Top richest countries in Africa

Top richest countries in Africa

There are 1.33 billion people living across Africa, in 54 different countries, that produces $2.2 trillion in nominal GDP thanks to trade, agriculture and harvesting various sources of energy (oil being the dominant one in certain countries). Not too long ago, in 2013, Africa was the world’s fastest-growing continent at 5.6% a year. Nowadays, the African Development Bank predicts an increase of 4.3% in yearly growth across the continent. World Bank expects most of the African countries to reach a GDP per capita of at least $1,000 (ranking those as “middle income”) by 2025.
All nominal data in this article are based on World Bank latest reports.

How would Nigeria’s oil export affect its ranking? Does the government domination on the economy in Kenya helps its rank? How do countries like Ghana and Zimbabwe rank in comparison to Zambia and Uganda? Does South Africa’s complex social history hurt its economic growth? Which other countries occupy the top of this list?


Nigeria is the richest and biggest country in Africa. With a population of 206.14 people, a GDP of $444.92 billion and GDP per capita of $2,233, this west African country closes our list. The Nigerian economy is defined as a mixed economy emerging market, and according to World Bank, it has reached the status of lower middle income. The Nigerian economy is largely built around commerce and energy.


It is the largest trader with the USA in Africa, as it supplies the country with around 1/5 of its total oil production. That places Nigeria as the 12th largest oil producer in the world and the 8th larger oil exporter. Moreover, Nigerian agricultural is a major source of employment for the country, as around 30% of its population are employed in agriculture.
2019 showed incredible growth mainly in the transport, oil, and information and communications technology sectors. Driving GDP growth to 2.3%, compared to 1.9% in 2018. In addition to those, household consumption was the key driver of growth in 2019.

South Africa

South Africa has a complex and awing social history, with a multiethnic society and a wide range of cultures and languages. The southernmost country has a population of 59.31 million. It is also the 2nd richest country in Africa, with a GDP of $371.27 billion and a mesmerizing GDP per capita of $6,331, that is only beaten by six other countries in Africa.


These six countries ahead of South Africa, Botswana, Gabon, Mauritius, Equatorial Guinea, Libya and Seychelles, all have populations under seven million people. The African Economy is largely based on mining, agriculture, automotive manufacturing, telecommunications, and tourism. Despite all these great figures, South Africa is still showing a high rate of poverty and unemployment. South Africa is also in the top ten countries in the world for income inequality.
South Africa continues to be near the top of the class in Africa, even if they have had some issues. Macroeconomic stability has returned to the country, which was an ongoing issue up until a couple of years ago.


Algeria bases most of its economy on fossil fuels and gas. In fact, 95% of Algeria’s exports are based on its advanced fuel and gas industry. With a GDP of $183.69 billion and per capita GDP of $4,229.78, Algeria is one of the five richest countries in Africa.


Due to its newfound possibilities in recent years, Algeria has been leaning towards sustainable development to create more jobs and ease the housing shortages it faces. The Algerian economy also offers a host of other sectors that show some promise in putting the country’s economy in a respectable position. These sectors include agriculture, fishing, banking, and tourism.
Hydrocarbon, one of the country’s leading sector that accounted for 34.2% of its total GDP, is now plummeting to less than 19%, driving to overall GDP growth to 2.3%. While fiscal and current account deficits are on the rise, 7.9% and 12.6% of the country’s GDP, respectively, during 2019. Compared to 7.0% and 9.6% during 2018.


Egypt has been a major country in Africa forever. It is obviously well known for iconic monuments such as The Great Pyramids, The Great Sphinx and the ruins of Memphis and Thebe. Nowadays, Egypt is the 3rd biggest economy in Africa, with a GDP figure of $237.03 billion as well as a GDP per capita of $2,500.


It is also the 3rd biggest country in Africa, with a population of 102.3 million. The Egyptian economy is largely based on tourism, commerce, natural gas, agriculture, and sea transportation, and oil. With a production of over 700,000 oil barrels a year, Egypt possesses the largest oil refinery capacity in the entire African continent.
As long as there is a need for oil, the outlook for Egypt is strong as an economic power on the continent. The availability of hard currency has helped Egypt see a boost in their overall business environment recently.



With a total GDP of $124.6 billion and a staggering GDP per capita of $4,101, Angola takes 5th place in the richest countries on the continent. Angola is largely dependent on their natural oil and gas reserves, along with hydroelectricity, diamonds, and agriculture.

Angola has a population of 32.9 million people, most of whom are still highly influenced by European culture due to Portuguese colonialism in the country. The official language of Angola is still Portuguese.
In 2019, President João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço has focused a lot on diversifying the economy to focus less on oil dependency, and those efforts are slowly paying off. Angola continues to trend upwards in several sectors they had very little presence in previously.


Ethiopia is the second most populated country in Africa, with 114.96 million people strong. It is the 8th richest country in Africa with a GDP of $90.97 billion.

The country doesn’t produce oil, but they still have one of the fastest growing economies on the continent. It relies on agricultural, export coffee, cattle, gold, and leather products. It also does a great job of leveraging the county’s 14 major rivers (including the famous Nile) to produce energy.

An increase in private-sector involvement is huge for Ethiopia as it continues to move forward. The goal is to eventually be a manufacturing hub instead of relying so much on agriculture.


Ghana accounts for a total GDP of $68.26 billion. The country has a rich and vast economy, placing it 9th in terms of highest GDP in Africa, right after Ethiopia.

The position of their GDP has increased with a lot of management plans that they have applied to improve the country’s position. With it being blessed with natural resources, the country continues to rely on it as a source of income. With a population of 31.07 million people its GDP per capita stands at $2,262.

Ghana’s economy continued to expand in 2019, with real GDP growth estimated at 7.1%. High growth momentum since 2017 has consistently placed Ghana among Africa’s 10 fastest-growing economies.


The eastern African country of Kenya has a population of 50.95 million people. It produces a GDP of $99.25 million ranking as the 9th richest country in Africa in terms of GDP. Its GDP per capita stands at $2,011 making it a “middle income” country according to World Bank.


Kenya leads a market-based economy, with several government-owned infrastructures, yet maintaining a liberalized trade system while taking advantage of its ports to the Indian Ocean. Sectors like fishing, mining, and tourism aid the country’s growth. However, it is agriculture that takes a major role in Kenya’s economy and labor, as about 75% of its workforce is making a living of it. The coffee and tea industry lead the Kenyan agriculture economy.
Once again, household consumption and investment are the key factors of growth for Kenya. GDP grew 5.9% in 2019, while down from 6.5% in 2018, the Kenyan economy is stable. As inflation remains within the central targets and the decrease in growth between 2018 and 2019 was mainly due to unfavourable weather.



Libya is one of the smallest countries in Africa, with a population of only 6.87 million people. It holds a GDP figure of $44.96 billion, which might not sound like a lot, but it places Libya as the 6th richest country in Africa, in terms of GDP per capita with a figure of $6835.62.


Just like many Africa countries, most of Libya economic growth comes from oil. It accounts for over half of its GDP, and about 97% of its exports. Due to those figures, Libya has been described as the “Upper Middle Economy of Africa” by the World Bank.
It is hard to look into the future for Libya right now with so many moving parts in the country. From political instability to major security threats, there are definite challenges the country must face head-on during 2020 and 2021.


Next on the list is Tanzania, undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in Africa. With a relatively high total GDP of $61.03 billion, it is the 10th most economically rich country in Africa.


Tanzania has a population of 59.73 million people, 6th biggest in Africa. That brings its GDP per capita figure to $1,172. The people of Tanzania largely rely on agricultural for a source of their income. The country has increased in terms of GDP but there are people who still are below the poverty line.
A markedly diversified economy, helps Tanzania maintain steady growth, 6.8% during 20018, only shy of 2018 7.0% growth. This diversification is characterized by robust private consumption, substantial public spending, strong investment growth, and an upturn in exports underpinned the positive outlook. Other sectors like tourism, mining, services, construction, agriculture, and manufacturing are contributing factors as well.





  1. Reply

    Very good post

  2. Reply

    Good post

  3. Reply

    Wow, yet we leave like we are from the poorest country

  4. Reply


  5. Reply

    Well, seeing Nigeria is not so surprising. But I’m wondering where all our money is

  6. Reply

    Good article

  7. Reply

    Thanks for update

  8. Reply

    Thanks for sharing

  9. Reply

    Nigeria my country

  10. Reply

    Nigeria is well

    Thanks for the information

  11. Reply

    This very important

  12. Reply

    How can Nigeria be the richest in Africa when there is suffering everywhere

  13. Reply

    Awesome information thanks for letting us know

  14. Reply


  15. Reply

    Up on all this we are like the poorest in Africa

  16. Reply


  17. Reply

    Interesting article.

  18. Reply


  19. Reply

    Nigeria number 1 😁😁

  20. Reply


  21. Reply

    Nigeria we are lacking

  22. Reply

    The giant himself hahahaj

  23. Reply

    Not official forbes list

  24. Reply

    Nigeria, will neva utilize their wealth

  25. Reply

    Nice information
    Kip me updated on more

  26. Reply

    Thanks for sharing

  27. Reply


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