30 Tallest buildings in Africa already built, under construction,or proposed

  1. Centurion Symbio City Tower (447 meters) 110 Floors Approved 1,470 feet  Pretoria, South Africa

2. Lagos elevation Tower 1240 feet Proposed

Lagos Nigeria



2. Durban Iconic Tower – 88F (370m,) 1,214 – Durban | Propose

3. Nairobi Hilton Tower  60 F (330) 1,082  Under Construction


4. Abuja Africa Tower  (303 meters) 1,018 feet Proposed


5. Upper Hill Square, Nairobi, Kenya 951 feet   66 Floor ($500 million)


6. Tour F Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire  926 feet



6. The NSSF Tower Nairobi, Kenya  921 feet


7. The One Nairobi, Kenya 890

8. International Finance Center Sandton Sandton, South Africa  250 m (820 ft)


9. Eko Atlantic Tower Bank   55 stories   Lagos, Nigeria

10. Carlton Center, Johannesburg – 50 floors 223 m (732 ft) 50 fl

Carlton Centre

11. The Leonardo, Sandton  223 meters 732 feet  50 floors


12. Britam Tower,  Nairobi, Kenya  193 m (633 ft)


13. HazinaTower 180 m (590 ft) Nairobi, Kenya

hazina-towers-render1.jpg (600×983)

14. Pearl Sky  180 m (590 ft)  $24 million Durban, South Africa  2018


15. International Finance Centre 2 Sandton 590 Sandton, South Africa

16. Tanzania Port Authority HQ  178 m (584 ft)

17. AVIC International Africa 176 m (577 ft) Nairobi, Kenya  (Cost $93.6 million)


18. Commercial Bank of Ethiopia 46 floors 571 feet  $200 million Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


19. Ponte City Apartments, Johannesburg – 173 m (568 ft)

Ponte City Apartments

20. Millenium Tower 2.7 million Abuja, Nigeria    567 feet  ($266 million)

21. UAP Tower Nairobi, Kenya

22. Dar es Salaam City Center Promise Tower  165 m (541 ft)  35 Floors


23. NECOM House, Lagos – 160 m (520 ft)


24. PSPF Commercial Towers, Dar es Salaam – 152.7 m (501 ft)

25. Marble Towers, Johannesburg – 152 m (499 ft)

Marble Towers, Johannesburg

26. Pearl Dawn, Durban – 152 m (499 ft)

Pearl Dawn, Durban


27. South African Reserve Bank Building 150 m (490 ft)

South African Reserve Bank Building

28. MetLife Center, Cape Town – 150 m (490 ft)

MetLife Center, Cape Town

29. 021 Tower Cape Town – 484 feet


30. 88 on Field, Durban – 147 m (482 ft)

88 on Field, Durban

Where will Africa’s true megatall be

Nairobi, Johannesburg, Durban, Lagos, Luanda

Biggest little cities

1. Benidorm Spain 70,000   (looks like 800,000)

2. Balneario Camboriu, Brazil 124000 ( Looks like 1 million or more)


3. Miami Beach 95000 ( Looks like 200,000)

4. Mónaco 30000 (looks like 500,000)


5. Dongtan South Korea 60000    (Looks like 400,000)


6. Hartford Connecticut 125000 (looks like 400,000)


6. Clayton, Missouri 15,000 ( looks like 250,000)

7. Atlántico City 40,000 ( Looks like 200,000)


9. Bellevue  122,000 ( Looks like 200,000)

10. Wilmington, Delaware   72,000   ( Looks like 200,000)

Littlest Big City

  1. San Jose

2. Fresno

3. Mesa

4. Albuquerque

5. Virginia Beach

6. Colorado Springs, Colorado

7. Stockton, California

8. Plano, Texas

9. Santa Ana, California

10. Laval

Ghana Has Become a Hub for Budding Architects




It used to be that Ghanaians who wanted to study architecture picked a school in Europe or the United States. Returning, they’d bring foreign techniques, import foreign materials, and create foreign buildings, mainly in the Bauhaus style that dominated thrifty post-war Europe.

“Functional, buildable and economical,” is how Akosua Obeng, a Ghanaian architect at Orthner, Orthner & Associates, describes the style.

“Which is not a bad thing,” he adds. “It’s just that creativity maybe sometimes suffers.”

Concrete may still dominate as a building material, but construction trends are changing in Accra, Ghana’s capital. Now, local architects are just as likely to study from within their home country. With a new wave of talent emerging, so too is distinctly Ghanaian architecture.

And rather than be constrained by designs of the past, newly-minted architects are out to prove that they can be both practical and creative.

Ghana’s two architectural colleges are keen to impress upon its students the country’s rich building heritage.

“You learn a lot about traditional architecture,” says Obeng, “and you realize that we have a lot of good stuff that we didn’t develop somehow; we left it by the roadside.”

Local knowledge is informing the design work of local architects today, from color palettes to the types of materials used. One major change is the resurgence of wood — mirroring a Western trend, but from distinctly Ghanaian roots.

“Wood is actually our material… we are in the forest belt,” Obeng explains. “Wood is in abundance, [and] we are known as a timber exporter. But the weird thing is that the knowledge to build in wood has disappeared,” she says.

“From the colonial times we started building with concrete and block work… we just don’t know how to do it any more.”

By designing wooden structures, Obeng is reviving these lost skills. On one of her projects — a block of townhouses with a wooden facade — the architect has drafted in a retired German woodworker who Obeng says is “helping the locals and passing on the knowledge, bringing us back our wood knowledge.”

“Many people think building a house with wood is impossible,” says timber construction supervisor Latif Falicu. “This building has changed the architectural thinking of Ghana.”

Meanwhile, other architects are taking “home-grown” literally.

Frances Buckle-Thompson’s sixth floor garden atop the World Bank in the capital is Ghana’s first example of a green rooftop.

“It’s amazing,” she says, “we get to keep it green [and] you get to enjoy the scenery of Accra from this height.”

Not merely an aesthetic choice, Obeng explains that the roof “nullifies the heat island effect of the building… absorbing sunlight and cooling [it]. It’s also providing insulation for the roof at the same time … it’s just amazing.”

Home-grown everything

Ghana’s two architectural colleges are keen to impress upon its students the country’s rich building heritage.

“You learn a lot about traditional architecture,” says Obeng, “and you realize that we have a lot of good stuff that we didn’t develop somehow; we left it by the roadside.”

Local knowledge is informing the design work of local architects today, from color palettes to the types of materials used. One major change is the resurgence of wood — mirroring a Western trend, but from distinctly Ghanaian roots.

A lesson in ancient architecture

A lesson in ancient architecture 06:38

“Wood is actually our material… we are in the forest belt,” Obeng explains. “Wood is in abundance (and) we are known as a timber exporter. But the weird thing is that the knowledge to build in wood has disappeared,” she says.

“From the colonial times we started building with concrete and block work… we just don’t known how to do it any more.”

By designing wooden structures, Obeng is reviving these lost skills. On one of her projects — a block of townhouses with a wooden facade — the architect has drafted in a retired German woodworker who Obeng says is “helping the locals and passing on the knowledge, bringing us back our wood knowledge.”

“Many people think building a house with wood is impossible,” says timber construction supervisor Latif Falicu. “This building has changed the architectural thinking of Ghana.”

Meanwhile other architects are taking “homegrown” literally.

Frances Buckle-Thompson’s sixth floor garden atop the World Bank in the capital is Ghana’s first example of a green rooftop.

The World Bank in Accra, Ghana

“It’s amazing,” she says, “we get to keep it green (and) you get to enjoy the scenery of Accra from this height.”

Not merely an aesthetic choice, Obeng explains that the roof “nullifies the heat island effect of the building… absorbing sunlight and cooling (it). It’s also providing insulation for the roof at the same time… it’s just amazing.”

Read more: Do these buildings represent freedom?

Read more: How Africa is giving fast food a new spin

How history is shaping Ghana's urban transformation

How history is shaping Ghana’s urban transformation 08:28

Economical and sustainable, these techniques, from urban greening to building with wood, are not without purpose.

“This is what we want our young architects to design with,” Obeng argues. “This is what tropical architecture is all about!”


Read more at www.cnn.com

Tallest Buildings in the Year 2020

  1. Jeddah Tower – Jeddah Tower is currently under construction in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, scheduled to be completed in 2019. It will be the first building to exceed 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) with a planned height of 1,007 metres (3,304 ft). Once completed it will become the tallest building and tallest freestanding structure in the world.

Cost $1.23 billion

2. Burj Khalifa – 2,722 feet

Cost – $1.5 billion

3. Suzhou Zhongnan 729 m (2,392 ft)   Suzhou, China

Cost – $4.46 billion

4. Wuhan Greenland Center 2,085  Wuhan, China

Cost – $4.5 billion

4. KL 118 (2,083-foot)  Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

5. Shanghai Tower 2,072 feet    Shanghai, China


Hudson Spire 2,000 feet



6. Abraj Al Bait Clock Tower 1,971   Mecca, Saudi Arabia

7. Ping An Finance Center 1,965    Shenzhen, China


$1.46 billion

8. Goldin Finance Center 1,959    Tianjin, China

9. Baoneng Shenyang Global Finance Center 1,854   Shenyang, China

10. Lotte Tower   1,821 ft    Seoul, South Korea



11. Freedom Tower 1,776 +1,792 Tip


Half of the World’s tallest buildings will be in China

There will be no tall buildings from Africa. This is something every African should be angry about.

How well you are able to build tall and magnificent buildings demonstrate how smart, wealthy, and modern your society is.

Africa should at least try to build one 1,800 ft supertall. It would probably cost $1-2 billion dollars but it would be worth it.

Best cities for it




Dar Es Salaam


(Maybe a freestanding structure for Accra)




Best Chinese Construction Projects in Africa & Portraits of China Africa

The Ming Dynasty voyages of Chineseadmiral Zheng He and his fleet, which rounded the coast of Somalia and followed the coast down to the Mozambique Channel. The goal of those expeditions was to spreadChinese culture and signal Chinese strength. Zheng brought gifts and granted titles from the Ming emperor to the local rulers, with the aim of establishing a large number oftributary states.[3] In October 1415, Chinese explorer and admiral Zheng He reached the eastern coast of Africa and sent the first of two giraffes as gifts to the Chinese YongleEmperor.[14]

There are some other accounts that mention Chinese ships sinking near Lamu Island inKenya in 1415. Survivors are said to have settled in the island and married local women.[15][16]

Archaeologists have found Chinese porcelains made during the Tang dynasty(618-907) in Kenyan villages; however, these were believed to have been brought over byZheng He during his 15th century ocean voyages.[17] On Lamu Island off the Kenyan coast, local oral tradition maintains that 20 shipwrecked Chinese sailors, possibly part of Zheng’s fleet, washed up on shore there hundreds of years ago. Given permission to settle by local tribes after having killed a dangerous python, they converted to Islamand married local women. Now, they are believed to have just six descendants left there; in 2002, DNA tests conducted on one of the women confirmed that she was of Chinese descent. Her daughter, Mwamaka Sharifu, later received a PRC government scholarship to study traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in China.[18][19][20]

National Geographic also published an article by Frank Viviano in July 2005, he visited Pate Island during the time he stayed on Lamu, ceramic fragments had been found around Lamu which the administrative officer of the local Swahili history museum claimed were of Chinese origin, specifically from Zheng He‘s voyage to east Africa. The eyes of the Pate people resembled Chinese and Famao and Wei were some of the names among them which were speculated to be of Chinese origin. Their ancestors were said to be from indigenous women who intermarried with Chinese Ming sailors when they were shipwrecked. Two places on Pate were called “Old Shanga”, and “New Shanga”, which the Chinese sailors had named. A local guide who claimed descent from the Chinese showed Frank a graveyard made out of coral on the island, indicating that they were the graves of the Chinese sailors, which the author described as “virtually identical”, to Chinese Ming dynasty tombs, complete with “half-moon domes” and “terraced entries”.[21]

According to Melanie Yap and Daniel Leong Man in their book “Colour, Confusions and Concessions: the History of Chinese in South Africa”, Chu Ssu-pen, a Chinese mapmaker, in 1320 had southern Africa drawn on one of his maps. Ceramics found in Zimbabwe and South Africa dated back to Song dynastyChina. Some tribes to Cape Town’s north claimed descent from Chinese sailors during the 13th century, their physical appearance is similar to Chinese with paler skin and a Mandarin sounding tonal language. Their name for themselves is “abandoned people”, Awatwa in their language.[22]

China has helped Africa develop hundreds of programmes including the establishment of textile factories, hydroelectric power stations, gymnasiums, hospitals and schools. Among the most well known is the Tazara railway between Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Kapiri Mposhi, Zambia, which was completed in July 1976 after six years of labour by more than 50,000 Chinese workers, at a total cost of about 1bn yuan (£95m). What Africa has seen in the Chinese workers is a spirit of diligence and sacrifice.

 Self interested investments, mostly for natural resources like minerals and oil, have brought huge infrastructure improvements to many African countries, building roads and railways; expanding financial services; and providing important revenues to struggling governments.

A comprehensive Chinese-assisted treatment campaign has apparently eliminated malaria from the Comorian island of Moheli(population 36,000) — and shows worldwide potential

The Chinese are paving roads, building new schools, new mosques, new government buildings, a new airport, a center to facilitate tourism to the country and even new homes — for politicians.

China is the second most popular destination for African international students after France

  1. Modderfontein South Africa. $7 billion


new city





2. Lamu Port $24 billion

Wide angle of construction activities on Port


3.  China has completed a 750 km electric rail way connecting Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, to the Red Sea state Djibouti. The cost of the railway is $3.6 billion


3. Kilamba, Angola  $3.5 billion



4. Brazzaville airport

brazza airport


5. Pan African Games stadium complex $500 million




6. Addis Ababa Metro   $475 million


7. Africa Union Headquarters, Addis Ababa  $200 billion


8. Nairobi Train Station



9. State Commercial Standard Bank Ethiopia



10. Ethiopia to Sudan highway –


11. Abidjan Stadium  60,000 Capacity stadium for Ivory Coast


12. Mbini Bridge Equatorial Guinea (Worlds 25th longest suspension bridge)


13. Two Rivers  Shopping Mall, Nairobi, Kenya

$587 million dollars


14. Thika highway Continue reading

Best skylines in America


1.New York City, New York 11 over 1000 feet and 9 under construction

New York has 4 downtowns. Midtown, Lower Manhattan, Downtown Brooklyn, Downtown, Queens

11 skylines in the area

Tallest building height 1,792

Average height of 5 tallest buildings – 1392

Tallest new building 1,550 foot Central Park Tower



Total skyscrapers – 257

The New Jersey Turnpike is seen in Elizabeth, N.J., with Newark Bay and Manhattan in the background, in this Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011 photograph. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

Midtown (Downtown) Manhattan


Lower Manhattan


Future project for Brooklyn 1066 foot tower



Staten Island



Suburban skyline

Newark, New Jersey

Jersey City, New Jersey

800 foot tower planned for Jersey City


White Plains, New York

Paterson, New Jersey

Elizabeth, New Jersey

SI Exif

Stamford, Connecticut

Bridgeport, Connecticut

Bridgeport Connecticut

New York Real Estate Market trend to 2020

Slower-than-average income growth in New York is expected to contribute to sluggish gains in the city’s home prices, according to Moody’s Analytics.

3.9% growth with big dip to 1% in 2017

2. Chicago, Illinois  5 buildings over 1000 feet

Average height of 5 tallest buildings 1,221

Tallest building height – 1,454

Total skyscrapers-116

Chicago skyline



Tallest new Building – Wanda Vista Tower 1,186

One Chicago Square East Tower 1,088


Proposed 2,000 ft Gateway Tower would be 3rd tallest building in the World





Chicago’s population actually declined last year, so housing demand is weaker (and price growth forecasts are softer) than in many other metro areas, notes Sarah Crane, a regional analyst at Moody’s Analytics.

5% with big dip to 1.5% in 2017

Suburban skyline

Des Plaines- Rosemont, Illinois

Oakbrook Terrace

Oakbrook Chicago

Gary, Indiana


3. Philadelphia, Pennsylvannia 1 new Supertall

Average height of 5 tallest builings 936 feet

Tallest building height 1,200 feet

Tallest New building – The Comcast Technology and Innovation Center 1,121 feet 2018

4. Los Angeles, California 2

1 New Supertall

Average height of 5 tallest buildings 894

Tallest building Height 1,100

Los Angeles has 2 downtowns

6 total skylines

Number of skyscrapers – 25



Tallest new building – Wilshire Grand Center 1,100


Century City


Suburban skyline

Long Beach, California

Santa Ana, California



Riverside, California


Irvine, California

Glendale, California


4.1% Percent Growth

After a construction decline, demand is still outpacing supply in Los Angeles, pushing prices upward for the next few years, Moody’s Analytics finds.

5. Atlanta, Georgia 1

Atlanta has three downtowns and the tallest building outside New York and Chicago

Area has 5 total skylines

Tallest building is 1,023 feet

Average height of 5 tallest buildings – 841

Number of skyscrapers – 16


Tallest new skyscraper- 98 14th Street 920 feet

New Development






Suburban skylines – Sandy Springs


4.8% Growth dip to 1.4 in 2017

Job growth and the emergence of new households are expected to give Atlanta’s housing market a steady boost over the next few years.

6. Houston, Texas 1

Houston has 3 downtowns and the tallest out of downtown skyscraper

9 Total skylines

Average  height of 5 tallest buildings – 887 feet

Height of tallest buildings – 1002 feet

Amount of skyscrapers – 34




Tallest new building – One Market Square 651 feet








Texas Medical City


Energy Corridor

Houston Energy-Corridor-District-traffic-highway_104208







The Woodlands




0.9% Growth with a strong dip in 2017

Blame plunging oil prices for Houston’s soft 2016 forecast, the weakest among the top 20 cities. The local economy is closely tied to the energy industry, so when crude is weak, so are home values.


7. Miami, Florida

Tallest building-868 ft Panorama Tower

Number of Skyscrapers  -31

Area has 5 total skylines

Tallest New Building- 706 feet





Nearby city or suburban skyline

Miami Beach


Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Kendall, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida

An overheated market and shrinking buyer pool are projected to push the South Florida housing market into the red in the next few years, Moody’s Analytics says. As Miami’s foreclosed homes finally come back onto the market, they may further soften prices.

Less than .1% Growth in 2017 will only come to 1%

8. Dallas, Texas

2 Downtowns

Area has 7 total skylines

Tallest building-

Number of skyscrapers – 21


New Tallest Tower – 2101 North Pearl Tower 400 feet



Dallas Uptown


Suburban skylines

Fort Worth





Addison Texas

Arlington, Texas

Dallas Real Estate Market Forecast

Dallas is less reliant on oil prices than other Texas cities, and has been booming recently because of an influx of jobs in financial services and other industries. But urban sprawl will likely keep a lid on home price growth over the next few years, Moody’s Analytics suggests.

Growth of 3.5% to A  dip to 1% in 2017 will come back to 3% in 2020


9.San Francisco, California

1 building over 1,070

Number of skyscrapers – 21


New Tallest building – Salesforce Tower 1,070 feet

Oakland, California

The Bay Area’s surging home prices come from a spike in demand from workers in the tech industry, coupled with zoning resitrctions that limit housing supply, Moody’s Analytics finds.

7% to a dip of 3% in 2017

10. Seattle

Number of Skyscrapers-16

Most Racist Cities in America Ranked by Hate Crimes Top 11 US Cities With Most Skyscrapers in 2015

Suburban skylines

Bellevue, Washington

Tacoma, Washington


8.3% Growth to 5% Growth in 2017

With home values almost back to pre-crash peaks, expect a continued rebound in 2016 driven by rising incomes, new households, and job growth in a range of industries.

11. Charlotte, North Carolina


12. Minneapolis, Minnesota

Other skylines

Saint Paul

13. Cleveland, Ohio

cleveland skyline oct 23 2015 copyright chrisazimmer allthingsclevelandfohio 1125N x750

14. Denver, Colorado


15. Boston, Massachussetts

Tallest new building 742 ft One Dalton street


16. Austin, Texas

New Tallest Tower – The Independant 690 feet


17. Las Vegas,Nevada

Las Vegas at Dusk

18. Tampa, Florida


19. San Diego, California



19. Detroit, Michigan

Future Tower

ren cen comparis-01_i

Area has 4 total skylines


Suburban skyline

Southfield, Michigan

Troy, Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan

20. Saint Louis, Missouri

Suburban skyline

Clayton, Missouri

21. Indianapolis, Indiana

22. Columbus, Ohio

23. Pittsburgh

24. Jacksonville,Florida


25. Kansas City, Missouri

Overland Park, Kansas

26. Cincinnati, Ohio

27. Nashville, Tennessee


28. Oklahoma City


29. New Orleans





30. Washington, D.C area

Area has 6 total skylines

Arlington, Virginia

Crystal City, Arlington, Virginia


Bethesda, Maryland

Silver Springs, Maryland


Reston, Virginia

Tyson’s Corner



30. Phoenix

Tempe, Arizona

Africa needs Supertalls Now!

Skyscraper shootout: The race to the top of Africa

  • 12 JUL 2013 12:34 (SOUTH AFRICA)

The architects of this world have been engaged for decades in a kind of crazy, multi-billion dollar game of reverse limbo to build the tallest things in the shortest amount of time. Until now, Africa has been too poor (or too sensible) to join in this skyscraper-building madness. But our time has come. By SIMON ALLISON.

Africa’s tallest building is, in the grand scheme of things, not very tall at all. The Carlton Centre dominates Johannesburg’s skyline (which is a pity, because it is exceptionally ugly with its brutal concrete frame and tiny windows), but it is only 50 storeys and 223 metres high. In global terms, this is not very significant – it doesn’t even come close to featuring on the list of the world’s 300 tallest buildings. You’d have to stack four Carlton Centres on top of each other before you got a structure that was taller than the current world’s tallest, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa.

The Carlton has held onto its position as “the top of Africa” for a while – four decades, to be exact. Since it opened in 1973, no one’s been able to construct anything to beat it. No one’s showed all that much interest in the challenge, either. Until now.

Globally, the mania for tall buildings is getting out of control. Barely does one skyscraper break through the clouds when another comes along, taller, prettier and more environmentally friendly. There are four new behemoths currently under construction that will dwarf the Burj Khalifa once completed (one in Saudi Arabia is nicknamed the Mile High Tower, and is meant to be exactly that).

Africa, finally, is catching on. Well aware that the title of “Africa’s tallest building” is the lowest-hanging fruit in the architecture world, governments, companies and architects across the continent are eyeing the prize and putting plans into action.

Just this week, Ethiopia announced its entry in the race to the top. “Ethiopia’s capital city, Addis Ababa, may boast Africa’s tallest building by 2017,” announced the Ethiopian Radio and Television Agency, somewhat breathlessly. Although no plans or sketches have been released yet, plans for the 99-storey building – to be built by a Chinese corporation – have apparently already been approved, and the necessary land acquired.

Ghana too is getting involved. Hope City, launched by President John Mahama in March, is supposed to be a $10-billion tech hub just outside Accra, the centrepiece of which will be a 75-storey, 270-metre-high tower surrounded by five other not-quite-as-tall skyscrapers (the unusual cluster design is supposed to channel the spirit of traditional Ghanaian compound huts).

But South Africa, eager to keep the prestigious title on home soil, has unveiled the most ambitious new project. Thswane Municipality is putting its political weight (although not funding) behind the construction of theSymbio-City project in Centurion, a business park that would include a monster skyscraper measuring an estimated 447 metres and 110 storeys, making it comfortably the tallest building in Africa, even with the new competitors. On completion – projected for 2022 if all the funding and regulatory hurdles are crossed – it would punch its height on the world stage, becoming the 14th tallest building in the world (taller even than New York’s iconic Empire State Building).

This glut of new skyscrapers will redefine Africa’s skyline and perhaps challenge a few of those still-prevailing stereotypes about our continent being home to little but wide open plains and dusty villages.

Although there’s a nugget of truth there: fact is, Africa doesn’t really do tall buildings. This is, overwhelmingly, a flat continent, architecturally speaking; a land where structures sprawl rather than rise, where it’s always easier to build out than up.

Speaking specifically about South Africa, although the reasoning can be probably be applied to the rest of the continent, Nick Ristic of Architects @126 – the firm responsible for the Symbio-City design – explained that a variety of things have conspired to keep building heights low: “Many factors seem to have affected the limitations of height to date – not least being the cost. In my opinion, it has been the factors of open land and the ease of building low and wide that have been the key drivers,” he said. “This has resulted in a scenario where we have limited experience of tall buildings in the construction sector in South Africa – something that I believe is going to change very soon.”

Jhono Bennett, a Johannesburg architect with non-profit urban planning group 1:1 Agency of Engagement, explains that South Africa’s relative lack of high rises is about more than just practical considerations. “Cost is obviously a big factor. But from experiences in facilitating housing projects, there is always a difficulty in selling the idea of multiple storey housing as a permanent dwelling due to some cultural traditions.”

One example, he says, is a tradition that people need to be able to touch the ground in order to connect with their ancestors – something that’s tricky to keep up from anywhere higher than the ground floor.

Not that this will matter much for the Symbio-City project, or any of the other African skyscrapers that are being planned, for which utility is of secondary consideration, behind something far more emotive: bragging rights (think of skyscraper-building as a multi-billion dollar game of mine-is-bigger-than-yours, where the winner gets hordes of tourists and a penthouse apartment).

We should remember, though, that until all those blueprints become buildings, the continental bragging rights remain with the Carlton Centre. And even though it will be knocked off its perch sooner or later, perhaps the Carlton can take some consolation in the fact that even when it is no longer the tallest building in Africa, it will still be the ugliest. DM

Photo: Johannesburg, May 18, 2011. (Greg Marinovich)

10 Fastest Changing Skylines in Africa


Skyscrapers exude power, wealth and modernity, here are the fastest changing skylines in Africa.

  1. Luanda, Angola

Major Projects under construction

Luanda 1

Baia de Luanda $7 billion







IMOB Business tower- 145m- Angola 475 feet

Luanda IMOB2_-1

Nova Sonangol Tower 42 stories 500 feet


Torre Vitoria

Torre Vitoria






CIF Tower

13020647524_e2a48265cc_b.jpg (768×1024)

Torres Kianda

Hotel Bahia Luanda

Hotel Baia de Luanda

Edifício Dyeji e Kaquie



Marina Baia

Marina BaiaLuanda Marina BaiaLuanda 13566936_544196345763855_6893054869389144074_n



Hotel Duriense

Edificio Duriense


Parcel A

Parcel A



Parcel A 1

Parcel 3




Futungo Das Belas

Futungo dos Belas 1


Futungo dos Belas




Angel Tower


Edicio Escritorios


Sede Ensa


Luanda Tower 110 m (360 ft)

Euro Africa Tower


Edifício Rocha Monteiro 105 m (344 ft)

High Tech Tower




Costa do Sol Condiminiums


Student hospital


Angola Cultural Center ProposedCONTENU04-201001-ANGOLAcAECDP_VUE-NUIT-525x297

Baia de Luanda

bd29a691-d4a1-4268-a7a8-9a963f1dcea112752007_1086008958130370_687738858_o_zpsczlrgciya91a84db-90a1-4244-8d38-01058a94e547 (1)


Marginal de Corimba

Image via Van Oord

Tropical Luanda 28 floors

Quarteiro 1Quarteiro 2Quarteiro 3



2. Nairobi, Kenya

prints_mutua-matheka-photography-market-4.jpg (1024×683)

Major Projects


Hass towers Jabavu- 300m or 984 feet will be completed in 2020


23284538900_6b0084e969_b192 Britam Towers or 629 Feet



Britam Tower

Prism Towers




Hazina Tower 180 m (590 ft) Nairobi, Kenya

hazina-towers-render1.jpg (600×983)

AVIC International Africa 176 m (577 ft) Nairobi, Kenya  (Cost $93.6 million)





UAP tower- 163m- Kenya


Palazzo Towers

PalazoPalazo 1Palazo Construction


Upper Hill Square, Nairobi, Kenya 290m 951 feet   66 Floor ($500 million)


there are two designs


The One Nairobi, Kenya 270m- 890 feet




Upper Hill Chambers : 26 floors



CBK Pension House





Zenith Bank Kenya Headquarters






Greenfield Tower

Greenfield TowerGreenfield Tower Nairobi

Montave Tower Nairobi 1

Montave Tower Nairobi

Two Rivers Mall

Two Rivers Mall 11_waterfront-b8553db8f1_zps064bec70

Two Rivers Mall

Edifice Nairobi 21 floors

Edifice Hotel 21 stories




Edifice Hotel Nairobi




Cytonn Tower 492



Xinhua Tower

Xinhua Tower







3. Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

unnamed-42.jpg (958×513)

Major Projects Under Construction

187 Meters or 613 feet

Mzizima towers- 140m- Tanzania


MNF Square- 127m- Tanzania

NHC Morocco Square

nhca_zps4kcsjvb3 nhc9

NPPF Towers 30 Storiesb31d844388f2e34e99ce251e65966926


Dar es Salaam NHC Plot no 1088 twin towers |30


Dar es salaam Stock Exchange |30F|

Mikocheni Mall Towers|15+15+15+15|U/C

Nhc Towers



4. Sandton

International Finance Centre 1~250 m (820 ft)


The Leonardo 735 feet





International Finance Centre 2 ~180 m (590 ft)



Old Mutual  Emerging Markets Place ~180 m (590 ft)

Old Mutual Emerging Markets headquarters 1

Old Mutual Emerging Markets headquarters




Old Mutual Emerging Markets headquarters 2

Kgoro – The Gateway A

Kgoro Gatewa

Sandton Riverwalk

Santdon RiverwalkSandton Riverwalk 2Sandton Riverwalk Construction

Kgoro – The Gateway B

Southland Mall


Mall of Africa 485000 square meters. Will be worlds fourth largest mall when completed (Cost $262 million )

banner-mall-of-africa 21909530805_866c32f9db_k

Alice Lane

Alice Lane


Some building in Sandton


Village WalkV

alue: R2.2bn


92 Rivonia

92 Rivonia92 Rivonia 1



Modderfontein Zendai Heartland $8 million


download (1)

Rosebank Mews


Rosebank mews

5. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Meles Zenawi Center Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 1,462

Commercial Bank of Ethiopia 46 floors 571 feet  $200 million Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


22263914249_5d6c991706_b 22438183842_c02b42bb06_b



Hotel Addis Ababa


Addis Ababa Shopping Mall



6. Lagos, Nigeria

Eko Atlantic City Cost $6 billion

Lagos Elevation Tower 1240 feet



The center-piece of the Marina District of Eko Atlantic
The center-piece of the Marina District of Eko Atlantic


Lekki Island



Eko Pearl



Eko Corporate Towers 2





Atlantic Towers

1: Atlantic Resort Business, Hotel & Residence For Sale In Oniru Vi (grenadines Homes) Available At N1, 904,000 Per Sqm For Office Space And N1,100,00 Per Sqm For Residential , Victoria Island (vi), Lagos, Flat / Apartment For Sale

Afren Energy Towers 15 stories

Eko Tower 27 Stories

LagosLagos Eko Tower


7. Durban, South Africa

Iconic Towers 1,214 feet   $400 million





Oceans Umhlanga Towers

oceans_nighttime-Large DurbanOceans-Hotel-Exterior-View_nightb-660x330


8. Pretoria, South Africa




9. Abuja, Nigeria

Centenary City $18 billion





Abuja-Centenary-City-ProjectAbuja-Centenery-CityCentenary City

10. Cape Town, South Africa


021 Tower – 484 feet


Cullinan Tower 629 feet Proposed



12. Accra, Ghana

Marine Road Beach Hotel and Casino

Gold Coast City


Tulip Hotel

SU Tower

Accra SU Tower orig_20161102021910_Perspective-2


10. Equatorial Guinea –


Oyala Government Center