10 Richest African Countries
Table of Contents
In terms of natural resources, Africa is one of the wealthiest continents out there. But then, egregious leadership, corruption, and so much more have conspired to keep the continent mostly backwards, with stunted growth and mostly disillusioned people who can’t wait to flee abroad or else relocate to Europe, where there is respect for law and order and where labour is justly and handsomely rewarded.
Of course, among the 54 countries in Africa, there are some countries that stand out more than the others, some countries that are wealthier than the others. This article explores these countries. We will be limiting ourselves to just ten of these countries.
A country’s gross domestic product (GDP) is a key determinant of how rich the country is. However, it is not the only factor. Other factors come into play. What constitutes wealth might be seen as subjective by some. Still, we are confident you will love this list. It has GDP as one of the determinants of wealth and is given in no particular order. Let’s roll, shall we?
South Africa is unarguably one of the wealthiest countries in Africa. From struggling in the bondage of apartheid, the country has moved on economically and now ranks in the top 10 in terms of gross domestic product.
At the time of writing, it has a GDP of about $426.16 billion, which puts it in the 36th position in the world at the time of writing. Of course, it might go higher in the ranking or even plummet – it all depends on the quality of leadership back home.
South Africa, which uses a currency called rand (R), has an estimated GDP per capita income of $6,909.
Key exports from South Africa include gold, iron ore, and diamonds.
Nigeria calls itself the giant of Africa, given its vast population and natural resources. Still, many only use the term sarcastic because the quality of leadership in the country is one of the worst. Crooks and grifters clash over who’d ruin the country first, like vultures over a carcass.
Still, Nigeria ranks among the richest countries in Africa, with an estimated GDP of $510.58 Billion. Nigeria has vast arable land but has never given agriculture the attention it deserves. Instead, the focus has been on petroleum and gas, which form the fulcrum of the country’s exports.
Egypt is a civilisation steeped in antiquity. Despite egregious leadership and internal conflict, the modern Egyptian state has managed to snap a spot among the richest countries in Africa. Interestingly, in terms of defence, Egypt is also one of the strongest on the continent.
Egypt, which has an estimated GDP of $435.62 billion, falls under the “developing country” category. Tucked somewhere in North Africa, it exports agricultural goods and petroleum products, among others.
Morocco is another country in north Africa that made the list of the richest on the continent. With an estimated population of over 37 million people and a GDP per capita of $3,628, the country managed a fair spot on the list.
The Moroccan dirham (MAD) is the currency of transaction. The country has a mixed export base, covering petroleum products, textiles, vegetables and electronic components.
In terms of nature and wildlife, Kenya is a living gift. A key contributor to its estimated $114.68 Billion GDP is tourism. Kenya has an estimated population of 55 million people and uses shilling (KES, KSh) as currency.
The country recently had a smooth democratic transition, which some analysts predict would positively affect the GDP in the coming years.
Kenya has great wildlife, and a poaching industry is said to thrive there. However. Its key exports are tea, horticultural products, and coffee.
Formerly known as the Gold Coast, Ghana is one of the richest countries on the continent, rich in history and even richer in resources. Ghana is often pointed to as a model in leadership transition for other countries to emulate.
The country uses a currency called the cedis and has an estimated GDP of $73.89 billion. Ghana exports agricultural produce, from cocoa to timber, and other resources like gold (from where it got the name Gold Coast), diamond and aluminium, among others.
Often called or classified as part of the horn of Africa, Ethiopia, a landlocked country, has been in the horn of conflict for as long as one can remember. Still, the country managed to clinch a spot among the richest countries on the continent, which might leave peeps wondering how it was able to pull off such a coup.
We wouldn’t want to dwell on that, of course. But then, with enough gold, coffee, qat and other resources, it’s easy to see why the country could make the list. Ethiopia has an estimated GDP of $105.32 billion.
Steeped in nature somewhere in East Africa, Tanzania hasn’t had nearly as terrible leadership as many other countries in Africa. With the political stability in that space, the country has been able to snap a spot among the richest countries on the continent, with an estimated GDP of $77.51 Billion.
Tanzania, which had its first female president in Samia Suluhu Hassan, uses shilling (TZS, TSh) as currency. It’s an agriculture-based economy that has cotton, coffee, and cashew nuts as part of its exports.
In terms of natural resources, Angola is one of the most blessed countries, not just in Africa but globally as well. Interestingly, this blessing has been the source of internecine warfare, as local warlords lay claim to whatever is within reach.
Still, Angola stands as one of the wealthiest countries on the continent, with an estimated GDP of about $124.86 billion.
Angola exports crude oil, as well as refined petroleum products. Other key exports include Timber and fish products. However, real GDP growth has been pretty low, at 0.2%.
It might be the last on this list but certainly not the least in terms of wealth or GDP per capita. Algeria is another country in North Africa (on the Mediterranean coast). With an estimated GDP of $193.60 billion, the country is doing fairly well on the list of the richest on the continent.
Algeria has a population of about 45 million people and counts natural gas and petroleum products among its exports.