During my Abidjan survey this past February, I found Ivorians to be friendly, often greeting me with “Bonjour Monsieur!” Shopping malls are expanding as new brands arrive in the Ivory Coast market, and good security provides safe areas for expatriate shopping.
I surveyed Yaoundé in January of this year and found it to be a city that over time is growing to better meet the needs of expatriates, with expanding supermarkets and international construction companies slowly building new malls, infrastructure, and housing complexes. Nevertheless, the capital continues to face socio-political pressures on multiple fronts, including conflicts between anglophone and francophone regions and peoples, and the continued presence of Boko Haram in the northern areas of the country
During my recent survey of India, I visited Chennai. The city is located on India’s east coast and has growing automotive, industrial, and technology sectors. Behind the strength of this, the city government has invested in its infrastructure to alleviate traffic, reduce commuting times, and increase available housing units, including many expatriate-focused housing complexes along the attractive coastline.
Driving down the four-lane highway from Bangalore’s airport to the city centre, our progress slowed. The road ahead narrowed to two lanes due to bridges that the government has found prohibitively expensive to wide. Arriving after a full day of travel, my trip suddenly became that much longer as we trudged through traffic on the way to my hotel. I could see why assignees desire to live near their offices.