Africa is one of the continents of the world known for being richly blessed with most of the precious natural resources that can be used to produce spectacular artworks and architectural edifices. For some decades in the past, Africa has not always ranked on the list whenever it comes to expensive buildings, which stems from the fact that Africa has always been considered one of the continents with the most underdeveloped countries.
Over the past two centuries, one common fact has been established, and it is the fact that Africa is overly blessed with a plethora of natural resources. However, the ratio of natural resources to developments (human, capital, and infrastructural) is far from equilibrium. This can be linked to lots of factors such as bad leadership, political instability, wars, insurgency, and gross mismanagement. Consequently, African countries are seen as underdeveloped due to their low GDP, and lack of beautiful expensive structures.
Thanks to modern technology, civilization, urbanization, and the rise of visionary leaders, a new dawn seems to have been set in Africa. All these have helped the continent to put into action what she originally had in the best and finest ways. Today, Africa can boast of innumerable technological outfits and expensive buildings that can stand in competition with other enviable parts of the world both in beauty and cost. That being said, check out Africa’s 15 magnificent and most expensive buildings that speak wealth, fortune, and extravagant affluence below.
15. Department of Taxes and Attorney General’s Chambers – Gaborone, Botswana
Cost: $42 Million
No of Floors: 13 (above the ground), 2 (below the ground)
Architect: Pramod Patel Architect and The Fitzwilliam Partnership Botswana
Owner: Government of Botswana
Construction Start: 1999
Construction End: 2006
Occupying number 15 on our list of most expensive buildings in Africa is The Department of Taxes and Attorney General’s Chambers Building, which is located in Government Enclave, on Nelson Mandela Drive in Gaborone, Botswana. It stands at a height of 176.77ft. The building, which took 7 years to complete (1999-2006), was recorded to cost the government of Botswana a well-spent $42 million. The building covers a land area of 38000sqm and possesses 15 floors, which are used to carry out the daily activities of the Department of Taxes.
14. iTowers – Gaborone, Botswana
Cost: $34 Million
No of Floors: 25 (above the ground), 2 (below the ground)
Architect: Murray and Roberts Botswana
Construction Start: 2011
Construction End: 2016
The iTowers in Gaborone is an iconic building in look and has in recent times been compared to building like Empire State Building in New York, due to how important a landmark it is to the city of Gaborone. This beautiful skyscraper is located in Gaborone’s Masa Square CBD and stands directly opposite the High Court. The building was constructed to fit international standards, and as such, it is conforming to the green standards and is high on renewable energy. According to several reports, the building spaces were sold out before completion of the first phase of construction, a feat that goes a long way to prove just how ready Botswana’s needed such an edifice. It is currently the tallest building in Botswana and stands at a height of 90m.
13. Maison Des Députés – Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast
Cost: $50 Million
No of Floors: 7
Construction Start Date: 2004
Construction End Date: 2006
Maison des députés is a 7-story low-rise building that sits on 8 hectares of land, located in the eastern area of the city of Yamoussoukro. Although the outward feel of the building isn’t overly spectacular, the interior speaks nothing but luxury. This $50 million hotel has a total of 7 floors and 300 lavishly furnished rooms. It also houses several restaurants, conference rooms, 10 offices, and 2 levels of a large capacity swimming pool.
12. Hilton Durban – Durban, South Africa
Cost: $61 Million
No of Floors: 19
Architect: FGG Architects and Incorporated White Arkitekter AB
Owner: Khalaf Ahmed Khalaf Al Otaiba
Construction Start Date: 1995
Construction End Date: 1997
At number 12 on our list of most expensive buildings in Africa is yet another hotel in South Africa called the Hilton hotel. It is a five-star landmark hotel located in the central business district of Durban. Due to its strategic location, it is near the International Convention Centre and several beautiful beaches, thus making it a perfect place for any seeking to mix a little bit of business with pleasure. This beautiful piece of architecture houses a total of 13 meeting rooms and 328 guest rooms.
It is fully compliant with the American with Disabilities Act 1990, and as such, it is very easy for people living with disabilities to navigate and use the hotel facilities. A simple look at this beautiful looking hotel screams luxury, and the Hilton Durban doesn’t disappoint in this aspect as it is furnished with the most expensive furniture money can buy, giving visitors value for their money.
11. Michelangelo Towers – Sandton, South Africa
Construction Cost: $64 Million
No of Floors: 34 (above the ground), 2 (below the ground)
Architect: Bental Abramson and Partners
Owner: Libyan Arab African Investment Corporation
Construction Start Date: 2003
Construction End Date: 2005
Having entertained and accommodated prestigious personalities like Lady Gaga, Oprah Winfrey, Mariah Carey, J-Cole, Gayle King, Kanye West, Justin Bieber, Adam Lambert, Michelle Obama, and former US President Barack Obama, without getting any negative review from them, it is clear that Michelangelo Towers is held in high repute both locally and internationally. It is equipped with modern-day facilities and stands at a height of 459 ft.
One look at this 34-floor building, you need no convincing that it must have cost more than a fortune to erect such a masterpiece. The building, which cost a whopping $64 million, is located at 8 Maude Street, Sandton, South Africa. Besides its magnificent architecture and luxurious feel, the Michelangelo Towers is also rated highly because of the warm and hospitable nature of its staff.
10. West Hills Mall – Accra, Ghana
Construction Cost: $93 Million
No of Stores and Services: 67
Size: 290,000 sq.ft
Architect: Bental Abramson and Partners
Owners: Delico Property Developments, Social Security & National Investment Trust
Construction Start Date: 2013
Construction End Date: 2016
The West Hills Mall Accra is located at Dunkonah, Accra, Ghana, and it opened for business on the 30th of October 2014. The total cost incurred during the construction of this beautiful edifice was estimated at $93 million, thus making it the most expensive mall in West Africa for 3 years until it was overthrown in 2017 by the Kumasi city mall. The mall sits on a 23 acres piece of land and houses 67 shops – 65 from Ghana and 2 international shops.
9. Kumasi City Mall – Kumasi, Ghana
Construction Cost: $95 Million
No of Stores and Services: 61
Size: 190,000 sq.ft
Architect: Boogertman and Partners
Owners: Delico Kumasi Limited
Construction Start Date: 2014
Construction End Date: 2017
Located at the Asokwa Industrial area of Kumasi is the Kumasi City Mall, which is the most expensive shopping mall in Ghana. This magnificent structure sits proudly on over 15 acres and took about 24 months to be completed. Despite its huge size, the building is rated as one of the best in Ghana due to its focus on green energy and energy conservation. The mall has a parking space that can comfortably accommodate 1000 cars, a five-screen cinema complex, restaurants, bars, and several recreation and entertainment centers for both children and adults.
8. The Leonardo – Sandton, South Africa
Construction Cost: $119 Million
No of Floors: 55
Architect: Co-Arc International Architects
Construction Start Date: 2015
Construction End Date: 2019
Sitting at number 8 on our list of most expensive buildings in Africa is The Leonardo, a 55-floor building that stands at a height of 768 ft. The construction of this gigantic building commenced in 2015 and was eventually completed in 2019. A property of Legacy hotels, the building serves several purposes. It houses several shops, commercial offices, penthouses, restaurants, conference rooms, bars, swimming, and a ground-level podium, all of which are open to members of the public who intend to bask in its luxurious facilities.
7. The Pearls of Umhlanga – Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa
Construction Cost: $138 million
No of Floors: 32
Architect: Creative Kingdom Incorporated, Cooper Architects, Seedat & Seedat
Owners: Global Property Investments, VVE Property Development, Wakefields Devco
Construction Start: 2003
Construction End: 2018
Spectacular, exotic, flawless, and luxurious are the only adjectives capable of describing the Pearls of Umhlanga. Located close to the city center in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, the Pearls of Umhlanga is a luxurious residential resort offering high-class apartments with a clear view of the sea to the public. Due to its strategic location, the Pearls of Umhlanga is the perfect place for anyone seeking to do business or find pleasure in an affluent manner.
6. Portside Tower – Cape Town, South Africa
Construction Cost: $138 million
No of Floors: 30 (above the ground), 5 (below the ground)
Architect: Louis Karol Architects; Dhk Architects
Owners: FirstRand Bank Ltd and Accelerate Property Fund
Construction Start: 2011
Construction End: 2014
At No. 5 Buitengracht Street, Hans Strijdom Avenue, Cape Town, South Africa sits the tallest building in Capetown – Portside Tower. Standing at 456ft, the magnificent building helps radiate what is a prosperous and commercial viable city. Ownership of this beautiful edifice is shared between Accelerate property fund and FirstRand bank Ltd. While FirstRand bank carries out its daily activities in the complex, Accelerate property fund offers its share of the property to interested tenants. At conception, Portside Tower was expected to include a hotel in the building, but the building plan was eventually altered following the effects of the recession in the 2000s.
5. Corinthia Bab Africa Hotel – Tripoli, Libya
Construction Cost: $152 million
No of Floors: 28 (above the ground), 5 (below the ground)
Height: 394ft (120m)
Architect: Xuereb Martin & Associates
Owner: International Hotel Investments (IHI) PLC
Construction Start: N/A
Construction End: 2003
Following the negative portrayal of Libya by international news media in recent years, it might come as a surprise that the country is home to the 5th most expensive building in Africa, a feat, which goes a long way to prove that besides its numerous instabilities, the country has its eyes set towards development, and as such, it currently boasts of being one of the best in Africa when it comes to luxurious hotels. That being said, the Corinthia Hotel is located in the ever buzzing business district of Tripoli. It was opened in 2003 by Prime Minister, Shukri Ghanem, and stands at a height of 394 ft. Often ranked as one of the most expensive hotels in Africa, The Corinthia Hotel is owned by the International Hotel Investments plc, owners of the Corinthia chain of hotels. It has a total of 319 rooms.
4. Pinnacle Towers – Nairobi, Kenya
Construction Cost: $184 million
No of Floors: 70
Height: 1,050ft (320m)
Architect: Archgroup Consultant
Owners: White Lotus Group and Hass Petroleum
Construction Start: 2016
Construction Status: Ongoing
Pinnacle Towers, which is still under construction at the moment, occupies the 4th position on our list of most expensive buildings in Africa. However, when completed, it is expected to be the tallest building in Africa, having a height of 1050 feet. The 70-storey skyscraper sits robustly on a 5-acre piece of land. It is located at the heart of Nairobi, Kenya, and is expected to cost a total of $200 million, thus making it the most expensive building in Kenya. Upon completion in 2023, the building is expected to be home to the Hilton hotel, which would have a total of 267 rooms.
3. African Union Conference Centre and Office Complex – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Construction Cost: $200 million
No of Floors: 20
Sponsor: Chinese Government
Owner: African Union (AU)
Construction Start: 2009
Construction End: 2012
Located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia is the AU Conference Center and Office Complex. It is the headquarters of the African Union, whose main goal is to foster co-operation, stability, and economic progress of African States. Standing tall at 99.9 meters, the 20 floors building is the second tallest building in Addis Ababa (surpassed only by the commercial bank of Ethiopia headquarters). The construction of this building cost a total of $200 million, every bit of that figure, however, was financed by the Chinese government, and the unspoken statement being that the progress and development of Africa are of great importance to them.
2. Bibliotheca Alexandrina – Alexandria, Egypt
Construction Cost: $220 million
No of Floors: 11
Owner: Egyptian Ministry of Education
Construction Start: 1995
Construction End: 2002
The Bibliotheca Alexandrina, which costs a whopping $220 million, is the second most expensive building on this list. It is home to the largest library in Africa, with shelf space for about 8 million books. This beautiful edifice is located on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, in the city of Alexandria, Egypt. Although the idea for this structure was first conceived in 1974, it wasn’t until 1995 that the construction commenced. The construction went on for seven years before it was finally inaugurated on October 16, 2002. It is pertinent to note that the Bibliotheca is not just a library but a complete center for education as it houses four museums, a school for information science, a planetarium, 15 permanent exhibitions, and four art galleries. The main reading room stands at 32 meters in height and measures 160m in diameter.
1. Kigali Convention Centre (KCC) – Kigali, Rwanda
Construction Cost: $300 million
No of Floors: N/A
Architect: Roland Dieterle
Owners: Ultimate Concept Limited
Construction Start: 2009
Construction End: 2016
Situated in the heart of Kimuhurura, Gasabo District, is the Kigali Convention center, which sits on a 105,000 square foot land area. KCC is a unique building that in itself boasts of how far Rwanda has come in terms of technology and economic development since her horrible genocide in 1994. The complex is owned by Ultimate Concept Limited, which comprises of multiple stakeholders such as Crystal Ventures Limited, the Government through Prime Holdings, Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB), and Rwanda Investment Group.
The responsibility as regards the operation of the complex is placed in the hands of the international hotel chain, Radisson Blu, which hosts a 5-star hotel in the building with 292 rooms, and a conference center with a seating capacity of over 2600 people. Besides its mouthwatering edifice and cost, the building is also one of the most eco-friendly buildings on the continent; it uses repurposed water and LED light for the sole purpose of energy conservation.