Africa's Top 9 Cities for Remote Workers/Freelancers/Digital Nomads

Africa's Top 9 Cities for Remote Workers/Freelancers/Digital Nomads
best African cities for remote workers/digital nomads

Remote work is on the rise globally and in Africa. Young people in various top cities in Africa like Lagos, Capetown, Nairobi, Cairo etc are joining the remote lifestyle working either full time remotely for different organisations, freelancing or building their own digital businesses.

If you live in Africa and looking to start working remotely we urge you to join Remote4Africa - Africa's top remote job site providing access to verified remote jobs open to Africans to apply.

Why is this list important?

As people all over the world embrace remote work opportunities to travel and work from anywhere present itself. Quite a lot of remote workers look for places to travel to and work from in Africa. And this is not limited to African citizens; people from Europe, America and other parts of the world are also fascinated with what Africa has to offer in terms of affordable living and remote working.

Whether you are currently remote-working or an intending remote worker or freelancer you might be interested in knowing which cities in Africa are more suitable for remote work

Criteria for this list

In compiling this list of top cities in Africa for remote work we consider several factors;

  • rankings by different organisations (such as BusinessInsider)
  • our research on Africa's major cities to determine things like - number of workspaces/hubs available, existing remote work communities (which we find helps to make new remote workers better adjust to their new reality), living standards and amenities etc.

So in no particular order, the top ten cities in Africa for remote workers and freelancers.

Capetown, South Africa

Ranked as one of the world's best cities for remote work, Capetown positions as one of the prime destinations for Africa's new and growing population of remote workers and freelancers.

One of Capetown's major advantages as a major attraction for remote workers is the fact it has one of the largest number of co-working spaces in Africa, with over 30 different hubs in the city of Capetown alone and close to a thousand free wifi spots.

Another of its strengths is very good connectivity - it has one of the largest open fibre networks in the continent.

It also has a good ecosystem/community of local and international entrepreneurs who work out from many of its coffee shops and hubs.

It is easily one of the top 3 largest tech hubs in Africa (the other two being Lagos and Nairobi) with over 450 tech firms/startups employing over 40,000 people.

Marrakech, Morocco

Awarded 13th place in TripAdvisor's popular destinations category there is little wonder Marrakech is in this list for best cities for remote work in Africa.

Marrakech has several workspaces and hubs that remote workers and nomads can work from.

The rich culture, art and creativity in the city counts positively for it as remote workers can see several tourist attractions such as the Bahia Palace, the Manara Garden, the Toubkal National Park, the traditional market of Jemaa el-Fnaa, etc.

The city has decent (even if not spectacular) internet access that should just do the job for remote workers while they are there.

Nairobi, Kenya

One of the top 3 cities with the largest tech hubs Nairobi is host to several of the continent's major startups. With 23.99 Mbps download speed it has a fair internet speed compared to other African cities.

Nairobi's tourist and wildlife attractions is a welcome distraction for remote workers as there are several options for unwinding from work with safaris and hiking trails.

The city has over 30 co-working spaces to choose from and hundreds of social enterprise startups thus speeding up the needed infrastructure for remote workers to thrive.

Cairo, Egypt

Cairo with its decent metro system and big start up scene is definitely attractive for remote workers in Africa.

It's download speed of 23.42 compares decently with other African cities, even though it definitely leaves room for improvement.

Like Nairobi, nomads and digital workers in Cairo will be able to enjoy the tourist attraction and the rich history/culture the city presents. Places like the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Great Sphinx, to the Egyptian museum, the Al-Azhar Park etc will be of particular interest.

Kigali, Rwanda

Rwanda, capital city has several factors counting in its favour as a preferred destination for remote workers in Africa. One of them is the safety. Kigali was ranked the safest African city by the World Economic Forum in 2020. This gives it a strong attraction for anyone looking to work and relax in a foreign city without safety issues.

Kigali also has decent places of interest for visiting nomads and remote workers to visit - Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village, National Volcano Park, Inema Art Centre, King's Palace Museum, Akagera National Park etc.

As a downside the internet speed appears to lag a bit behind some of the other cities on this list with a download speed of about 13.40 Mbps

Lagos, Nigeria

Easily Africa's most populous city with near 20 million inhabitants, Lagos has a bustling startup scene and community. One of the three largest tech hubs in the continent, Lagos has several hundreds of startups representing more than 88% of the startups in the entire country.

There are over 100 co-working spaces/hubs in Lagos presenting several options for remote workers to work comfortably all over the city.

The download speed of about 24.92 Mbps compares favourably with its peers in Africa.

While not specifically a tourist attraction, Lagos makes up for than with its night life and fun spots littered all over the city, affording remote workers options to unwind and relax.

One obvious downside is the notorious traffic jams in the city given the population and number of vehicles plying the road daily.

Zanzibar, Tanzania

Zanzibar boasts relative low cost of living compared to other cities in the list, decent food and good warm weather, all of which count positively for remote workers who may wish to live and work in the city for a while.

There are several cafes and hotels for nomads/freelancers/remote workers to choose to work from.

Its' download speed of 20.34 means the internet speed is not too far off its contemporaries.

Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire

Although not an immediately obvious choice, Abidjan makes an argument for inclusion with its decent infrastructure (good roads, stable electricity and less traffic).

There are several co-working hubs to work from in Abidjan. Remote workers also have some interesting options for leisure and tourist activities - the beach of Assinie-Mafia, The Basilica of Our Lady of Peace, L’ile Flottante, Banco National park etc.

Accra, Ghana

Accra is the administrative capital of Ghana and is becoming recognised as one of the emerging tech hubs in West Africa. Twitter establishing its African office there a while ago definitely didn't hurt its reputation.

It's download speed of around 27Mbps definitely puts it in good stead. There are also over 20 co-working spaces/hubs in the city, providing ample options for remote workers to work and network with other similar professionals.

When it comes to leisure Accra also provides some options - Kokrobite beach, Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, Legon Botanical gardens, Jamestown Cafe, etc.

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