Updated: Feb 22
Africa is a continent endowed with rich human and natural resources but it is unfortunate that poverty is also a major issue in some countries in the continent.
However, some African countries have the fastest growing economies in the world. The main components of the African economy are agriculture, trade, and natural resources, and the African economy is expected to reach a GDP of $29 trillion by 2050.
Although there are several ways to compare the wealth of a nation, one of the best ways to measure is to take a look at the gross domestic purchasing product - or GDP - of a nation. This is the value of goods and services that come from a nation for a year. GDP does not take into account the difference in cost of living and inflation rate between countries as does GDP per capita in purchasing power parity (PPP). Let's look at the richest countries in Africa.
What are the richest countries in Africa
We are going to look at two metrics to rank the richest countries in Africa.
GDP Per Capita
Let's dive into the rankings then, spoiler alert there are some surprise entries on the list of the richest countries in Africa.
Richest African countries by GDP
GDP information from the International Monetary Fund was used to determine the richest African countries. Six African countries have a GDP of over $ 100 billion. The ten richest African countries are:
1. Nigeria - $514.05 billion
2. Egypt - $394.28 billion
3. South Africa - $329.53 billion
4. Algeria - $151.46 billion
5. Morocco - $124 billion
6. Kenya - $106.04 billion
7. Ethiopia - $ 93.97 billion
8. Ghana - $74.26 billion
9. Côte d'Ivoire - $70.99 billion
10. Angola - $66.49 billion
Nigeria is the continent's richest and most populous in Africa. The country's large population of 211 million probably contributes to its large GDP. Nigeria is a mixed, middle-income economy and an emerging market with growing financial, service, communications, and technology sectors.
Egypt, the second richest country in Africa, is the third most populous country with 104 million inhabitants. Egypt is also a mixed economy with an emerging information and communication technology sector.
Richest African countries by GDP per capita
When you look at GDP per capita, gross domestic product per capita, the richest countries are slightly different. According to the IMF, the ten richest countries in Africa, in terms of GDP per capita, are:
1. Seychelles - $26,120
2. Mauritius - $22,030
3. Equatorial Guinea - $18,240
4. Botswana - $18,110
5. Gabon - $16,240
6. Madagascar - $13,720
7. Egypt - $13,080
8. South Africa - $12,440
9. Algeria - $11,430
10. Tunisia - $ 10,590
Although Nigeria has the highest GDP of any African country, as per GDP per capita it is not among the top ten richest countries in Africa.
Seychelles is the richest country in Africa using this metric. Seychelles' economy is mainly driven by fishing, tourism, boat building, coconut and vanilla processing, and agriculture, especially cinnamon, sweet potatoes, tuna, and bananas. The public sector provides about two-thirds of the labour force and as expected generate the highest revenue.
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