Top 20 richest countries in Africa

Top 20 richest countries in Africa

African economy is slowly but surely developing and becoming better, and the improvement is visible compared to the previous years. Today, we are going to have a look at the top 20 richest countries in Africa and check out what is the budget of each of them. See which country has the best economy in Africa and which factors contribute to their success!

Top 20 richest countries in Africa

Richest countries in Africa in 2018

Mostly, the African countries economy are built on agriculture, human resources, industry, and trade. According to the official data from 2012, 54 African countries are home to more than 1 billion people. Sometimes, this huge amount of people is difficult to handle that is why despite a large number of resources many African countries are still going through poverty. However, some countries have fast-growing economies, and we will have a closer look at these and learn what the main source of their wealth is.

So, here is a list of all the richest countries in Africa, according to data from The list will also contain the GDP per capita of each nation.

20. Mauritania

This country primarily depends on livestock and agriculture, which is why it reached the high place in our richest country in Africa rating. There are large deposits of iron ore in Mauritania, and the country often exports them abroad. The coastal waters of the nation are extremely rich in fish, even though the foreigners often exploit these waters and it threatens the rise of income for Mauritania. The GDP of Mauritania is estimated to be $4,474.

19. Sudan

The economic successes of Sudan majorly depend on intense oil production in this country and high prices on oil, as well as the direct investment from the foreign countries. The GDP of Sudan has grown really fast to $4,580. 80% of Sudan’s workforce are employed in agriculture. Of course, there have been a lot of problems in the country, such as civil war, lack of infrastructure and heavy reliance on agriculture, but the government is working on these.

Sudan deserts

18. Ghana

Ghana has made it into our rating of the richest countries by having the rich and very diverse base of resources. Some of Ghana's main sources of income are exportation and manufacturing of the technological goods, as well as the export of industrial minerals and hydrocarbons. This nation currently has one of the highest GDP in Western Africa, with it being $4,605. Also, Ghana is well-known for being the second-largest gold producer on the continent after South Africa, as well as the second-largest producer of cocoa. Ghana is very rich in such minerals as diamonds, oil, bauxite and manganese ore. The country went through economic crisis at some points, but now, the GDP of Ghana is one of the best in Africa.

17. Nigeria

Our home country also belongs on this list, holding the seventeenth position. Nigeria is considered to be a middle-income country, which has the mixed economy. The financial, manufacturing, communication, technology and service sectors are constantly expanding. The country had a lot of economic reforms in the past, but recently the economic potential of the nation started rising again. Some of the main industries in Nigeria that help contribute to the nation’s wealth are cement, construction, oil refining, various food production, wood, ceramic, plastic, technology, and automobile manufacturing, and this is not the full list. We hope that Nigeria will become a strong nation and combat the problem of poverty soon. Currently, the GDP of Nigeria per capita is $5,927.

Nigeria skyline

16. Republic of the Congo

The next country in our rating is the Republic of the Congo, which per capita is about $6,707. The economy of this country is divided between agriculture, industry, and services. Hunting is very popular here, as well as petroleum, which provides a large share of the revenues to the government. Republic of the Congo is known to convert their supplies of natural gas to the electricity instead of burning it, which improves their prospects of energy. This country is quickly developing in the right direction as it is rich in resources and smart in using them.

15. Angola

One of the fastest-growing economies in the world is surely the economy of Angola. Its GDP has significantly grown since 2001, and now it makes about $6,813. Although Angola is still recovering from many years of civil war, it is slowly finding its way back to becoming a developed country. The oil and gas business has largely contributed to the economic growth of Angola in the recent decades. Angola is on the right way of improving its economy, especially after such severe circumstances.

14. Cape Verde

This nation is a small one that is situated in the archipelago. Usually, agriculture is really difficult there, because of the constant droughts and regular lack of rain. The majority of the GDP of Cape Verde, which is, $6,942 per capita, comes from services. Currently, Cape Verde is considered to be the average country when it comes to development, and it became the second country in Africa to reach this achievement, after Botswana.

READ ALSO: Richest African countries in terms of natural resources

Cape Verde beach

13. Morocco

The Moroccan economy is known as the relatively liberal one, which is contributed by the supply and demand law. The majority of Moroccan economic development comes from the service sector. The sectors that contribute to the economy the most are the tourism sector – thousands of people visit the country annually and stay at the Moroccan seaside resorts. The other significant sectors are textile production and telecoms. Textile production is a very developed field in Moroccan industry, and it brings a lot of money into the country. Some other major industries in Morocco are rock mining and processing, phosphates, leather goods, high tech, food processing, etc. Other essential sales are fish and seafood. The GDP of Morocco per capita is estimated to be $8,612.

12. Libya

Libya heavily relies on petroleum revenues. Over 95% export income and 60% of the nation’s GDP comes from this industry. Also, the state has a small population, which combined with the oil revenues gives Libya a place in the rating of the richest countries in Africa according to the GDP per capita. In the current century, Libyan growth rates have grown significantly. Nonetheless, the civil war crashed the country’s economy. After the war ended, the economy was bounced back for a while, but then the second civil war outbreak followed. Now, the GDP of Libya is 60% of the condition it was before the war. The GDP of Libya per capita is $9,792.

11. Swaziland

Swaziland has a diverse economy, which is mostly concentrated on agriculture, mining, and forestry. Manufacturing, especially the textile industry and processing of sugar, bring a lot of income into Swaziland’s GDP, too. They represent a large percent of the country’s GDP. 70% of the nation’s people are involved in the agriculture. In general, Swaziland is a country which is developing very quickly, the GDP per capita income is estimated to be $9,882.

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Swaziland mountains

10. Namibia

Namibia is a country in the southern part of Africa, which mostly thrives on manufacturing, mining, tourism, and agriculture. This nation has a population of about 2 million people. The cost of living in Namibia is quite high, and a lot of consumer goods are imported from the other countries. There has been a monopoly over a lot of various commodities, and this escalates the prices even more. Among the other problems in Namibia, high unemployment rate is a major one, as it stands at about 27,4%. Namibia is described to be a country with the emerging economy. The GDP of Namibia is $11,528, which gives the nation the tenth place in our rating.

9. Tunisia

Situated in northern Africa, Tunisia is a promising nation which continues to grow and increase its yearly income. Today, it is quite a developed country compared to the rest of the continent, as the income per capita in Tunisia is $11,987. It proudly holds the ninth place in our richest country in Africa rating.

8. Egypt

Egypt is a country which is situated on two continents – Africa and Asia, but the bigger part of it is located in Africa. In our rating, Egypt is ranked eighth, with the GDP of $12,994. The main Egyptian economy source is tourism – a lot of people visit Egypt yearly to see its breathtaking worldwide famous places of interest. It also generates income from natural gas, petroleum import, and agriculture. The revenues that the country gets from the Suez Canal also help. However, despite being close to the seaside and having a lot of natural resources, there are some factors that threaten the economy of Egypt, which are desertification, overpopulation of the country, and decreasing of the normal water levels of Nile River. These things are a large threat to the economy of Egypt. Also, terrorism groups and rebels activities are damaging the stability of the Egyptian economy. But for now, the country is one of the richest in Africa if we count GDP per capita.

Egypt pyramids Sphinx

7. South Africa

South Africa is a country with mixed economy type, and it has a higher GDP than most of African countries. Nevertheless, South Africa still has a lot of problems to solve, which are the high rates of unemployment, wide gap between rich and poor (it holds a place in top ten rating of the income inequality worldwide). Speaking of the huge economic gap, it is mostly a result of the country’s apartheid regime. South Africa earns a lot of revenue from tourism and also trades with some richest countries in the world, such as Germany, Japan, China, and the United States. The current GDP per capita in South Africa is $13,403.

6. Algeria

By territory, this country is the largest in Africa. It is situated in the northern part of Africa, and it has made our list of the richest states, holding the sixth place. The country’s population is about 40 million people. The World Bank considers Algeria to be the upper-middle country, just like a majority of the countries on this list. In the past years, the state was the main source of Algerian economic development, but in the recent few years, the sources of the economy have become more diverse. It relies a lot on the hydrocarbons, such as natural gas and petroleum. Despite that, there are still plenty of things to work on. For instance, the unemployment rates are still quite high, and this problem especially concerns young people. Algeria’s GDP per capita is $15,000.

5. Botswana

The location of Botswana is in the southern part of Africa, and economically it has a good reputation of a country with the stable democracy. The population of Botswana is about 2,1 million people. The economic growth of Botswana happened really quickly, and now it is the average country of middle income. Currently, the strongly sophisticated system of banking and the low levels of debt to the foreign countries are the criteria that could define Botswana. This country also has a lot of gemstones and metals that are important to the economy and can be exported to other countries. Botswana’s GDP per capita is $18,146.

Botswana safari

4. Gabon

The country of Gabon is situated on the coast of western Africa, bordering with Cameroon, the Republic of the Congo, and Equatorial Guinea. Entire Gabon’s economy is centered on the oil industry, even though recently the oil production has been decreasing. A lot of experts predicted that soon it might run out, and the accusations appeared against the government, saying that they were overspending this money. The inequality of income between rich and poor is not considered when the GDP is researched. Gabon has a low population, and it gets a lot of revenue from oil export. This is why it is in the fourth place of our rating, with GDP of $19,266. Nonetheless, a lot of residents of Gabon still live in poverty, and this problem needs to be addressed.

3. Mauritius

This island country is situated in the Indian Ocean, not far from the south-eastern coast of Africa. It has been a colony of many countries throughout history, including France, Great Britain, and the Netherlands. The country gained independence in 1968. Now, it attracts tourists from all over the world, which means that the greatest source of income in Mauritius is tourism. In the past, agriculture also played a significant role in the economy, but now the importance of it has decreased. According to the World Bank, Mauritius is the economy with upper-middle income. The island has also been praised for the free economy. Things that are appealing to the tourists on this island are spectacular beaches, warm climate, and relaxing ocean water. The GDP of Mauritius per capita is $21,628.

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Mauritius tropical island

2. Seychelles

Another island country has made its way to our rating, proudly holding the second place. Just like Mauritius, it is situated in the Indian Ocean. The country is made up out of multiple small islands, approximately 115. The general characterization of it reveals that Seychelles is a country with highly-developed economy, even though the income inequality exists here as well. Seychelles generates the majority of income from tourism. Also, fishing and processing of the natural resources like coconuts play a huge role. Before the country started attracting tourists, the economy of Seychelles was driven by plantations. Lately, the government has been coming up with various ideas and initiatives on reducing their dependence on tourism. The GDP of Seychelles is $28,172.

1. Equatorial Guinea

Here is our leader, which holds the honorable first place in the rating of richest countries. Equatorial Guinea is a country in the central part of Africa and is quite small compared to many others. The population of it is a little more than 1 million people. This is mostly the reason why the GDP of Equatorial Guinea is still high – about $34,865. However, even though Equatorial Guinea holds the first place in richest countries rating, the human development index of the country is quite low – 136th place. The reason for such a gap is mostly income inequality. A lot of people in the country still live in poverty and need basic resources like clean water.

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Equatorial Guinea town

This was the rating of the top 20 richest countries in Africa in 2018.


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