These countries have been ranked according to their Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
4 – Algeria (GDP of $272.5 billion)
The northern African nation of Algeria holds Africa’s fourth best performing economy, with the nation having a gross domestic product of $272.5 billion. The United Arab Emirates is currently the seventh richest country in the world, mostly because of its oil reserves which make up a third of its GDP. While Algeria is nowhere near as wealthy, the value of crude oil has done tremendously well for Algeria’s economy and gross domestic product. According to recent estimates, Algeria’s oil reserves hold an astounding 12 billion barrels of oil. In addition to this, Algeria has the tenth largest reserve of natural gas in the world. Cumulatively, these two make up more than 95 percent of Algeria’s total export revenues. Normally, an examination of an African nation’s economy wouldn’t be complete without some mention of the importance of agriculture. Interestingly though, this really isn’t the case with Algeria. While Algeria’s economy had been driven by agriculture before the 1960’s, the discovery of oil and natural gasses rendered agriculture to be less and less important over time.
3 – Egypt (GDP of $284.860 billion)
Egypt, which currently has a GDP of $284.860 billion. In order to somewhat understand how Egypt has become one of Africa’s richest nations, one must take a look at how political reforms and developments have restructured Egypt’s economy over time. Under former President Gamal Abdel Nasser, Egypt ran on import substitution, and later increased openness in order to attract foreign investment. In particular, Egypt thrived in tourism and manufacturing. In later years however, Egypt suffered a long period of political unrest and reform, which directly impacted the structure and performance of their economy. The events of the January 2011 revolution for example, a revolution that resulted in the ousting of then Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, drastically hurt all sectors of Egypt’s economy. Since then however, the economy has begun another period of growth.
2 – South Africa (GDP of $341.216 billion)
Although South Africa struggled along with the rest of the world through an economic recession, it has managed to stay as Africa’s second strongest economy with a GDP of $341.216 billion. The roots of South Africa’s strong economic performance are historically evident, as its economy has been very sound throughout past years. South Africa benefits greatly from having very strong economic policies that work well in conjunction with their impressively diverse economy. Mining, manufacturing, wholesale trade, and financial sectors all play a key role in contributing to South Africa’s GDP. Particular interest should be placed in South Africa’s mining industry, which is among the strongest in the world. Starting with the discovery of diamond in 1867, South Africa has since taken advantage of a multitude of their other available natural resources, including chrome, manganese platinum and vanadium, all of which it stands as the largest producer. Although economists have predicted the slowing of economic growth throughout recent years, South Africa is also said to be able to recover in the future should its performance remain strong.
1 – Nigeria (GDPof $594.257 billion)
The Nigerian economy, with a GDP of $594.257 billion, serves not only as Africa’s richest, but also the 21st largest economy in the world in terms of nominal GDP. . Nigeria also has the sixth largest farm output in the world, an impressive feat especially considering how their agricultural sector has been particularly affected by political mismanagement. While some of the other entries on this list seem to be headed in a direction of economic growth and development, it is of recent consensus that Nigeria is spiraling faster and harder into a period of economic crisis. The agricultural sector, for example, hasn’t been able to keep up with Nigeria’s population growth, thus resulting in the necessity on the reliance of food imports. In conjunction, with prices of oil declining, Nigeria is unable to sustain itself with its exportation of oil, especially considering it only covers roughly 3 percent of the world’s total supply of oil. Though still convincingly Africa’s richest country, Nigeria may not remain as strong of an economic powerhouse through years to come.