These are the 7 Most Powerful African Countries on Earth Right Now

EgyptSouth Africa and Nigeria listed among 80 most powerful countries on Earth, according to US News and World Report’s 2019 power ranking.

Other African countries on the list include Angola, Ghana, Tunisia and Tanzania.

The report looks at a country’s political and financial influences, as well as its international and alliances, the strength of its military and how it acts as an international leader.

The United States is the most powerful country on earth followed by Russia, China, and Germany. Other countries on the top 10 according to the rating, includes the UK, France, Japan, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea.

These are the 7 most powerful African countries on earth, according to this year’s rankings

1. Egypt

  • World Power Rankings: 29
  • Africa Power Rankings: 1
  • #25 out of 80 in 2018

Egypt militaryEgypt military

Egypt, with vast swaths of desert in its east and west and the rich Nile River Valley at its heart, is site to one of the world’s earliest and greatest civilisations. Its location at the northeast corner of Africa bordering the Mediterranean Sea has made it a cultural and trading centre. But its location has also made it a prize to claim by empires and put it at the centre of social and religious movements

  • GDP: $235.4 billion
  • POPULATION: 97.6 million
  • GDP PER CAPITA, PPP $12,698

2. South Africa

  • World Power Rankings: 31
  • Africa Power Rankings: 2
  • #28 out of 80 in 2018

South Africa soldiers (The South African)South Africa soldiers (The South African)

The South African

South Africa is located on the southern tip of Africa, with coastlines on both the Atlantic and Indian oceans. Africa’s third-largest economy behind Nigeria and Egypt, South Africa draws hundreds of thousands of visitors each year eager to see its impressive terrain, wildlife and cultural diversity. Although South Africa has come a long way since the end of apartheid in 1994, it remains a country of vast inequality and high crime. While the country is dotted with world-class dining, trendy shops, sprawling vineyards and upscale safari lodges, townships lacking basic infrastructure are often only a short distance away

  • GDP: $349.4 billion
  • POPULATION: 56.7 million
  • GDP PER CAPITA, PPP: $13,573

3. Nigeria

  • World Power Rankings: 46
  • Africa Power Rankings: 3
  • #44 out of 80 in 2018

Nigerian armyNigerian army

Nigeria claimed its independence from the United Kingdom in 1960, becoming the most populous country in Africa. The Niger River connects Nigeria to its West African neighbours along the Gulf of Guinea, and empties into the Niger Delta, a hotbed for the oil trade. Before moving to the centrally located city of Abuja, Nigeria’s capital was Lagos, a port city by the Niger Delta. Lagos maintains the heaviest concentration of Nigeria’s population and is one of the fastest growing cities in the world.

  • GDP: $375.8 billion
  • POPULATION: 190.9 million
  • GDP PER CAPITA, PPP: $5,941

4. Angola

  • World Power Rankings: 56
  • Africa Power Rankings: 4
  • #57 out of 80 in 2018

Angolan troops practice room-clearing maneuvers Angolan troops practice room-clearing maneuvers

Medium/Angola Army

The Republic of Angola is an oil-rich nation in southern Africa, bordered by Namibia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo along the Atlantic Ocean. It’s shimmering shores rise to a high plateau with both desert and rainforest terrain. Originally colonised by Portugal in the 16th century, the Portuguese withdrew from Angola in 1975, and the newly independent nation was thrown into a decades-long civil war between rival independence movements. The nation’s people and economy are still recovering from the conflict that killed thousands and displaced millions before peace was reached in 2002.

  • GDP: $124.2 billion
  • POPULATION: 29.8 million
  • GDP PER CAPITA, PPP: $6,835

5. Ghana

  • World Power Rankings: 57
  • Africa Power Rankings: 5
  • #63 out of 80 in 2018

Ghana armyGhana army

The former Gold Coast, named for its rich deposits of the precious metal, became the Republic of Ghana in 1957 when it gained independence from British colonial rule. An ancient trade route once ran through west Africa, crossing through Ghana and neighbors Togo and Cote d’Ivoire. The discovery of gold made Ghana one of the first places in sub-Saharan Africa to attract European traders; it was also the first nation in the region to break colonial rule.

  • GDP: $47.3 billion
  • POPULATION: 28.8 million
  • GDP PER CAPITA, PPP: $4,740

6. Tanzania

  • World Power Rankings: 59
  • Africa Power Rankings: 6
  • #62 out of 80 in 2018

Soldiers attend the parade in the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar (Alamy stock photo)Soldiers attend the parade in the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar (Alamy stock photo)


Tanzania is an East African country home to the continent’s highest mountain – Kilimanjaro – and the world’s second-deepest lake, Lake Tanganyika. It also includes the Zanzibar Archipelago, several islands – sometimes called the “spice islands” – in the Indian Ocean.

GDP: $52.1 billion

POPULATION: 57.3 million


7. Tunisia

  • World Power Rankings: 63
  • Africa Power Rankings: 7
  • #66 out of 80 in 2018

Tunisian soldiers on a patrol (Guardian Nigeria)Tunisian soldiers on a patrol (Guardian Nigeria)

Tunisia is a small Arab country in North Africa that represents both the aspirations of freedom and struggles against terrorism that roil the region.

  • GDP: $40.3 billion
  • POPULATION: 11.5 million
  • GDP PER CAPITA, PPP: $11,936

The US News and World Report’s “2019 Best Countries” ranking is in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania. The report surveyed more than 20,000 people on their opinions of 80 countries.


Written by How Africa

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