African Cities The top ten tallest buildings in Africa

Africa’s skyline is growing at a very fast pace and the relatively stout unimpressive buildings in city centres are being replaced with new, bold architecture styles.

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play The skyline in Johannesburg, South Africa
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Africa’s skyline is growing at a very fast pace and the relatively stout unimpressive buildings in city centres are being replaced with new, bold architecture styles.

Cities such as Johannesburg, Cape Town, Lagos and Nairobi have long played hosts to some of the continent’s tallest buildings. However, cities such as Accra, Cairo, Abidjan, Abuja and Port Louis present a strong challenge.

Below is a list of the top 10 tallest buildings in Africa. Hope City in Accra would have been on this list, if the construction work had already began.

Related: RLG’s Hope City joins Africa’s herd of white elephant projects

1. The Carlton Centre

For 43 years, the Calton Centre in downtown Johannesburg has held the position as the continent’s tallest building. At 223 meters and 50 floors, the Carlton Centre is a mixed use building housing corporate offices and shops.

play The Carlton Centre in downtown Johannesburg

2. Ponte City Apartments

At 173 metres, the Ponte City apartment building in South Africa’s commercial capital is the tallest residential building on the continent. It was first opened in 1975.

play Ponte City Apartments

3. UAP Tower

With 33 floors, the UAP Old Mutual Tower in Nairobi soars over East Africa. It is a relatively new building; having been opened in 2015. It is 163 meters tall.

play UAP Tower


4. NECOM House

West Africa makes an entry into the top five with NECOM House in Lagos, Nigeria. Aside corporate offices, the 160 metres and 32 floor building also serves as a lighthouse beacon for ship approaching the Lagos Harbour. It first opened in 1979.

play NECOM House

5. PSPF Towers

Opened in 2014, the twin towers in Dar es Salaam is Tanzania’s tallest building. It stands at 153 metres and has 35 floors.

play Dar es Salaam is Tanzania’s tallest building

6. Marble Towers

The skyscraper was originally known as the Sanlam Centre and is located in the central business district of Johannesburg. It was opened in 1973 and is 152 metres tall. Marble has an eight storey parking area attached to the building.

play Marble Towers

7. Pearl Dawn

play Pearl Dawn

The coastal city of Durban in the KwaZulu-Natal province makes an entry with the Pearl Dawn skyscraper. Construction of the residential edifice began in 2006 and was opened four years later. At 152 metres and 31 floors, residents have a great view of the garden province’s famed promenade.

8. South African Reserve Bank Building

Construction of the 150 metre building began in 1986 and was complete two years later. It is the tallest building in South Africa’s administrative capital Pretoria and was the first flush-glazed glass tower block in the Southern Hemisphere. It has 38 floors.

play The skyline in Johannesburg, South Africa

9. Metlife Centre

Cape Town finally makes an entry with with the Metlife Centre. The 128 metre, 28 floor building is among the most impressive things to see in the city. The building’s antenna was airlifted by helicopter in three phases. Metlife opened in 1993.

play Metlife Centre

10. 88 on Field

Durban caps the top ten with this building that was originally called 362 West Street. The 147 metre (26 floors) which opened in 1985 is estimated to have cost 40 million dollars.

play 88 on Field (

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