Nigeria, Egypt, South Africa named richest countries in Africa
Nigeria, Egypt, and South Africa have been named as the three largest economies in Africa, a continent with some of the world’s poorest nations.
Trade, agriculture, human resources, and industry are the major components of the African economy. As of 2012, Africa housed 1.07 billion people in the 54 countries of the continent. Though the country is rich in resources, the people of the country have been exploited for decades and are poverty stricken. It is expected that the African economy will reach a GDP of $29 trillion by 2050.
However, it is also estimated that the disparity in income will deter the wealth distribution among the people of the continent. Currently, a number of African countries are among the poorest while others have some of the fastest growing economies in the world. Here we discuss the ten richest countries in Asia and the nature of their economies.
Kenya is an East African equatorial nation with Nairobi as its capital city. The country is bordered by Tanzania, Uganda, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Somalia. It has a coastline on the Indian Ocean. Kenya is the tenth richest country in Africa in terms of GDP.
Even though Kenya is one of East and Central Africa’s biggest economy, the country suffers from a poor Human Development Index of only 0.519 that places Kenya in the 145th position among 186 countries in the world. Corruption is highly prevalent in the society and an average number of 16 bribes a month are paid by Kenyans which costs them nearly one-third of their income. 75% of the country’s workforce is employed in the agricultural sector. Developments in tourism, telecommunications, and higher education have boosted the Kenyan economy in the last few years. 62% of GDP is contributed by the service sector and 22% by agriculture and the rest by the industries in the country.
Tanzania is an East African country located within the African Great Lakes region. Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia, Mozambique, and Malawi border Tanzania.
Though Tanzania is the tenth richest country in Africa by GDP, it is one of the world’s poorest country. The country’s per capita GDP of $1,813 is 32% lower than the average of $2,673 of the sub-Saharan African countries. However, the per capital GDP of the country has steadily risen from 2009 through 2013 at an average of 3.5% per year. South Africa, China, and Switzerland are Tanzania’s largest trading partners. The Great Recession was also braved fairly well by the country.
Ethiopia is located in the Horn of Africa where it shares borders with Djibouti, Somalia, Eritrea, Sudan, South Sudan, and Kenya. Ethiopia is the world’s most populous landlocked country. Addis Ababa is Ethiopia’s capital and largest city.
Between 2007 and 2008, Ethiopia was the world’s fastest growing non-oil dependent economy. High inflation rates and an unfavorable balance of payments situation adversely affect the economy between 2008 and 2011. Despite being the eighth richest country in Africa, Ethiopia is a poor performer in the world scenario. Ethiopia has rich water resources, one of the greatest in Africa, with 14 major rivers pouring off the country’s high tableland. However, a negligible potential of these rivers has been actually tapped for irrigation or hydroelectricity generation. Recently, the country is constructing a 6,000 MW capacity hydroelectric power station on the Nile River.
Sudan is located in northeastern Africa and shares its borders with Egypt, Red Sea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Chad, Central African Republic, and Libya. Sudan is Africa’s third biggest country. Khatoum is Sudan’s capital city.
Sudan is one of the richest countries in Africa by GDP. The country was the 17th fastest growing global economy in 2010 before the secession of South Sudan which held 80% of the oil fields of Sudan, the major source of profit in the country. Since then, the growth rate of Sudan dropped down and is expected to recover gradually. Though South Sudan has the majority of oilfields in its control, it is a landlocked country and needs to rely on the pipeline to Port Sudan as well as the oil refineries of Sudan. China is the major trading partner of Sudan and has a 40% share of Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company. Agriculture is also a major source of income and employment in the country. Though Sudan has one of the highest GDP’s among the African nations, it is also one of the most corrupt nations in the world and performs poorly in the HDI score.
The southern African country of Angola is the seventh largest nation in the continent. Angola shares its borders with Namibia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia, and the Atlantic Ocean. Luanda is Angola’s capital and biggest city.
Angola is enriched with natural resources like diamonds, gold, copper, fossils, and oil as well as a great biodiversity and large tracts of forested lands. The rich wealth of the nation dramatically declined during the Angolan Civil War (1975 to 2002). The economy of the country has, however, gradually recovered since 2002 and is currently one of the fastest growing economies in the world. The average GDP growth of Angola between 2005 and 2007 was 20%. China is the biggest trade partner of Angola. According to 2008 report, diamonds and oil comprise nearly 60% of the country’s economy and are also the major export products from the country.
Morocco is located in North Africa’s Maghreb region. The country possesses both Mediterranean and Atlantic coastlines and a population of over 33.8 million. Rabat is the country’s capital, and Casablanca is its biggest city.
Morocco has a relatively liberal economy where the law of supply and demand governs the changes in policies. The country is the 5th richest African country and a major player in the economic affairs of the country. The services sector is the biggest contributor to Morocco’s economy and accounts for more than half of the GDP. Major industries active in the country include construction, mining, and manufacture. Tourism is another successful industry operating in Morocco. Telecoms, textile, and information technology are also doing well.
A North African country, Algeria is located on the Mediterranean coast and is bordered by Tunisia, Libya, Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Mali, and Niger. Algiers is the capital and biggest city of the country. It is the largest country in Africa and the 10th largest in the world. 48 provinces and 1,541 communes comprise Algeria.
World Bank classifies Algeria as an upper middle income nation. Dinar is the currency of the country. Though Algeria is the third richest African country, its economy is not devoid of problems. The economy is primarily dependent on the energy industry. Little success has been achieved by the government in an attempt to diversify the economy of the country. High rates of youth unemployment, income inequality, and housing shortages exist in the nation.
3. South Africa
South Africa, the southernmost country of the continent, is bordered by Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho, and Mozambique. The country has a mixed type of economy and has a relatively high GDP compared to other African countries. Despite this fact, South Africa has high rates of unemployment, poverty, and a wide gap between the rich and the poor. South Africa is enlisted among the top 10 countries in the world for income inequality. The economic disparity among South Africa’s population is primarily a result of the apartheid regime in the country which ended in 1994. Gradual improvements in the country’s economy have occurred since then. Tourism is one of the biggest revenue generating industries in South Africa. Germany, US, Japan, and China are the biggest trade partners of South Africa outside Africa.
Egypt is a transcontinental country with territories stretching from Africa’s northeast corner to Asia’s southwest corner across the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt shares its borders with the Gaza Strip and Israel, the Red Sea, Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea, Sudan, and Libya. Cairo is the capital of the country.
Egypt is one of the most richest countries in Africa. The nation’s economy depends on agriculture, tourism, natural gas, and petroleum imports, and revenues from the Suez Canal. A large number of Egyptians also work abroad, primarily in Saudi Arabia and the remittances of these workers contribute to the wealth of the nation. Despite the abundant natural resources and nearness to the sea, overpopulation, desertification and decreasing water levels of the Nile are the major factors threatening the Egyptian economy. The infiltration of terrorist groups and internal rebellions also serve to damage the country’s economic stability.
The West African country of Nigeria is a federal constitutional republic. Benin, Chad, Cameroon, and Niger are the neighbors of Nigeria, and the Gulf of Guinea lies to the south of the country. The Federal Capital Territory and 36 states comprise Nigeria. Its capital city is Abuja and Lagos, Benn City, Ibadan, Kano are the other important cities of the country. The Nigerian economy is one of the best in the African continent. The country’s abundant natural resources, coastal location, well-developed legal, financial, and transport sectors are some of the factors that influence the growth of the country’s economy. Nigeria has the second largest stock exchange in the continent.
Nigeria acts as the biggest trading partner of the US among the other African countries. One-fifth of the oil produced here is exported to the US. The US is also the biggest investor in Nigeria. According to Citigroup, Nigeria will top in the world in average GDP growth between 2010 and 2050.