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South East Nine
40,842 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is just a discussion to educate me and others. I have some questions and want to gauge opinions on them. This is subjective, so respect others opinion :)

* Which do you think are Africa's top 10 skylines now, and the top 10 skylines in the future?

* Also, in African cities, is the trend to build new office developments in the Central Business District, or in other newer areas of the city.

* Will the nations with oil or oil reserves eventually have the best skylines and projects in Africa compared to other countries on the continent?

* What is the best proposed/under construction/new tower in Africa?


* This is the top 20 skylines in Africa now according to the poll results on the "Rate Our Skylines" chart section.

(The list is indicative. I don't agree with it.)

1. Cape Town, South Africa (49)

2. Johannesburg, South Africa (137)

3. Durban, South Africa (144)

4. Nairobi, Kenya (166)

5. Harare, Zimbabwe (189)

6. Abidjan, Ivory Coast (238)

7. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (345)

8. Libreville, Gabon (361)

9. Bulawayo, Zimbabwe (366)

10. Cairo, Egypt (368)

11. Windhoek, Namibia (400)

12. Addis Abeba, Ethiopia (431)

13. Maputo, Mozambique (439)

14. Yaounde, Cameroon (449)

15. Dakar, Senegal (462)

16. Lagos, Nigeria (476)

17. Accra, Ghana (481)
18. Kampala, Uganda (497)
19. Lusaka, Zambia, (513)
20. Asmara, Eritrea (545)

40,884 Posts
PRESENTLY (I will just do it for sub-saharan Africa, don´t take it amiss)

I think that the best African skyline is:
1.) that of Durban (beyond any doubt, many nice projects are under construction and it is next to the ocean, makes up the charm of a skyline, to my mind)
2.) Cape Town (highrises are not really high but everything is well-kept and orderly)
3.) Johannesburg
4.) Abidjan (the lagoon city used to be a very precious pearl with some great potential, Ivorians have a hang for monumental and striking projects)
5.) Nairobi
6.) Lagos (yes, it is a bit shabby, but by African standards it is impressive, unfortunately most of the new high rises are not built on Lagos Island nowadays but on Victoria Island and Ikoyi)
7.) Harare (it has some quite fancy high rises)
8.) Dakar
9.) Luanda
10.) Maputo

IN THE FUTURE which will be in the next 10-20 years (this is highly speculAtive as in all the countries it has to be PEACE)

1.) Durban
2.) but very closely followed by Luanda (there are really nice projects under construction, there, read in the papers, they are already talking of "manhattan of Africa", futhermore they are trying to copy Brazil)
3.) Johannesburg (rejuvenation projects are under way among others)
4.) Abidjan (once peace returns - it may sound strange to you now - but swanky projects are there amass, in the 90´s : Abidjan wanted to build the "Tour des Eléphants" wih more than 70 floors which should have been built by Ivoirian born Lebanese architect Pierre Fakhoury, the project was however but on ice but it is not forgotten)
5.) Cape Town
6.) Khartoum (still remember than multi-billion project)
7.) Nairobi and Dakar (I have to put both in the same league, Dakar will get the huge "tour de Khadaffi" and some more nice projects, Nairobi is also expanding)
8.) Harare (will profit when Mugabe dies and due to its the closeness to South Africa)
9.) Lagos (may sound strange to some but I do not think that we will see any glitzy skyscrapers in Lagos, development is no longer on Lagos Island but it all will be decentralised urban high- rise development, there are projects and a lot but they are no particular high rises, Nigerians don´t feel the need to construct skyscrapers but there will definitly be some very nice other projects to come)
10.) Maputo and Addis Abeba (in the same league)

As far as Africa´s oil nations are concerned (well, I am not a fortune teller) but I think that the high rise development will speed up drastically in Luanda which will have a nice skyline in 10-20years time; we also have to look out for Abidjan (where oil companies where there before the crisis started...) and for Khartoum as well. As far as Gabon or Equatorial Guinea is concerned, well I don´t think that we will see a string of 30+ towers there in the future what doesn´t mean that there will be no other nice projects . South africa will remain at the top end (especially Durban), I think. We also have to watch out for Dakar and Nairobi
Construction of high rises can be spurred with the discovery of oil but it is not a logic consequence (as in the case of Nigeria)...Lagos and Abuja will have many city centres in the future, I think (that´s the trend for those two cities)

But who really knows how the world will look like in 10-20 years?

The best proposed skyscraper in Africa is the Tour de Khadaffi in Dakar and it is under construction.

Hood Legend
1,187 Posts
^^ I am surprised Kinshasa is not on "Rate Our Skylines" list. Kinshasa and Abidjan have very developed skylines for nations in conflict.

For me I think that oil producing nations will most likely take the top spot, mostly in the near future; because even though Africa is going through some urbanization the majority of the people still live in rural areas and African governments are not likely to spend a lot of money on urban infrastructure if there is no real growth.

I think only oil rich nations like Sudan and Angola will invest much more in urban areas as a sign of status. Also I think S. Africa will continue to hold the top spot, at least in the near future.

Anyway here is my list now… (Only Sub-Sahara)

1.) Durban, Jo-burg
2.) Cape town
3.) Nairobi
4.) Harare
5.) Abidjan*
6.) Dakar
7.) Maputo
8.) Lagos
9.) Addis Ababa
10.) Luanda, Kampala

*typo correction, Kinshasa should not have been on this list (I see what you where talking about now Matt, my mistake)


1.) Durban, Jo-burg
2.) Luanda, Khartoum
3.) Abidjan (highly dependent on political climate)
4.) Cape town
5.) Nairobi
6.) Dakar, Harare
7.) Lagos
8.) Addis Ababa, Maputo
9.) Accra
10.) Kinshasa (there is always a possibility of peace and resurgence here)

Nice thread btw SE9, good concept.

40,884 Posts
Just one small correction, skipperbill! you can´t compare Kinsasha to Abidjan, don´t tell that to an Ivorian or he will jump you right into your face :) , These are two different worlds. Moreover, Côte d´ivoire is not known to have been a nation in crisis in the past as compared to Zaire. Côte d´ivoire was the undisputed posterchild of stability and development in Africa from the 60´s up to the 90´s. Futhermore, Mobutu was an awful dictator who just shamelessly and ruthlessly exploited his country to the fullest whereas the first president of Côte d´ivoire invested a lot of money in his country (even in rural areas which is very rare for Africa). Kinsasha has always been a "trash dump" if you compare it to Abidjan....even in times of peace (there were some Congo-Belgians whom I knew when I lived in Abidjan who moved from Zaire to Côte d´ivoire and they told me that both cities are incomparable to each other).....but maybe the future will write another story, who knows....

Hood Legend
1,187 Posts
^^ Oh, I agree Matt, Kinshasa cannot be compared at all with Abidjan and of course the history of Cote d'ivoire and the Congo are far and apart.
Even though Cote d'iviore has gone through some rough periods recently, it is not at all the ungovernable mess that the Congo has turned into. Further, Abidjan and most other Ivory Coast cities are still in somewhat good shape(they still have all the infrastructure in place for a revival).
I was just surprised recently to see that Kinshasa had some nice highrises and, although the shape of the roads where dismal at best, at least they had a large network which was all surprising for a nation in conflict.

Anyway thats my short explanation of that (sorry to divert the purpose of the thread).

918 Posts
The trend across Africa is to build new developments in the Central Business Districts. Johannesburg and Durban are exceptions. Those cities sprawl like any American one, and the development is spread out throughout the metropolitan areas.

South East Nine
40,842 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
HirakataShi said:
The trend across Africa is to build new developments in the Central Business Districts.
In Nairobi, all office projects I know about are being constructed outside the Central Business District. They are mainly being constructed in two areas: Upper Hill and Mombasa Road Area.

All of Nairobi's newest towers have been built in Upper Hill, and most projects are situated there too. Upper Hill is about 3 miles from the Central Business District. I think because of space and cost, Upper Hill will one day overtake the CBD in terms of skyline.

These are just some of the towers that have been built in Upper Hill since 2000:

and there's more of the same Under Construction in the Area:


Prince of Persia
1,926 Posts
Algiers is the most beautiful from the pictures but Cairo is also cool. The best skylines are in South Africa ( and some northern african cities )

1,476 Posts
Top Ten

Here are my top ten skylines:

1. Nairobi
2. Port Louis
3. Durban
4. Harare
5. Cairo
6. Cape Town
7. Abidjan
8. Lagos
9. Windhoek
10. Johannesburg - Downtown

In 10-20 years time:

1. Durban
2. Cairo
3. Khartoum
4. Tripoli
5. Casablanca
5. Dakar
6. Lagos
7. Accra
8. Nairobi
9. Abuja
10. Luanda
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