This article on the 20 African countries with the largest economies currently is based on 2017/2018 standings pending when an updated list will be communicated to the public.
Currently after Asia, Africa follows as the second largest continent on earth. It is noteworthy to emphasize that Africa also boasts of being the second most populous continent in the world and as at 2013, the number of people living in Africa was estimated to be 1.111 billion.
While Algeria is the largest country by area in Africa, Nigeria ranks as Africa’s most populous country and it overtook South Africa as the largest economy in Africa in early 2014.
Below is the current list of 20 largest economies in Africa: Latest Ranking
1. Nigeria, GDP $594.252 Billion:
Nigeria’s economy has been boosted over the years by oil and gas revenues. After Nigeria rebased its GDP from 1990-2010, it resulted in an 89% increase in the estimated size of the economy and this has made Nigeria the largest economy in Africa. There is still room for improvement.
2. South Africa, GDP $341.214 Billion:
With massive unemployment challenges and slow global economic growth, South Africa’s development has been affected negatively. Growth rate in 2013 was 1.9% as opposed to that of 2012 which was 2.5%.
3. Egypt, GDP $275.748 Billion:
One of the largest and most diversified economies in the middle east. GDP growth in Egypt is due to investments in tourism, agriculture, services and industry. Egypt’s economic growth has been just above the 2% mark in the fiscal years of 2011/12 and 2012/2013.
4. Algeria, GDP $219.453 Billion:
The largest country in Africa (in land area), its economy grew in 2013 by 3% due to political stability. The chief drivers of its economic growth are investments in public enterprises and private demand.
5. Angola, GDP $129.785 Billion:
Africa’s second largest producer of oil. After oil, growth was driven upwards by agriculture, non-oil energy, fisheries, construction and manufacturing sectors. Angola’s economy grew by 5.1% in 2013.
6. Morocco, GDP $114.7 Billion:
Due to the nation’s wonderful agricultural sector, Morocco’s GDP grew from 2.7% in 2012 to 4.7% in 2013.
7. Libya, GDP $67.622 Billion:
Heavily dependent on oil which accounts for 80% of its GDP, Libya’s economy declined sharply in 2013 due to oil blockades but is expected to improve in the coming years.
8. Sudan, GDP $63 Billion:
Agriculture and mining and the inflow from oil transit fees and the Transitional Financial Arrangement with South Sudan helped increase the nation’s GDP in 2013 by 3.6%.
9. Kenya, GDP $56.3 Billion:
Experienced a slow down in its growth in 2011 but by boosting tourism, financial intermediation, agriculture and construction, Kenya experienced growth again in the first three quarters of 2013 at 5.2%, 4.3% and 4.6% respectively.
10. Ethiopia, GDP $51 Billion:
During the last decade, Ethiopia’s growth has been on the increase, peaking at 9.7% in 2012/2013.
11. Ghana, GDP $50 Billion:
Having maintained an average growth rate of around 6% for the past six years, Ghana’s growth however decelerated to 4.4% in 2013, significantly lower than the 7.9% recorded in 2012.
12. Tunisia, GDP $45.611 Billion:
Due to political slow down, fragile context and stagnation in the euro zone, Tunisia’s growth has slowed a bit. The country’s growth of 2.6% in 2013 was below the expected 4.5%. In 2012, Tunisia’s growth rate was 3.7%.
13. Tanzania, GDP $36.6 Billion:
The major growth drivers of Tanzania are financial intermediation, transport, agriculture, communications, construction and manufacturing. Current GDP growth is around 7%.
14. Democratic Republic of Congo, GDP $30.8 Billion:
The GDP growth of Democratic Republic of Congo continues to rise. In 2012, it was 7.2% and it rose to 8.1% in 2013. Mining, trade, agriculture and construction are big contributors to the GDP growth of the Democratic Republic of Congo with mining the chief growth driver.
15. Ivory Coast, GDP $32 Billion:
Ivory Coast grew by 8.8% in 2013 largely due to major public works projects and the growth is expected to rise in the coming years to around 9%.
16. Cameroon, GDP $30 Billion:
Despite being affected by political and security crises, Cameroon’s economy has remained stable. Only the tertiary sector drove growth in 2013 and this accounts for 47.8% of GDP.
17. Uganda, GDP $23.053 Billion:
Having experienced a GDP growth by 2.5% in 2013, Uganda is rightly placed on this list of largest economies in Africa. The country is on track to achieve its millennium development goals and it is also boosted by the reduction in poverty. Poverty dropped from 24.5% in 2009/10 to 22.2% in 2012/13.
18. Zambia, GDP $22.416 Billion:
Zambia’s growth in real terms decreased mainly because of a reduction in agricultural output. 70% of the country’s export earnings is contributed by copper.
19. Gabon, GDP $20.664 Billion:
Gabon’s GDP grew by 5.5%; this happened thanks to vigorous public investment, rising oil prices, membership of the franc zone, revenue from mining and private investments.
20. Equatorial Guinea, GDP $15.396 Billion:
This nation benefits more from oil and gas. It experienced economic recession in 2013 and this led to the fall in oil revenue in that country which brought about lower oil and gas output. Equatorial Guinea experienced negative GDP growth of – 1.4% after a positive 5.3% growth in 2012.
Please note that this list of 20 African countries with the largest economies is subject to change.