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Expat Insider - The World Through Expat Eyes

A Closer Look at Africa

46.  South Africa

Among all African countries featured in the Environment & Sustainability Ranking, South Africa ranks best, although still in a rather low 46th place out of 60 destinations. Its ranking is mainly due to its poor performance in the Products & Utilities subcategory (52nd), where South Africa lands among the bottom 10 worldwide. Three in ten expats (30%) rate the availability of green goods and services negatively (vs. 21% globally), and 45% are dissatisfied with the local waste management and recycling efforts (vs. 28% globally). What is more, South Africa ranks second to last for the factor energy (59th), with only India (60th) performing worse. Exactly five in nine expats (56%) rate this aspect (e.g. availability of clean energy, energy-saving measures) negatively (vs. 18% globally), and 18% even say it could not be any worse (vs. 4% globally). While expats worry, it seems that many local residents do not think about it too much: Expats think that the local population is not very interested in environmental issues (48th) and that the government does not support policies to protect the environment (49th).

South Africa achieves its best result in the Quality of Environment subcategory (29th). In fact, 90% of respondents are satisfied with the natural environment (vs. 82% globally), and 67% are happy with the quality of the air (vs. 62% globally). A French expat mentions that he appreciates “the beautiful nature and environment that this country offers”. However, South Africa performs considerably worse for water and sanitation: 28% rate this factor negatively, compared to 15% globally.

48.  Morocco

Ranking 48th out of 60 countries, Morocco performs poorly in all the subcategories of the Environment & Sustainability Ranking. The country comes 49th in the Products & Utilities, 47th for Policies & People, and 40th in the Quality of Environment subcategories. It ranks extremely low for waste management and recycling (51st), with 59% of expats being unhappy with this factor (vs. 28% globally). What is more, 55% of expats think that the population does not seem to be particularly interested in environmental issues (vs. 30% globally), ranking the country in the bottom 10 for this factor (54th). “I wish there was a greater awareness of the importance of respecting the environment and not littering,” says a US American expat.

On the brighter side, two-thirds of expats (67%) are satisfied with the air quality in Morocco, compared to 62% globally. Another 80% rate the natural environment positively (vs. 82% globally) and 55% are happy with the local water and sanitation (vs. 72% globally).

53.  Kenya

Coming in 53rd place out of 60 countries, Kenya lands in the bottom 10 of the Environment & Sustainability Ranking, with its worst performance in the Products & Utilities subcategory (54th). In fact, almost three-quarters of the expats in Kenya (72%) are unsatisfied with the country’s waste management and recycling efforts (vs. 28% globally) — only Kuwait (57th), Egypt (58th), Indonesia (59th), and India (60th) perform worse in the expat ranking. Kenya does not do a lot better in the Policies & People subcategory (50th) either: only 31% of expats agree that the government supports policies to protect the environment (vs. 55% globally), and fewer than one-quarter (23%) believe that the population is very interested in environmental issues, which is even less than half the global average (48%).

Kenya performs best in the Quality of Environment subcategory, although it comes only in 47th place out of 60 countries. The natural environment (17th) is Kenya’s strongest factor, 28 ranks higher than its next best ranking — air quality (45th). Like many other respondents, a Greek expat mentions the “nature and wildlife” as what she likes most about the country. In addition to air quality, the factor water and sanitation makes Kenya lose several ranks: 50% of expats are unhappy with this factor (vs. 15% globally), placing Kenya once again among the bottom 10 worldwide (58th).

58.  Egypt

Coming 58th out of 60 countries in the Environment & Sustainability Ranking, Egypt ends up among the bottom 3 worldwide in all subcategories of the survey. In the Products & Utilities subcategory, only India (60th) ranks worse than Egypt (59th). Not even a fifth of the survey participants (18%) rate the local waste management and recycling efforts positively (vs. 60% globally), and just 21% are satisfied with the country’s energy supply (vs. 62% globally). There seems to be “no care for the environment”, a Polish expats remarks. In fact, only 22% of expats think the government supports policies to protect the environment (vs. 55% globally), and even fewer  respondents (13%) agree that the population is very interested in environmental issues (vs. 48% globally). Only Kuwait (60th) ranks even worse for the latter factor (60th). Lastly, Egypt comes 58th in the Quality of the Environment subcategory: Only 34% of expats rate the water and sanitation infrastructure positively (vs. 72% globally), and more than half the respondents (52%) are unhappy with the air quality in Egypt. This is 28 percentage points above the global average (24%). Moreover, fewer than half of the respondents (49%) are satisfied with the natural environment (vs. 82% globally). A US American expat describes the ‘’dirtiness of the environment’’ as one of the worst aspects of life in Egypt.