Over the last few decades, the skyline of major African cities has seen a rise in the number of skyscrapers. Some of these tall buildings can be found in South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Egypt and Angola, each with its unique story and design.
Below are the top twenty tallest buildings in Africa as of 14th July 2021.
The Leonardo (Sandton)- 768ft
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Standing at a height of 768 feet, the Leonardo tower located in Sandton Johannesburg, South Africa, is the tallest building in Africa. The development includes street level shops and a podium above the ground where a swimming pool restaurant and other facilities are available. The construction of the 55-floor mixed use property began in November 2015 and was ready for occupancy by mid April 2019.
The Carlton Centre- 732ft
The 50-storey skyscraper is located in downtown Johannesburg. The skyscraper whose design is very similar to that of One Seneca Tower in Buffalo, New York, was designed by the US architectural firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. Construction of the building began in the late 1960s and was completed in 1974 although occupancy of the building began in 1971.
The 5-star and 30-storey Carlton hotel took up most of the floor space of the complex. The hotel was a stop over for many rich and famous people but urban decay in the 1990s saw its decline and finally in 1998 it stopped operations completely.
Britam Tower- 656ft
Currently the tallest Building in Kenya, Britam is owned by British American investment Company. The building features a unique prism shape that starts as an equal four sided square footprints and ends with a two sided roof with a 69m mast, containing three helical wind turbines. The tower is located along Hospital Road in Nairobi’s Upper Hill area. The commercial building has 350,000 square feet of office space to let and an attached 12-storey car park that can accommodate up to 1,000 vehicles.
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Commercial Bank of Ethiopia Headquarters- 650ft
Upon completion, it will be the tallest building in Ethiopia and the headquarters of Commercial Bank of Ethiopia. Construction began in 2015 with the foundation being laid in June of 2015. The building was topped out in the second half of 2019 but cladding has been delayed due to the shortage of foreign currency in Ethiopia that made it harder for local businesses to fund imports.
Its design includes eight conference halls, an emergency waiting room incase of disasters, two restaurants on the top two floors, and a sightseeing tower.
Nairobi Global Trade Office Center Tower-604ft
Dubbed Global Trade Center (GTC Kenya), the 7.5 acre development comprises six imposing towers: a 47-level 3A plus office tower, a 35-level hotel tower that will host the star-studded US chain JW Marriott hotel and four residential apartment towers of 24 to 28 levels.
It also includes a four level boutique shopping mall on the western side of the Chiromo lane. The construction which began in 2015 was set up for completion in 2020.
Ponte City Apartments- 568ft
It is located in the Berea neighbourhood of Johannesburg, South Africa. The building, located 35 minutes from the OR Tambo international Airport, became the tallest residential skyscraper in Africa. The cylindrical building has an open centre that allows light into the apartments. The 55-storey building has a neon sign on top and once advertised for the coca cola company but is now advertising for Vodacom.
Upon its completion, the skyscraper was a very desirable place to live especially since it offers amazing views of Johannesburg. However, gang activities soared in the tower and neighbourhood area in the late 1980s. The building became a hotspot for crimes and in the mid 90s there were even debates to turn it into a high-rise prison as the owners left it to decay.
UAP Tower- 535ft
Upon its completion in 2015, UAP Old Mutual Tower became the tallest building in Kenya, a position that was previously held by The Times Tower for one and a half a decade. The tower is located in Hospital Road, Upper Hill area, Nairobi and is owned by UAP Old Mutual Group, a financial service conglomerate headquartered in Kenya, in six African countries. It has rentable space of up to 29,000 square meters and was fifty percent filled upon its opening on 5th July 2015.
NECOM House- 520ft
Located in Lagos, Nigeria, the 32-storey building was the tallest in West Africa upon its completion. Completed in 1979, the tower serves as a lighthouse beacon for Lagos harbor. It was formerly known as NITEL Tower and houses the headquarters of NITEL. Since its completion, the building has suffered two major fires, one in 1983 and another in 2015.
Tanzania Ports Authority HQ- 515ft
This is a 40-Storey skyscraper located in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania whose construction commenced in 2015.
PSPF Towers A and B- 502ft
It is located along Sokoine road, Mission Street in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. It offers both city and ocean views and is approximately a two-minute walk to the harbor. Completed in 2014, the building has 35 floors and a number of offices.
Marble Towers- 499ft
It is located in the Central Business District of Johannesburg, South Africa and was constructed in 1973. The 32-storey building is made out of a mixture of concrete and marble and is used as commercial offices. The statuesque marble-clad landmark building encompasses the entire city block surrounded by Jeppe, Von Wielligh, Pritchard and Delvers street- literally dominating the surrounding city scale.
Pearl Dawn- 499ft
The 31-storey skyscraper is located in Umhlanga, Kwa-Zulu natal. Opened in 2010, it features a spectacular residential resort offering luxury apartments and penthouses. It is the fifth tallest building in South Africa designed in a futurist style whose construction ended in 2008.
South African Reserve Bank Building (SARB)- 490ft
It was established in 1921 after parliament passed the currency and bank act of 10 August 1920. This Act was passed as a result of the financial situation caused by world war 1. It was the fourth central bank outside the United Kingdom and Europe, with the first three being in Japan, the United States and Java.
88 on field- 482ft
Originally called 362 West Street, 88 on field was the tallest building in Durban, South Africa upon its completion in 1986. The 24 storey building has six elevators up to floor 21 and two glass shuttle elevators for floor 21 to 24. It offers standard retail and office space and is an urban home to several corporate and government anchor tenants. It is within walking distance of Virgin Active Red, Woolworths, Mr. Price among many other amenities.
MNF square I and II- 476ft
The 30-floor building is located in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation (MNF) is in honor of the founding president of Tanzania and its inauguration coincided with the 20th anniversary of the passing of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere.
The 65,000 square meters mixed-use property comprises a five-star hotel named Johari by Rotana. Rotana is a leading hotel management company in the Middle East, Africa, South Asia and Western Europe. In the building, it includes 191 luxury hotel rooms and suites and 63 serviced apartments spread across 24 floors.
IMOB Business Tower- 476ft
The office tower is located in Luanda, Angola and features a panoramic view to the bay of Luanda and quick access to banks, restaurants, airports, beaches among others. In an area of more than 18,000 square meters, the project also has a bank, restaurant, auditorium and meeting rooms.
Burj Bulaya Office Tower 1- 472ft
Located in Tripoli, Libya and was completed in 2007.
Mzizima Commercial Towers- 469ft
The high-rise building is located in Maktaba Street Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The project features two high rise buildings standing at 33 and 35 stories tall. The 33-storey is developed for residential use while the 35-storey is for office use.
The residential tower is made up of luxury condominiums, a shopping mall, a food court and seven levels of concealed parking. On the other hand, the office tower features three stories of retail, a conference center and several levels of office suites.
PPF (pension Protection Fund) headquarters- 469ft
This is a high rise 35-storey building in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs- 468ft
This is the name of the building that houses the Ministry if Foreign Affairs in Egypt.
Also Read: Tallest Buildings in Nairobi And The Architects Who Designed Them
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