World Bank Ranks Nigeria as Africa’s Largest Economy For Fifth Year in a Row, Egypt Fast Catching up

World Bank Ranks Nigeria as Africa’s Largest Economy For Fifth Year in a Row, Egypt Fast Catching up

  • Nigeria is still Africa's largest economy for five consecutive years, World Bank Data reveals
  • Nigeria's economy grew by 8.3% in 2022, with a GDP of 447.4 billion, accounting for 17,4% Africa's GDP
  • Egypt, however is fast catching up with Nigeria with a GDP of $476.7 billion, placing second on the continent

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Nigeria retained its position as Africa’s largest economy for five consecutive years in 2022, with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $477.4 billion.

Africa’s largest economy accounted for 17.4% of the continent’s economy, with a combined GDP of $2.7 trillion in 2022.

Nigeria, Egypt, South Africa
President Bola Tinubu. Credit: KOLA SULAIMON
Source: Getty Images

Egypt closing on Nigeria with $1 billion gap

Data released by the World Bank shows that Nigeria had remained the continent’s biggest economy since 2018 when it overtook South Africa as the largest.

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The World Bank said Nigeria’s economy grew 8.3% year-on-year in 2022 from $440.8 billion recorded in 2021.

Egypt came second with a GDP of $476.7 billion after recording a 12.3% growth in its GDP from $424.7 billion in 2021.

South Africa came third with an estimated GDP of $405.9 billion.

The top economies in Africa account for almost half of its economy.

  • Other countries on the list include:
  • Algeria: $191.9 billion
  • Ethiopia: $126.8 billion,
  • Kenya: $113.4 billion
  • Angola: $106.7 billion
  • Tanzania: $75.7 billion
  • Ghana: $72.8 billion
  • Cote d’Ivoire: $70 billion

According to reports, Egypt is fast catching up with Nigeria on the list after it expanded by 12.3% to $4676.7 billion.

The North African country overtook South Africa in 2022 to emerge as Africa’s second-largest economy.

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World Bank ranks fastest-growing economies in Africa

Per the World Bank report, Angola topped the list of fastest-growing economies in Africa, with a growth rate of 62.5%.

Angola’s GDP increased from $65.7 billion in 2021 to $106.7 billion in 2022.

Africa Development Bank (AfDB) said Angola’s growth was caused by high oil prices, which sold at $100.65 per barrel in 2022.

Others are war-torn Sudan, with a growth rate of 50.9% as GDP grew from $34.2 billion to $51.7 billion in 2022. Zambia recorded a growth rate of 34.5% to stand in third position, while Guinea was the fourth fastest growing with a growth rate of 31.9%. Seychelles grew by 23.4% to $1.59 billion in 2022.

Countries with biggest contraction

However, Zimbabwe saw the highest contraction of 27.1% after its GDP dropped to $20.7 billion from $28.4 billion.

Despite ranking high, Ghana’s GDP declined by 8%, while the GDP of Sierra Leone dipped by 6.6% year-on-year.

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Analysts blamed Ghana’s contraction on its inability to repay its loans, leading to rescheduling.

Naira not among top 10 weakest currencies in Africa as CBN continues to fight depreciation reported that the exchange rate is still a significant issue because it determines macroeconomic expansion. Its movement plays a vital role in defining trade and money flow dynamics and the decisions made by people, corporations, and the government.

Exchange rates also decide how much different currencies are worth compared to one another.

That said, Nigeria's naira appears missing from the top 10 list of weakest currencies following several initiatives and policies the Central Bank of Nigeria has applied to rescue the naira, including the recent unification of different exchange rates.


Pascal Oparada avatar

Pascal Oparada (Business editor) Pascal Oparada is a Mass Communications Graduate from Yaba College of Technology with over 10 years of experience in journalism. He has worked in reputable media organizations such as Daily Independent, TheNiche newspaper, and the Nigerian Xpress. He is a 2018 PwC Media Excellence Award winner.

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