, many rural areas of African countries do not have good roads and do not offer great housing plans. 

Housing may also be a problem. The houses may be small and not good enough.  

You will have to reconsider visiting many areas in Sudan. Areas in Tanzania, too. 

Traffic congestion is another effect of bad roads in Africa. As a result of the bad roads, many big cities have high traffic congestions and this cause delays.

Many African cities are in the same league, like Sao Paulo, China National Highway 110, Mumbai, and Moscow during rush hour when you talk of the worst traffic jams.

Con: Bad Water

Many African countries don’t have access to good, drinkable water. This is especially true in rural areas. The slums of Lagos do not have access to good, drinkable water. Of course, they are slums and are littered with waste. 

Since many African countries have high annual rainfall, many of them experience some flooding. 

In Southern Nigeria, a lot of oil mining goes on. There are many reported cases of oil spillage. The water gets mixed with oil and becomes non-drinkable, fishes meeting death. 

Photo by James Wiseman on Unsplash

By Lonely Africa Editors

The Lonely Africa Team covers everything about Africa. Our team of experts provides in-depth analysis that helps you understand complex topics on the African continent.

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