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Here are the 10 African Countries With the Largest Military Forces; 2018 Ranking

Ranking military forces around the world isn’t the easiest task there is, but Global Firepower, a website that details the military strength of up to 136 countries in the world has released a report that does just this.

Each military or troop excels in different environments but the Global Firepower tries to draw on more than 50 factors to get its rankings.

According to Global Firepower, some of the factors used for the ranking are the diversity of weapons, available manpower, logistical capacity, and industrial base.

The number of troops and available personnel a country can draw on is central components of its military power.

Reserve personnel are the men in the active reserve force who carry out same activities as active personnel but are reserved for when needed while Fit-for-service is the portion of a given population that is available to assist in a war effort. Reaching military age is the portion of the country’s population that reaches military age annually.

For Africa, here are the 10 largest militaries with the most active troops – units that would be the first to see combat:


Some of the factors used for the ranking are the diversity of weapons, available manpower, logistical capacity, and industrial base.

(The Nation)


Total population: 97,041,072

Manpower available: 42,000,000

Total military personnel: 1,329,250

Active personnel: 454,250

Reserve personnel: 875,000

Fit-for-service: 35,306,000

Reaching military age: 1,535,000


(Middle East Monitor)

Total population: 40,969,443

Manpower available: 20,400,000

Total military personnel: 792,350

Active personnel: 520,000

Reserve personnel: 272,350

Fit-for-service: 17,250,000

Reaching military age: 675,000

South Africa



Total population: 54,841,552

Manpower available: 26,000,000

Total military personnel: 94,050

Active personnel: 75,050

Reserve personnel: 16,000

Fit-for-service: 14,100,000

Reaching military age: 965,000


(The Guardian)


Total population: 190,632,261

Manpower available: 72,400,000

Total military personnel: 181,000

Active personnel: 124,0o0

Reserve personnel: 57,000

Fit-for-service: 40,710,000

Reaching military age: 3,456,000




Total population: 29,310,273

Manpower available: 6,030,000

Total military personnel: 175,500

Active personnel: 107,000

Reserve personnel: 68,500

Fit-for-service: 3,050,000

Reaching military age: 310,000




Total population: 105,350,020

Manpower available: 40,000,000

Total military personnel: 162,000

Active personnel: 162,000

Reserve personnel: 0

Fit-for-service: 24,800,000

Reaching military age: 1,950,000




Total population: 33,986,655

Manpower available: 17,000,000

Total military personnel: 372,000

Active personnel: 198,000

Reserve personnel: 175,000

Fit-for-service: 14,406,000

Reaching military age: 600,000


(Voice of People Today)


Total population: 37,345,935

Manpower available: 20,850,000

Total military personnel: 282,150

Active personnel: 177,150

Reserve personnel: 105,000

Fit-for-service: 13,320,000

Reaching military age: 1,045,000


(The National)


Total population: 6,653,210

Manpower available: 3,500,000

Total military personnel: 100,000

Active personnel: 35,000

Reserve personnel: 65,000

Fit-for-service: 3,000,000

Reaching military age: 117,000

DR Congo



Total population: 83,301,151

Manpower available: 16,000,000

Total military personnel: 144,625

Active personnel: 144,625

Reserve personnel: 0

Fit-for-service: 20,500,000

Reaching military age: 1,750,000


Written by How Africa

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