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By Moses Kaketo

Uganda’s capital city Kampala has been ranked among top 12 cities in Africa and 173 globally offering highest quality of living. This is according to global consulting firm Mercer’s list of cities offering the highest quality of life.

The data was largely analysed between September and November 2016. The survey looked at 450 cities globally.

Mercer’s authoritative survey is one of the world’s most comprehensive and is conducted annually to enable multinational companies and other organisations to compensate employees fairly when placing them on international assignments.

According to Mercer’s 19th annual Quality of Living Survey, Kampala is ahead of Nairobi which is ranked 186 globally and 13th in Africa, Kigali 14th in Africa and 192 globally and Dar El Salam ranked 15th in Africa and 199 globally.

The only cities in Africa who are ahead of Kampala are: South African cities of [ Durban 87 globally and Number in Africa, Cape Town 2nd in Africa and 94 globally and Johannesburg 3rd in Africa and 96 globally] Tunis, Rabat, Gaborone, Lusaka, Dakar, Libreville, Cairo and Accra Ghana in that order

The survey of 231 cities helps companies and organizations determine compensation and hardship allowances for international staff. It uses dozens of criteria such as political stability, health care, education, crime, recreation and transport.

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Read: Uganda seeks to feed the world through the new Fertilizer Policy

Six years into Syria’s bloody war, Damascus was ranked seventh from bottom, with Bangui in the Central African Republic, Yemeni capital Sanaa, Haiti’s Port-au-Prince, Sudan’s Khartoum and Chad’s N’Djamena filling out the end of the list.

“For multinationals and governments it is vital to have quality of living information that is accurate, detailed, and reliable. It not only enables these employers to compensate employees appropriately, but it also provides a planning benchmark and insights into the often-sensitive operational environment that surrounds their workforce.’’ said Ilya Bonic, senior partner and president of Mercer’s Career business

Read: Uganda named among 17 countries globally where foreigners live happiest lives

Mercer’s survey also includes a city infrastructure ranking that assesses each city’s supply of electricity, drinking water, telephone and mail services, and public transportation as well as traffic congestion and the range of international flights available from local airports.

“A city’s infrastructure, or rather the lack thereof, can considerably affect the quality of living that expatriates and their families experience on a daily basis. Access to a variety of transport options, being connected locally and internationally, and access to electricity and drinkable water are among the essential needs of expatriates arriving in a new location on assignment. A well-developed infrastructure can also be a key competitive advantage for cities and municipalities trying to attract multinational companies, talent, and foreign investments.” said Slagin Parakatil, Principal at Mercer and responsible for its quality of living research

Mercer evaluates Living conditions are analysed according to 39 factors, grouped in 10 categories: Political and social environment (political stability, crime, law enforcement, etc.), Economic environment (currency exchange regulations, banking services), Socio-cultural environment (media availability and censorship, limitations on personal freedom), Medical and health considerations (medical supplies and services, infectious diseases, sewage, waste disposal, air pollution, etc.) and Schools and education (standards and availability of international schools).

Others are : Public services and transportation (electricity, water, public transportation, traffic congestion, etc.), Recreation (restaurants, theatres, cinemas, sports and leisure, etc.), Consumer goods (availability of food/daily consumption items, cars, etc.), Housing (rental housing, household appliances, furniture, maintenance services) and Natural environment (climate, record of natural disasters).

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