Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Cost of Living in Luanda

A "fellow Fellow" sent me a link to an article in The Economist about the high cost of living for expatriates in Africa. It focuses on Luanda but Lobito is only slightly less expensive than Luanda. The article also neglects to mention that it's expensive for ANGOLANS, too!

Case in point: our Luanda office's lease was set to expire at the end of December. The owner wanted to raise the rent from US$3,500/month to US$12,500/month. With no improvements to the building. Our office is across the street from the main Chevron office. Coincidence? As an NGO we certainly can't afford the new rent, so we are moving to an office whose rent will be US$6500/month.

My friend/coworker Mark also pointed out that here it's no big deal to carry US$100 bills in your pocket. He recalled being dumbfounded by the strange looks he got on his last home leave when he would pay for things with $100 bills. It's quite common here.

I spend at least US$50 every time I go to the supermarket. Yes, I do buy Western food, but you can't tell me that US$8 is reasonable for a box of cereal! Even the local markets (like the Cubal one, above in the picture of the chicken section of the market) are expensive. A bunch of bananas costs US$2.50!

1 comment:

Mathew said...

Hi Lessi,

I would soon be moving to Luanda, can you tell me how would it take with the these things below:

House with 2 bedroom
Food for 1 person
traveling (Heavy)

Thank you