Nairobi, Kenya

Nairobi is #5 on The 2014 GOOD City Index.

The most stable city in east Africa, Nairobi feels like not just the capital of Kenya but also the entire region. It is without a doubt the place where ambitious, entrepreneurial, and tech-engaged Africans want to be—and its reputation as a “Silicon Savannah” increasingly attracts foreigners as well. The city’s continual upward growth is reflected in its very architecture as sleek high-rise office towers and apartment complexes crop up more and more in every corner of the city. Shops, hotels, and restaurants are also on the rise—this year, Nairobi hosted its first-ever Restaurant Week in January. However, this relative stability has been called into question more than a few times in the past year, particularly from the looming threat of attacks from Somalia-based terrorist group al-Shabaab. But known for its hustler spirit, Nairobi is undaunted by this challenge. This year, whether it was proving the efficiency of its seemingly haphazard matatu (public transportation) system or addressing urban crime with an extensive street lighting project, the city remained ambitious and resilient.

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