Africa is home to a large number of the world’s poorest countries. The recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is being slowed down because of the instability of many African countries, the prevalence of poverty, and the lack of readily available vaccinations.
Even more worrisome is that several African nations are now embroiled in civil wars, putting further stress on their economy.
However, Africa’s 54 nations have some of the world’s fastest-growing economies despite these difficulties. Agricultural, commerce, and natural resource industries will drive the African economy to a GDP of $29 trillion by 2050.
More than 20 million people are looking for jobs each year only in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Also, in terms of technology, Africans are now catching up to the rest of the globe. Sub-Saharan Africans are using the internet for the first time daily in the neighborhood 90,000.
Even though the richest African nations fall well behind the world’s wealthiest, Africa’s potential is immense and unquestionable, despite its status as the least developed of the main continents.
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Using GDP as a yardstick to gauge the financial well-being of African countries
The greatest approach to comparing different countries’ riches is to look at their GDP or gross domestic output. The total worth of commodities and services generated by a country in a particular year is measured here.
GDP is frequently first adjusted for Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), which changes each country’s GDP to local prices, then represented in a fake currency called international dollars to make the country to country comparisons more exact (INT).
According to the International Monetary Fund, it is predicted that the four most populous African nations will have GDPs of moreover $500 billion (INT) by 2020, according to the International Monetary Fund.
In terms of overall GDP (INT$ at PPP — International Monetary Fund 2021), these are the 10 richest African countries.
- Egypt – $1.38 trillion
- Nigeria – $1.14 trillion
- South Africa – $861.93 billion
- Algeria – $532.57 billion
- Morocco – $302.77 billion
- Ethiopia – $298.57 billion
- Kenya – $269.29 billion
- Angola – $217.97 billion
- Ghana – $193.63 billion
- Sudan – $189.87 billion
Egypt will be Africa’s richest country in 2021 based on total GDP (PPP INT$). Egypt is Africa’s third-largest nation by population, with 104 million inhabitants. Besides tourism and agriculture, Egypt’s economy is also based on fossil resources, with a burgeoning ICT industry.
Almost double the population of Egypt, Nigeria is Africa’s most populated nation, with 211 million citizens contributing to its GDP. Petroleum and (to a lesser degree) agriculture are the mainstays of Nigeria’s diversified economy, which places it in the lower middle class.
Emerging markets like this one are becoming more and more commonplace in the United States.
Additional information on African economies may be gleaned from their GDP per capita.
An incredibly useful but wide-ranging measurement is the gross domestic product (GDP). A nation with a large but ineffective workforce may record a larger GDP than one with a smaller but more effective workforce because of how GDP is calculated.
Economists typically use GDP per capita, which divides the country’s gross domestic output by the population, to examine these and other aspects.
World Bank 2021’s Richest African Countries by GDP Per Capita (INT$ at PPP):
- Seychelles – $30,898
- Mauritius – $23,841
- Equatorial Guinea – $18,625
- Botswana – $18,507
- Libya – $15,816
- Gabon – $15,582
- South Africa – $13,010
- Egypt – $12,261
- Algeria – $11,997
- Tunisia – $11,096
Africa’s wealthiest nations are significantly impacted when GDP per capita is used to measure wealth. According to this statistic, Seychelles is the wealthiest nation in the world.
Fishing, tourism, boat construction, coconut and vanilla processing, and agriculture are the mainstays of the Seychelles economy. Two-thirds of the country’s workforce is employed in the country’s public sector.
Even though Egypt is Africa’s most populous nation, its GDP per capita is just sixth on the continent. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Nigeria has been ranked 22nd on the new list.
African economies’ gross national incomes
Gross national income, or GNI, is another common term used by economists to assess the wealth of nations. In contrast to GDP, GNI measures the entire revenue generated by a country’s products and services.
A country’s GNI also keeps track of the money moving in and out of its economy via foreign trade. Because of this, the GDP of nations that are well-known as tax havens across the world is less likely to be distorted by fraudulently inflated numbers.
According to the Atlas method, in current US dollars, the wealthiest African countries by GNI per capita (World Bank 2021)
- Seychelles – $12,720
- Mauritius – $10,230
- Gabon – $6,970
- Botswana – $6,640
- Equatorial Guinea – $5,810
- South Africa – $5,410
- Libya – $4,850
- Namibia – $4,520
- Eswatini – $3,580
- Algeria – $3,550
Seychelles is again on top, followed by Mauritius and nations like Botswana, Libya, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon. Despite having the largest GDP in Africa, Egypt has dropped out of the top 10 (now ranked 15th).
Even the wealthiest countries in Africa pale in contrast to those on other continents when seen globally. There is an average GNI per capita in North America of $62,367 (US$) and an average GNI per capita in the European Union of $34,081. (US).
However, Seychelles is ahead of the worldwide average of $11,057 (US$), and numerous African nations can attain and surpass that objective as well.
Also See: Poverty Rate by Country 2022
10 of Africa’s richest countries are listed here:
- Nigeria ($514.05 Bn)
- Egypt ($394.28 Bn)
- South Africa ($329.53 Bn)
- Algeria ($151.46 Bn)
- Morocco ($124.00 Bn)
- Kenya ($106.04 Bn)
- Ethiopia ($93.97 Bn)
- Ghana ($74.26 Bn)
- Ivory Coast ($70.99 Bn)
- Angola ($66.49 Bn)
|Country||GDP||GDP per Capita|
|Republic of the Congo||12.0200||4170|
|Central African Republic||2.7200||1010|
|Sao Tome and Principe||0.4900||3930|