For a long time, Africa has been portrayed as a poor and insecure continent only surviving on international donations. And while the continent is not on the same level of economic development as Europe, America, and Asia, it is definitely not as destitute as it is made to appear.
Numerous African countries are making significant strides toward acquiring middle income status, thus making the African success story a reality. Here are the top five countries that represent Africa’s real success.
Despite having undergone one of the worst genocides in world history in 1994, Rwanda is quickly putting its tainted past behind and emerging as a regional powerhouse.
Slightly more than two decades after the deadly civil war, which left close to 1 million people dead, Rwanda has managed to rebuild its economy, with the World Bank choosing to name it as its top reformer for business in 2010.
Since 2001, Rwanda’s economic growth is estimated to be hitting an average of 8 percent per year. It heavily relies on three main economic sectors: the export of agricultural products, tourism, and foreign aid, which makes up less than 20 percent of its gross annual income.
Despite claims of authoritarian rule by President Paul Kagame’s detractors, Rwanda appears on its way to economic freedom.
In 2014, a study done by Legatum Institute ranked Botswana as the top most prosperous country in Africa, ahead of the continent’s economic giants Nigeria and South Africa.
It is estimated that more than 70 percent of the population in Botswana is satisfied with the steps taken by their government to address poverty.
This is a huge percentage compared to other African countries where only less than 50 percent of the people are satisfied.
The diamond-rich country also scores highly in areas, such as governance, education, health, and entrepreneurship.
It is estimated that 8 percent of Botswana’s GDP is spent on Education. In fact, the World Bank has listed the country among the biggest proportional spenders in the world. The country’s economic mainstay is mining, particularly diamonds, which account for more than one-third of its GDP.
3. South Africa
Compared with other evolving African economies, South Africa is a perfect example of Africa’s success story based on what it has managed to achieve over the last two decades.
Despite the periodic xenophobic attacks, racism, and corruption cases, South Africa has maintained a steady economic growth of about 3.2 percent since its independence in 1994, and the number of employed has grown by 60 percent between 1994 and 2013.
Since 2000, the government of South Africa has placed a lot of emphasis on creating an infrastructure that includes major ports, railroads, dams, roads, and power stations. This investment has served as a major economic driver as it has provided jobs and ease of doing business.
As a major oil exporter, Algeria has continued to record steady economic growth, with oil and gas making up more than 97 percent of its total exports. Excluding hydrocarbons, Algeria’s economic growth is estimated to be 5.8 percent.
Since the last Arab Spring, which started in 2010 and ended in 2012, Algeria has played an important role in stabilizing the North African and Sahel regions, and its extensive wealth has made it a regional powerhouse.
More than 10 years after its deadly civil war, Algeria has enjoyed relative peace, even as the health of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who was re-elected in May, remains a mystery.
Mauritius, an island nation in the Indian Ocean, is home to numerous superb beaches, lagoons, and reefs, which attract thousands of tourists and investors every year.
The country has spent the last one and a half decades building a wide-ranging economy, strong political system, and social welfare net, serving as an example to other mainland African countries.
Mauritius’s GDP is estimated to have grown by more than 5 percent over the last three decades, despite its lack of exploitable natural resources. Studies also show that a large number of Mauritians are enjoying increased per capita income of more than $6,700 a day.
While other African countries are struggling to offer reliable health care to their citizens, Mauritius offers public healthcare services for free, with its current annual public health spending totaling to about $222 per capita.