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2022-06-13 18:12:44

The Poorest Cities on the Planet

The Poorest Cities on the Planet

For many of us, we are accustomed to the fact that we live in a developed settlement, have a good income and can use water supply and electricity around the clock. The world is constantly developing, the standard of living in the cities of large countries is gradually rising, it is becoming easier and more convenient for people to live in the stone jungle. However, there are regions where progress, if not completely stopped, is extremely slow, and it is almost impossible to live in such places.

The United Nations is constantly updating the list of the world's poorest cities, which consists almost entirely of settlements located on the African continent. During the compilation of the list of the poorest cities on Earth, the main aspects by which the standard of living is determined are taken into account:

  • infrastructure
  • transport network
  • water supply and its stability,
  • literacy of the population,
  • electrification
  • health care.

The cities on the list are most often lagging behind on each of the items.


The city is located in Senegal - a West African state - and its population exceeds 1 million people. Since it is a maritime city, the capital of Senegal has a well-developed fishing and trade, which allows Dakar to slowly but surely develop and improve the standard of living of citizens. The UN noted the development of the settlement as positive, and the opening of industrial enterprises and farms serve as confirmation of this.

However, the city is experiencing serious problems with the provision of drinking water, which does not give it the opportunity to stabilize a decent standard of living. Also, the general political instability and tension in the western region of Africa has a great influence on the internal situation in Senegal.


The Zambian capital is recognized as one of the fastest growing cities in South Africa. Despite the fact that Lusaka is constantly increasing in size and population, the standard of living in it is recognized as one of the worst on the planet. The reason for this is the undeveloped infrastructure, polluted air and nature, the low standard of living of citizens and the lack of natural resources. Life expectancy in Lusaka is 55-56 years, and every second inhabitant of the city is a carrier and carrier of AIDS/HIV.


The capital of Liberia has the main income from the sale of iron ore and latex, earns on the production of petroleum products, furniture, cement and food. However, the people of Monrovia live and work without electricity and with almost no drinking water.

The city's infrastructure and health care are at the lowest level: tanker trucks move along broken and abandoned roads, from where residents can collect some water for family and household. Citizens constantly have to flee from floods and landslides, greatly increasing the risk of infections. There is almost no public transport in the city, and Monrovians have to cover huge distances on foot.


The population of Bamako is approaching the mark of one and a half million people, and most of the townspeople are still experiencing a shortage of fresh water, and after the ongoing wars – lack of food. However, the authorities of the Malian capital continue to develop it and raise the standard of living.

In Bamako, agriculture is active, enterprises produce textiles and extract metals, and city services are trying to combat the heavy pollution of the central part of the city. In the development and restoration of the city, money from China and Saudi Arabia is invested, which made it possible to rebuild the infrastructure and even a pumping station.


Zimbabwe's main city has a population of 1.6 million. Harare's most important source of income is the export of tobacco, citrus fruits, maize and cotton. The city has built many multi-storey residential buildings, which makes it one of the most developed in all of Africa. The capital of Zimbabwe is the economic and communication center of the country.

However, the number of people living in slums has recently increased dramatically. The low quality of life of the citizens of Harare affects their health - outbreaks of typhoid fever often occur in the city, and the lack of water does not allow them to be fought in full force.

Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa is considered to be the political center of all africa due to its great cultural, historical and economic importance for the continent. The city's population exceeds 3.3 million people, making it the largest in Ethiopia. The city makes money in the production of export products, agriculture and animal husbandry, education and health care, as well as business in the field of hotel business, services and catering.

One of the largest African cities has the same problems as the others – an acute shortage of drinking water. Deficiency of vital fluid prevents the further growth of Addis Ababa. Also in the city, where there are many high-rises, the transport system is practically not developed, which greatly complicates movement on the streets.


The capital of the state, Niger, is considered one of the poorest in the world, because there was a social split that created a large gap between the rich part of the population and poor citizens. Rural and urban areas are economically strikingly different from each other, and in the former the crime rate is actively growing. In Niamey, it is common to encounter kidnapping, drug smuggling, murder, widespread harassment and humiliation of women.

Society is divided not only economically, but also culturally. In Niamey, racist movements, religious conflicts and ethnic strife are very popular. All this creates a high tension, which only intensifies due to the lack of food and water.


The Guinean city was inhabited by more than two million people, and society was constantly confronted with the problem of discrimination on racial and religious grounds. In addition to social difficulties, there are major financial problems in the capital of Guinea. The people are very poor, there is no developed public transport, there are still interruptions in the supply of fresh drinking water and electricity.

To overcome poverty, the city opened enterprises engaged in the export of bananas and the storage of large cargoes, but the measures taken are not enough to increase the speed of development of Conakry.


Although Antananarivo is the cultural and economic center of Madagascar, the city is not at all like the capital in the usual sense. The largest roads are still not asphalted, the population lives in crowded houses with unsanitary conditions, and most of the land is illegally populated.

The city has developed agriculture and brick production, but the above factors, coupled with an undeveloped transport system, make Antananarivo one of the most uninhabitable cities.

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Egor Eremeev
Current material has been prepared by Egor Eremeev
Education: Westminster University (Business & Management), London.
Egor studied and lived in the UK for 8 years and graduated from the university of Westminster. He is currently the co-founder and the director of business development at Smapse Education and personally visits foreign schools and universities, interviews students studying in those institutions.
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