Africa Business

Top 10 richest countries in Africa

Africa is on the verge of being the largest and richest market in The world as the continent swims into the top richest countries in the world.


Having in it some of the top 20 richest countries of the world and some of its countries in the top 10 oil producing nations in the world, Africa is in no doubt moving on the path of becoming a global market destination. But then, lest take a look at the continents top 10 richest countries and what makes them stand out among the rest.

10. Ghana

GDP: $82.65 Billion
Foreign Exchange Reserve: $8, 113 Million
Ghana’s growing economy is largely achieved through years of sound management, positively competitive business environment, and sustained reductions in poverty levels. Ghana’s economy is built on a diverse and rich resource base, not only relying on natural resources (Gold, cocoa, timber, bauxite and more recently, crude oil) which it has in abundance but on other sectors like services which accounts for 50% of GDP.


9. Tunisia

TunisiaGDP: $104 Billion
Foreign Exchange Reserve: $7, 198 Million
The Tunisian economy is diverse and market-oriented with significant foundation in mining, manufacturing and tourism. The latest 2012 figures for Tunisia’s GDP stands at $104.4 billion coming from a growth rate of 2.7%. Agriculture contributes 8.9% while industry and services contribute both 29.6% and 61.5% respectively.

8. Ethiopia

GDP: $109 Billion
Foreign Exchange Reserve: $3, 382 Million
Ethiopia is among the non-oil producing African countries with the fastest growing economies and has managed to sustain a high single digit annual growth rate since 2004and is estimated to expand by 11.3 per cent in the 2012/13 budget year. Agriculture contributes to almost half of Ethiopia’s GDP and offers about 85% of all employments in the country. Ethiopia’s GDP stands at $103.1 billion as at 2012. The government has invested in ways to privatize and restructure her policies which is beginning to attract foreign investments in the country.

7. Sudan

GDP: $112.552 Billion
Foreign Exchange Reserve: $202 Million
More than once, we have mentioned oil and gas as the main source of income for countries on this list. Sudan also falls into that category but in a more diverse way. It depends on oil but with a third of its GDP contributed by agriculture. Cotton and peanuts constitute its major agricultural exports. You may not notice a “Made in Sudan” tag on the shirt you buy in Khartoum but cotton from Sudan has fueled the textile industry in many parts of the world.

6. Angola

GDP: $123.1 Billion
Foreign Exchange Reserve: $37, 940 Million
Angola is sixth among the richest countries in Africa with a GDP of $123.1 billion. The country enjoys an extensive reserve of oil and gas resources, hydroelectric power, diamonds, and rich agricultural land but still remains a fairly weak economy. Part of the reason is not far from poor management of resources and extreme corruption. According to Transparency International, Angola is rated Angola among the 10 most corrupt countries in Africa and 157 out of 174 countries rated. Being the second largest producer of crude oil in Africa following Nigeria, oil production contributes a very large percentage of foreign exchange.

5. Morocco

GDP: $168.9 Billion
Foreign Exchange Reserve: #19, 160 Million
Morocco’s GDP (PPP) stands at $168.9 billion, making it the 5th among the richest countries in Africa. Morocco is largely dependent on agriculture and its proximity to the Europe is part of what is influencing Morocco’s market and economy which it has capitalized on to build a diverse, open market-oriented economy. Apart from phosphorus for which the country is the world’s third-largest producer, there are also revenues coming from tourism, textiles, apparel and overall, Morocco is the second richest non oil-producing country in Africa after Egypt.

4. Algeria

GDP: $272.5 Billion
Foreign Exchange Reserve: $192, 500 Million
YLocated in northern Africa, Algeria is the 4th largest economy among the wealthiest African countries with the most recent GDP figure standing at $272.5 billion. Algeria is a country where the government practically exerts a lot of control on most infrastructures. Crude oil contributes the most revenues and foreign currency for Algeria accounting for some 60% of budget revenues, up to 30% of GDP, and more than 95% of export earnings.

3. Nigeria


GDP: $521. 8 Billion
Foreign Exchange Reserve: $32, 386 Million
Nigeriais third among the richest countries of Africa with the most recent GDP figures standing at $444.3 billion. The 160-million people Nigerian market is seen as one of Africa’s largest market but this is more of a consumer market that practically buys more than it sells. Crude oil accounts for more than85% of all foreign exchange and revenue generation by the giant country hence, is tied to fluctuations in the price of crude. The government has not made strong effort to diversify the economy to some other sectors like services and industries.

2. Egypt

GDP: $534.1 Billion
Foreign Exchange Reserve: $14, 877 Million
Egypt has enjoyed quite a stable economy and continuous growth since the past quarter-century averaging 4%–5% however, the lack of transparency and freedom has not allowed growth to get to the expected levels. There is still no doubt that Egypt is among the richest countries in Africa with a well-developed energy sector that is based on coal, oil, natural gas, and hydro power.

1. South Africa

South Africa
GDP: $576.1 Billion
Foreign Exchange Reserve: $47, 190 Million
South Africa is the richest country in Africa and one of the fastest developing nation in the world. It is endowed with lots of natural resources including gold, diamond, platinum to name a few. It is classified as a middle emerging market and unlike most other countries in Africa that depends on a single source for revenue, South Africa is diversified. The country’s stock exchange is rated the 18th Largest in the world.

SOURCE: The Bloomgist


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