Digital nomads are people who travel freely while working remotely using technology and the internet. As the world evolves, onsite work models where employees had to resume at the same location daily to complete their tasks have reduced and more digital nomads exist today in the post-COVID era.
Tech or digital nomads are location-independent and use technology to perform their jobs. Most people prefer to do their jobs from the comfort of their personal space without so much distraction, interruption and even inconvenience.
The nomadic lifestyle also allows these individuals to explore the world and experience other cultures while earning as a freelancer or as an employee of one organisation.
Comfort and convenience have become significant elements and constant features of their life due to the necessity for devotion and focus, free from interruption and distraction, to complete the complex task this group of people carry out.
Hence, choosing the ideal location or place to get these bundles easily available is a crucial choice they must make.
This article seeks to provide options on the best, but emerging African cities to live in as a tech nomad, devoid of overcrowdedness but with quality social infrastructure, low cost of living, fast and reliable internet and broadband penetration, vibrant tech ecosystems, quality payment infrastructure, availability co-working space and exquisite cuisine.
7 African cities tech nomads should consider
You would think Lagos or Abuja would be the Nigerian representative on this list but Ibadan is better suited for the nomadic lifestyle. It’s infrastructure, history, and culture give the feel and satisfaction every nomad seeking a destination in Nigeria needs.
Ibadan is relatively calm and not overcrowded compared to Lagos. The ancient city of brown roofs is unarguably Nigeria’s largest city and is one of the calmest and most affordable places to live in.
The proximity to Lagos, Nigeria’s greatest tech hub, is another reason for choosing Ibadan. From Lagos, the city is only 136 kilometres by car and 118 km by plane. The rail connecting the two cities is a nice addition to the seamless road network, so if you want to get a sense of both cities, you can.
Ibadan is a city with strong infrastructure and economic prospects. The city has one of the best road networks in the nation, and it ranks among the major cities of Africa thanks to its effective payment infrastructure. There is also affordable housing available for all social classes, and the nomad community is appropriately concentrated in the metropolis.
There are also several historical landmarks and museums that highlight the Nigerian culture, especially the Yoruba heritage so nomads can explore the ancient city in their free time.
Ibadan ticks all the boxes for a nomad looking for a tranquil, cheap, well-connected, and socially active city with quick and dependable internet connectivity and robust payment infrastructure. You may therefore acquire all you need for a nomadic lifestyle in Ibadan rather than having to deal with the hectic and crowded lifestyle of Lagos or the pricey lifestyle of Abuja.
Accra, Ghana, is emerging as a thriving tech hub in West Africa. The city is the administrative, economic, and educational capital of Ghana, and contains the head offices of all banks, trading firms, insurance companies, the electricity corporation, and the post office.
The city is a popular destination for digital nomads due to its vibrant culture, low cost of living, and excellent internet access. The best neighbourhood to live in Accra is Osu, which is known for its lively nightlife, great restaurants, and easy access to the beach
The city is known for its calmness and provision of affordable housing options for tech nomads, particularly in neighbourhoods like Osu and East Legon. When it comes to finding co-working places in Accra to work, ImpactHub Accra & iSpace Ghana remain excellent choices for digital nomads in the city. There are more than 28 co-working hubs in Accra.
It boasts a reliable broadband network, with a median fixed broadband download speed of 22.74 Mbps. Accra also has a well-developed payment infrastructure, including mobile banking services. The city offers quality social infrastructure, with cultural events, international restaurants, and recreational facilities.
The weather in Accra, Ghana is typically hot and humid, with temperatures ranging from the mid-70s to the mid-90s Fahrenheit. The monthly cost of living for a digital nomad in Accra is approximately $1,000 USD. The cost of renting a centrally located, one-bedroom apartment with high-speed internet access in Accra is around $500 USD per month.
Nairobi is not only the tech centre of Kenya, but the city is quickly becoming one of the continent’s biggest players in the tech field. In recent years, there have been huge changes to the city. Once known as a stopover before a safari to the Masai Mara, Nairobi is becoming a city that you should spend more than a night in.
Apart from the fact that Kenya is a wonderful East African country with warm and lovely people, the weather is fantastic (mostly calm and warm) and you’ll love the respectful, beautiful Kenyan ladies and of course the strong handsome men.
While Nairobi has become a tourist destination, it still deserves a spot on this list due to its excellent infrastructure for tech nomads. With over 30 co-working spaces to choose from and 200 plus grassroots social enterprise startups, the remote working infrastructure is really taking off in Nairobi.
Nairobi is a modern calm city where you can easily get almost anything you need. The city offers a variety of affordable housing options in neighbourhoods like Westlands and Kilimani. For general lifestyle purchases, Nairobi is a pretty affordable place to be. Most accommodations and coffee shops also have good free wifi in metro areas. The Internet download speed in Kenya is 24.94 Mbps which is relatively fair compared to other African cities.
The payment infrastructure is efficient, with mobile money services such as M-PESA widely used. Nairobi also provides quality social infrastructure, including shopping malls, restaurants, and recreational facilities.
Agadir, Morocco, is an emerging destination that holds great potential for tech nomads seeking a conducive environment for their work and lifestyle. Nestled along Morocco’s picturesque coastline, invites digital nomads to experience serenity and natural beauty.
With its laid-back atmosphere and sun-soaked beaches, Agadir provides an ideal environment for remote work. Nomads can take advantage of the city’s coworking spaces, indulge in spa sessions, or embark on adventurous journeys to the nearby Atlas Mountains, making Agadir a peaceful haven for productive remote work.
Firstly, Agadir offers affordable housing options, particularly in areas like Founty and Cité Dakhla. The city’s cost of living is relatively lower compared to other major Moroccan cities, making it an appealing choice for tech nomads on a budget. This affordability allows them to find suitable accommodations without breaking the bank.
In terms of broadband infrastructure, Agadir has made significant strides in recent years. The city has a well-established network of internet service providers, offering reliable and high-speed internet connectivity. This accessibility to broadband allows tech nomads to work remotely without interruptions and enjoy a seamless online experience.
Agadir offers a quality social infrastructure to enhance the overall lifestyle of tech nomads. The city features modern amenities such as shopping malls, restaurants, and recreational facilities. The beachfront location adds to its appeal, providing a pleasant environment for relaxation and leisure activities after work hours.
Additionally, Agadir has a welcoming and multicultural community, offering opportunities to connect with like-minded professionals and expand professional networks.
Dakar, the capital and largest city in Senegal, serves as the nation’s commercial and cultural hub. The westernmost region of Africa, the Green Cape, is where Dakar is situated. Dakar is therefore the continent’s most western city.
Dakar is one of the fastest-growing tech hubs in West Africa. The capital of Senegal is a vibrant city with a growing tech scene. It offers affordable housing options, particularly in neighbourhoods like Plateau and Mermoz.
Senegal’s cultural and commercial centre, Dakar, attracts digital nomads with its vibrant energy and creative vibe. It is home to lively markets, delicious indigenous food, and a thriving arts scene, providing a setting that fosters creativity and productivity, enabling tech nomads to explore new horizons while pursuing their professional objectives. It has burgeoning coworking spaces and a rich cultural legacy.
Dakar’s broadband infrastructure is developing, with initiatives like the “Smart Dakar” project aiming to enhance internet connectivity. The payment infrastructure is efficient, with mobile money services widely available.
The capital city has a sub-oceanic climate with a distinctly dry season (May-June) and a short season of rain. Sahara’s balmy weather is softened by the sea breezes of the Atlantic, making it – a pleasant place to live.
Kampala is the capital of Uganda, and the city is a great choice for digital nomads. Situated on the border of Lake Victoria, Kampala has slowly emerged as an underrated digital nomad hotspot because of its extremely cheap living costs and temperate climate.
Affordability is one of Kampala’s notable advantages. The cost of living in Kampala is relatively lower compared to many other major African cities. This translates to affordable housing options, with areas like Kololo and Ntinda offering a range of accommodations suitable for tech nomads. Lower living costs allow for a comfortable lifestyle and the ability to stretch one’s budget.
The weather is perfect, lots of interesting people, lots of opportunities for business, and visas are pretty easy to get. It sprawls across numerous hills, ridges, and valleys and has a vibrant restaurant and nightlife scene.
Kampala today is one of the fastest-growing tech hubs in Africa. The average cost of living in Kampala is within the range of $600 – $1200 a month. When it comes to finding co-working places to work, the city is blessed with over 14 coworking spaces, Tribe Kampala & Design Hub Kampala remain the top choices for digital nomads in the city.
Safety is not a huge concern for foreigners and English is widely spoken, but the internet is average at best and poor in some parts of the city. Digital nomads can survive pretty well for fewer than $1,000 a month, even for as little as $600, making it a great choice for nomads with limited funds.
Mobile money platforms such as MTN Mobile Money and Airtel Money provide a convenient and secure way to make transactions, both domestically and internationally. This efficient payment system enables tech nomads to manage their finances seamlessly, from paying bills to transferring funds.
Dahab, a charming village on Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, offers an appealing option for budget-conscious digital nomads. Known as a “digital nomad haven,” Dahab provides affordable living costs, a welcoming community, and abundant coworking spaces.
Dahab quickly became a very popular destination for digital nomads during the Pandemic. As many other countries closed their borders, Egypt still made it relatively easy for people to visit without excessive quarantine measures.
In between work sessions, nomads can explore world-class diving spots, engage in windsurfing activities, or simply relax in cosy beachfront cafes, immersing themselves in the laid-back charm of this hidden gem.
For digital or tech nomads, Dahab is fantastic as it ticks off everything someone could ask for. There are an abundance of cafes and shops for you to get work done as well as plenty of amazing restaurants in town. The cost of living is very cheap in Dahab so you can keep to a tight budget easily. There are also more and more digital nomads coming into Dahab every month making the community more vibrant than ever.
The little city’s average monthly cost of living ranges from $800 to $1300. The cost of a tourist visa is only $25, and the city offers internet speeds of 50 Mbps. As a result of the city’s small size and low population density compared to other big Egyptian cities like Cairo, you won’t have to worry about it being too crowded or noisy.
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