5 Countries with the Biggest and Smallest Military Budgets in Africa

Nigeria, Angola and South Africa are the three biggest spenders on the defense industry in Africa, according to World Bank data analysed by Business Insider SSA.

According to the data, the biggest spenders on the continent are also the three largest economies on the continent while The Cape Verde and The Gambia are the smallest spenders.

The World Bank compiled the data for armed forces personnel and military expenditures for countries across the globe.

African countries are spending a huge portion of their budgets on the military as Boko Haram terrorists hold part of West Africa and al-Shabaab, a jihadist fundamentalist group based in East Africa.

Corroborating the report, Vanguard Newspaper reported last year that Nigeria government spent N6 trillion ($16.48 billion) on defense over the past decade.


In 2019, Nigeria’s parliament increased the 2019 budget to N8.91 trillion ($29 billion) from N8.83 trillion ($24.4 billion). This was done to accommodate more funds to boost the country’s expenditure on security to combat rising militancy and kidnapping.

Using data from The World Bank, Business Insider SSA reviews the biggest and smallest spenders in military expenditures across Sub-Saharan Africa:

Countries with the biggest Military budgets in Africa (2018)

  • Nigeria $2.04 billion
  • Angola 1.98 billion
  • South Africa $3.63 billion
  • Kenya 1.097 billion
  • Bulgaria 1.09 billion.

Countries with smallest Military budgets in Africa (2018)

  • Cape Verde $10 million
  • The Gambia $11 million
  • Seychelles $22 million
  • Sierra Leone $29 million
  • Central African Rep $30 million.

Written by How Africa

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