Moving forward in our tallest skyscrapers by continent series, we move on to Africa. We previously covered the tallest skyscrapers in North America, South America, and Asia. Africa only has 11 skyscrapers 150 meters or taller. It only has 2 skyscrapers 200 meters or taller. Most of Africa’s tallest buildings are located in South Africa and Egypt, therefore, the same rule is in effect as with our other posts: No more than three skyscrapers per country.

Carlton Centre

By Thuvack - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28530391

Located in Johannesburg, South Africa, Carlton Centre is currently the tallest skyscraper in South Africa at 223 meters or 732 feet. It has been the tallest building in Africa since it was constructed in 1973. It has 50 floors, and the 50th floor is known as the “Top of Africa”. At one point, it was the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere. Initially, the Carlton Centre had a Carlton Hotel taking up most of the building (30 floors). The hotel shut down in 1998 due to urban decay, nearly 25 years since it opened. It cost around $6.5 million to build which translates to  about $35 million when adjusted for inflation. The building is currently home to offices and shops, with over forty-six percent of the floor area located below ground level.

Ponte City Apartments

By Geoffrey Hancock - Ponte CityUploaded by Yarl, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24849507

Also located in Johannesburg, South Africa, Ponte City Apartments was built shortly after Carlton Centre, in 1975. It is currently the second tallest  completed skyscraper in Africa, and the tallest residential skyscraper in Africa. It is a cylindrical building, with the center space being known as “the core”.  It is 173 meters tall, consisting of 55 floors.  It can be seen in numerous films, such as District 9, Chappie, and SEAL Team 8: Behind Enemy Lines.  On top of the building there is a neon sign. That neon sign is the largest sign in the southern hemisphere.

UAP Tower

UAP Tower is located in Nairobi, Kenya, and is the third tallest completed skyscraper in Africa. It stands at 163 meters and has 33 floors. It is currently the tallest structure in Kenya, surpassing Times Tower, which was the tallest structure for 15 years. It cost a total of about $40 million dollars to build, and opened quite recently, on July 5, 2016. It filled fifty percent of its capacity on opening day. The building is owned by UAP Old Mutual Holdings.

NECOM House

By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=44846184

Standing at 160 meters, NECOM House is the fourth tallest completed skyscraper in Africa, and is the tallest in Nigeria, as well as the entirety of West Africa. It was completed in 1979. It contains 32 storeys and the spire at the top serves as a lighthouse beacon for Lagos Harbor.

PSPF Towers

Consisting of Tower A and Tower B, PSPF Towers are both 153 meters tall. They are currently the fifth and sixth tallest completed skyscrapers in Africa. They were completed in 2014 and are located in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. They have 35 storeys and mostly consist of offices, retail stores, and a parking garage.

Currently, there are five skyscrapers under construction in Africa to be completed over the next four years, that all have a height over 200 meters, the tallest being Hass Towers in Kenya, which is expected to be 300 meters and completed in the year 2020. At the moment, there are at least 9 skyscrapers that will potentially be built over the next several years that are all over 200 meters. One of them would be 540 meters with 114 floors, to be built in Morocco, named Al Noor Tower. Africa is slowly catching on to the skyscraper craze (not in the same way the Middle East and Asia have been, but then again, not many regions are), as this list will look very different by the year 2020.


Barak Bacharach, SkySaver Content Manager