Nairobi has been ranked ninth among low and middle income countries that are most likely to improve global competitiveness within 10 years in a newly published survey report by multinational consultant AT Kearney.

The survey which measures a city's global positioning in terms of business activity, human capital, information exchange, cultural experience and political engagement showed that Nairobi beat other major cities in the world among them China's Guangzhou and Shanghai which were listed as number 26 and 27 respectively.

In the continent however, Ethiopia beat Nairobi to be ranked third as its seen as the one that is closing in fastest on world's leading cities in terms of income inequality, business transparency and healthcare. Other cities featured in the survey in Africa are Johannesburg at position 13, Cape Town at number 16 and Tunis which has been ranked 18.

"In Africa, Addis Ababa is the third most likely city to advance its global positioning. While its absolute numbers in the area of innovation are quite low, it improved its performance on the leading innovation indicators by a very large percentage between 2008 and 2013," states the report.

"The next sub-Saharan city on the emerging cities outlook is Nairobi, in ninth place, where IBM is already building a research laboratory."

Other than IBM, other multinationals that have set up their regional bases in Nairobi include Nokia, PricewaterhouseCoopers, German-based chemical maker BASF, CitiBank, CocaCola and LG among others. Nairobi is also home to the United Nations Environmental Programme headquarters as well as the host city for the African Airlines Association secretariat.

The emerging cities outlook examines 34 cities located in countries that the World Bank classifies as low or medium income. It measures the likelihood that a city will improve its global standing over the next 10 to 20 years. Cities are ranked based on how long it would take them to reach the global leader in each of the 10 leading indicators of business activity, human capital, and Innovation.

The survey which also ranked the top cities worldwide based on the same indicators listed New York as a global powerhouse followed by London, Paris, Tokyo and Hong Kong.

Source: The Star newspaper- Kenya



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