Africa’s richest countries

While Africa is home to some of the world’s poorest nations, many of the countries on this continent are going quite well for themselves. While there are several ways to compare the wealth of a nation, one of the best ways to measure is by taking a look at the purchasing gross domestic product – or GDP – of a nation. This is the value of the goods and services that come from a nation for a period of one year. 


Here is the list of the richest countries in Africa from the wealthiest to the least. This ranking is purely based on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country:


GDP of Nigeria is 397.472 billion dollars.

Nigeria or the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Its capital is Abuja. Nigeria is currently the most highly populated country in Africa, with a population of more than 190 million inhabitants.

Nigeria is the richest country in Africa based on GDP in 2019.


GDP of South Africa is 376.679 billion dollars.

South Africa or the Republic of South Africa. Its administrative capital is Pretoria. Nelson Mandela, the former president, is synonymous with this country.

South Africa was the richest country in Africa based on GDP until Nigeria took over.


GDP of Egypt is 249.471 billion dollars.

The capital of the Arab Republic of Egypt is Cairo. Egypt impresses the world with its pyramids and mysterious stories. It was one of the great civilizations of the world.


GDP of Algeria is 188.342 billion dollars.

Algeria or People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria. Its capital is Algiers. Algeria has the tenth largest reserve of natural gas in the world and is the sixth largest gas exporter on the planet.


GDP of Morocco is 118.178 billion dollars.

Morocco, or the Kingdom of Morocco, is a constitutional monarchy. Rabat is the capital.


GDP of Angola is 114.504 billion dollars.

The capital of the Republic of Angola is Luanda. Oil and diamond mining is Angola’s main industries.


GDP of Kenya is 89.591 Billion dollars.

With a population of 49.73 million and an urbanization rate of 26.56%, Kenya is one of the wealthiest countries in East Africa and even the continent at large.

The capital of Kenya is Nairobi. Kenya gained its independence in 1963 from the British.

Over one-third of Kenya’s GDP is produced by agriculture. United States, Tanzania, and Uganda are the major export partners.


GDP of Ethiopia is 83.836 billion dollars.

Ethiopia, or the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Its capital is Addis Ababa. The city, Addis Ababa, is also the headquarters of the African Union.

The economy of the country is based on agriculture, with coffee being one of the most exported products.


GDP of Tanzania is 55.645 billion dollars.

Tanzania is the product of two sovereign states: Tanganyika and Zanzibar. Tanganyika gained independence on the 9th December 1961 whereas Zanzibar became independent on the 10th December 1963.

On 26th April 1964, Tanganyika and Zanzibar came together to form the United Republic of Tanzania.

Dar es Salaam is the main administrative and commercial city of Tanzania, but Dodoma is the official capital city. The currency is the Tanzanian Shilling (TZS).


GDP of Ghana is 51.815 billion dollars.

Ghana is located on the precious coast of the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa with a population of over 30 million. Ghana has long been the role model of significant economic growth with the export of cocoa, gold, and many resources.
The urbanization rate of 55.41% and trade balance of 1.19 billion US dollars among many other factors make Ghana one of the richest countries in Africa.


Using purchasing power parity – or PPP – helps reduce differences in the cost of living and exchange rates, providing more accurate results. Based on the nominal GDP at PPP, the richest nations in Africa are: 

  • Egypt
    Some of the country’s main exports include petroleum, insulated wire, video displays, and gold. The biggest non-petroleum based industries are tourism, textile production, food processing.
  • Nigeria
    Nigeria is Africa’s largest crude oil supplier. Not to mention the rich agricultural sector that’s responsible for 18% of the country’s GDP and almost a third of employment. Ranking first in Africa in terms of farm output, Nigeria’s main agricultural exports are cocoa, peanuts, rubber, and palm oil.
  • South Africa
    The highest performing industry to contribute to this growth was agriculture, followed by mining and manufacturing. A demand for manganese ore, chrome, iron ore, and anything used in the production of steel helped spur on this growth. Some of the country’s key exports include corn, diamonds, and fruit. Considering that South Africa is the world’s second-largest producer of gold, it should come as no surprise that this precious metal is also one of the country’s main exports.
  • Algeria
    Petroleum and natural gases are the country’s most important mineral resources, with the biggest exports being either mined or manufactured, while agriculture plays a comparatively minor role. However, examples of some of Algeria’s principle farm crops that are exported are wheat, oats, citrus fruit, olives, and dates.
  • Morocco
    The services sector accounts for just over half of GDP and industry a quarter, made up of mining, primarily phosphate rock mining, construction, and manufacturing. Tourism, telecoms and textile sector recorded the highest growth. Important exports excluding phosphates are electric components, inorganic chemicals, transistors, citrus fruits, vegetables, and fish.

However, another way to determine the richest nations in Africa is by looking at the nominal GDP per capita. This takes the total value of the goods and services produced by the nation and divides it by the population, giving an idea of the average income of each citizen. Based on this data, Seychelles is the richest country in Africa with a nominal GSP per capita of over $15,685. The second richest nation – and the only other nation in Africa with a GDP per capita of over $10,000 is Equatorial Guinea. Other rich nations based on this measurement include: 

The top 3 richest African countries by population, with the highest growing population of 200,963,599 is Nigeria which has a growth rate of 2.60%, following with Egypt at 100,388,073 with a 2% growth rate then South African ranks third with a population of 58,558,270 and a growth rate of 1,33%

Rabat, Morocco

World Population review: Richest African Countries
The Business Alert: IMF & World Bank Latest Data – 20 richest countries

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