Top 5 African Cities With The Worst Traffic Congestion

One of the inevitabilities of urban life is the need to move from one part of the city to another for whatever reason and at whatever time. It could be from one’s home to their place of work and back, market, church, school, and a series of other possible destinations.

Unfortunately, not one person, at a time, is trying to get from point A to point B. Work schedules are usually the same, and that applies to church and school as well. This factors then have everybody on the road at the same time, causing huge traffic congestion. Add that to the fact that most urban cities are getting overpopulated due to the huge migration from rural settlements to cities by people in search of a better life as Africa as a whole is racing to catch up with its western counterparts.

But is Africa, which is still largely being recognized as an underdeveloped continent, living up to expectation as its governments have failed to deal with the population explosion in its urban cities as the case worsens day by day. This is not to say that traffic congestion does not exist in any other part of the world, but that it has been poorly managed in Africa, with attention only recently being paid to it.

This list of the top 5 African cities with traffic congestion came about with a look at Traffic Index, which is a composite index of time consumed in traffic while commuting to work, estimation of time consumption dissatisfaction, carbon dioxide consumption estimation in traffic and overall inefficiencies in the traffic system.

Top 5 Cities With The Worst Traffic Congestion In Africa

5. Pretoria

Pretoria comes in at number five and is the first of two South African cities to make it to the list. That should not come as a surprise as the southern African nation is ranked in the top 10, tied at fifth place with the United States, Brazil, and Russia, as countries in the world with the worst traffic congestion.

Pretoria, which is one of South Africa’s three capital cities, serving as the seat of the executive branch of government, has gained a reputation for its congested traffic due to its huge population even with the existence of a functioning railway system.

4. Lagos

Lagos is the largest and most populated city in Nigeria and most likely on the African continent as a whole as well. The United Nations estimates that at its current growth rate, the commercial capital of Nigeria, Lagos, is one of the fastest growing cities in the world, and will be the third largest city in the world by 2015.

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With a population of over 24 million, Lagos never sleeps. As with many African cities, the greater Lagos Metropolis as it is today never had a proactive master plan, this has resulted in a fire-fighting approach to rid the city of long traffic congestions.

3. Johannesburg

According to an IBM Global Commuter Pain Survey, 81 percent of all Johannesburg commuters enter the city by car. Although Johannesburg has a high-speed railway system, drivers still rank their commuting experience as painful, placing Johannesburg ahead of cities like New Delhi, Moscow, and Singapore in terms of traffic ordeal.

On average, South Africans spend 43 extra minutes in traffic due to traffic (going one way) – while this is not the worst traffic congestion rate globally it is still a lot of time wasted to traffic.

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2. Cairo

With more than 19 million inhabitants, Cairo is one of the worlds oldest cities and home to more than one-fifth of Egypt’s population and expected to further increase to 24 million by 2027.

Direct costs include the loss of productivity due to sitting in traffic rather than working, the additional fuel consumed by extended travel times and the environmental impact of increased vehicle emissions.

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1. Nairobi

On the average, Nairobians spend 62.44 minutes in traffic. The city has a population of around 3 million people but since many people from nearby towns commute to this East African commercial hub, there are more than 7 million travellers on its roads each day. Also contributing to the traffic is the lack of proper and organized public service transport in the city which has increased the number of personal vehicles on the roads.

Nairobi’s traffic has been ranked as the second worst in the world, with its traffic jams on major roads taking as much as six hours to clear the worst traffic congestion on the road.


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