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Top 20 Largest Economies In Africa 2018; Africa’s Biggest Economies So Far

Africa is an impressive continent that houses a number of countries. It is the home of the black race as well as the second most populous continent across the globe. Africa’s entire land mass stretches across 30.2 million square kilometres and this makes it the second largest continent in the world – Top 20 Largest Economies In Africa 2018 | African Biggest Economy.

In terms of population, Nigeria is Africa’s leading country and this gives it the enviable title “The Giant of Africa’’. However, Algeria occupies the largest land mass and this distinguishes it as the largest country both in North Africa and the entire African continent.

In previous times, South Africa had the highest GDP level and this made it the largest African economy. However, in 2014, Nigeria’s volume of national production increased massively. This boosted the country’s GDP and gave it the influence to overtake South Africa and become the number one country with the African biggest economy. In that case, this very article presents you the Top 20 Largest Economies in Africa for 2018.

Top 20 Largest Economies In Africa 2018 | African Biggest Economy

  • 1. Nigeria

    • GDP: $594.257 Billion

Nigeria is one of the most influential countries not only in West Africa but across the entire African continent. With respect to its massive economic growth, Nigeria happens to be the country with the largest economy in Africa by GDP 2018. Although its economic development has not really proved stable, Nigeria continually maintains an increasing level of economic growth. In terms of population and economic growth, Nigeria has remained Africa’s leading country year after year.

In Nigeria, the practice of mixed economy paves the way for economic contributions from both public and private sectors. Besides that, Nigeria has a remarkable record in terms of stock exchange and this gives the country the second spot among Africa’s largest stock exchange markets. For a period of 20 years (from 1990 to 2010), Nigeria established a new base level for its Gross Domestic Product and consequently, the country achieved a massive increase of 89 percent in economic growth. Currently, Nigeria has the largest African economy and is expected to keep its economic growth at a fast-rising pace in coming years. Based on GDP statistics, Nigeria is currently associated with the total GDP of $594.257 billion resulting from the enormous volume of national production.

Nigeria’s soaring economy is mainly favoured by the country’s vast deposit of natural endowments such as crude oil. Undoubtedly, Nigeria is one of Africa’s biggest suppliers of crude oil and by reason of this, earnings from petroleum make up the largest portion of Nigeria’s economy. Although revenues are generated from the various other key sectors such as manufacturing and agriculture, the petroleum sector remains the mainstay of Nigeria’s vibrant economic system.

  • 2. South Africa

    • GDP: $341.216 billion

Just behind Nigeria, South Africa is the second African biggest economy. In many aspects of development, South Africa has attained some impressive feats and these make it one of the most powerful African countries.

In previous times, South Africa had a better economic growth than Nigeria but due to the quick pace at which Nigeria increased in national production, South Africa was eventually withdrawn from the topmost position.

Although Nigeria maintains Africa’s largest economy, many economic critics have argued that South Africa is Africa’s best economy with regard to its favourable economic development. As an economic yardstick, per capita income is adopted in measuring economic development. Meanwhile, a favourable per capita income is an indication that there is a sustainable level of economic development.

In recent moments, the unfavourable rate of the world’s economic growth has had a negative effect on the development of South Africa. Currently, unemployment is one of the toughest setbacks encountered by South Africa. Based on estimates, over 20 percent of the country’s population is affected by the predominance of unemployment. In 2012, South recorded a total of 2.5 percent increase in its growth rate while in the subsequent year (2013), the country’s growth only saw a 1.9 percent increase. Meanwhile, South Africa’s GDP is currently estimated at $341.216 billion.

  • 3. Egypt

    • GDP: $275.748 Billion

Egypt maintains the largest economy in North Africa –an African region dominated by Arabs –but across the entire African continent, the country sits in the third position of largest economies. In 2013, Mohammed Morsi was ousted from the presidential seat and since this period, Egypt has remained in political instability. The Egyptian economy has not been favoured by any considerable increase. For over 2 fiscal periods (2011-12 and 2012-13), Egypt maintained only a 2% increase in economic growth. Egypt maintains a diversified economic system and across the Middle East, the country is considered one of the biggest economies. At the moment, Egypt’s overall GDP of $275.748 billion makes it the third largest economy in Africa.

Over the years, the Egyptian GDP has received massive contributions from the key sectors such as industry, tourism, services, and agriculture. Regarded as one of the major contributors to the GDP growth, tourism is obviously one of the beautiful Egyptian features which attract global interest. There are a significant number of tourist attractions in Egypt and some of these portray ancient architectural designs.

  • 4. Algeria

    • GDP: $219.453 billion

In terms of land mass, Algeria is the largest African country and in global ranking, the North African country maintains the tenth largest territory. In 2013, Algeria was estimated to have maintained a fair increase of 3 percent in its economic growth. Meanwhile, this economic improvement resulted from the impact of the country’s political stability. The Algerian economy was favoured by a number of factors including private demand and high level of public investment. At the moment, the economy of Algeria is associated with the entire GDP of $219.453 billion.

  • 5. Angola

    • GDP: $129.785 billion

Angola is the second-biggest supplier of oil in Africa. For this reason, the oil sector forms one of the major contributors to the GDP of Angola. Angola’s economy was estimated to reach a 7.1 percent increase but in 2013, the country’s GDP was marked by a 5.1 percent increase. Some of the key sectors which brought about this economic growth were manufacturing, agriculture, construction, fisheries and non-oil energy. Currently, Angola’s GDP is valued at $129.785 billion, this places it fifth among the countries with the largest economies in Africa 2018.

  • 6. Morocco

    • GDP $114.7 Billion

Morocco is one of the industrialized countries in North Africa. In 2012, the country’s economic growth was marked by a 2.7 percent increase. However in the subsequent year (2013), Morocco advanced beyond this mark with a 4.7 percent increase in GDP. As it stands, Morocco’s GDP is estimated at $114.7 billion.

  • 7. Libya

    • GDP: $67.622 billion

Previously, Libya had a favourable economic growth but due to the negative influence of the 2011 military intervention (spearheaded by NATO) alongside civil war, the country’s economy started encountering setbacks. In 2013, a report obtained from the country’s Ministry of Economy implied that oil blockades drove the Libyan economy into a rapid GDP fall. Regarded as one of Africa’s vibrant producers of oil, Libya generates the largest portion of its revenue from oil. Besides that, the oil sector is considered the highest contributor to the Libyan economy as it makes up 80% of the country’s GDP. As it stands, Libya’s GDP is estimated at $67, 622 billion, this place Libya seventh among African biggest economy 2018.

  • 8. Sudan

    • GDP: $63 billion

In 2013, Sudan saw a 3.6 percent increase in its real GDP level and this resulted from the favourable impact of two of the country’s major sectors. In addition to the contributions from these two sectors –being agriculture and mining –Sudan was favoured by Transitional Financial Arrangement (a financial relationship with South Sudan) and the economic returns generated from oil transit fees. Currently, Sudan’s GDP is estimated at $63 billion.

  • 9. Kenya

    • GDP: $56.3 Billion

In 2011, Kenya was affected by a period of slowdown and this had some negative impact on its economy. However, the government strove hard to restore its economic strength and consequently in 2013, Kenya experienced the growth rates of 5.2% increase, 4.3% increase and 4.6% increase for the first, second and third quarters respectively.

Meanwhile, Kenya was able to recover its economic strength through the vibrant activities in construction, tourism, agriculture and financial intermediation. At the moment, Kenya’s GDP is estimated at $56.3 billion. This place Kenya ninth among the countries with the largest economies in Africa 2018.

  • 10. Ethiopia

    • GDP: $51 Billion

Ethiopia is one of the most influential African countries particularly in terms of military, history, and politics. Over the past ten years, Ethiopia has been marked by a considerable growth level. The most significant point of this was the 2012/13 fiscal year during which the country’s GDP had a 9.7 percent growth rate. Currently, Ethiopia’s GDP is estimated at $51 billion.

  • 11. Ghana

    • GDP: $50 Billion

Ghana is obviously an influential West African country. For about six years, Ghana kept a moderate GDP growth estimated at 6 percent. In 2012, Ghana advanced beyond the long-standing 6% by extending its growth rate to 9.7 percent. However, in the subsequent year (2013), the country’s growth rate was greatly reduced to 4.4 percent. As it stands, Ghana’s overall GDP is estimated at $50 billion. This placed it 11th among the largest economies in Africa 2017.

  • 12. Tunisia

    • GDP: $45.611 billion

As a North African country, Tunisia is regarded as one of Africa’s Arab nations. In 2012, Tunisia recorded a growth rate of 3.7%. However, in the subsequent year (2013), the country’s growth rate decreased to 2.6% as against the total of 4.5 percent predicted for it. Tunisia’s economic decline resulted from a number of factors including the stagnant euro zone, weak social context, and political impasse. At the moment, Tunisia’s GDP is worth $45.611 billion.

  • 13. Tanzania

    • GDP: $36.6 Billion

Tanzania is one of the vibrant East African countries. Its economy has been favoured by a moderate growth rate of 7%. Meanwhile, the country’s economy is vigorously supported by a number of vibrant sectors including manufacturing, communications, construction, agriculture, transport, and intermediation. Based on the forecast, Tanzania’s growth rate will be greatly favoured by infrastructural investments. As it stands, Tanzania’s GDP hovers around $36.6 billion. Meaning Tanzania sit at the thirteenth position among African Biggest economy countries.

  • 14. The Democratic Republic of Congo

    • $30.8 Billion

In 2012, Democratic Republic of Congo was marked by a growth rate of 7.2 percent year. In the following year (2013), the country’s growth rate was driven to 8.1% due to vibrant contributions from key sectors such as construction, agriculture, trade and mining. Significantly, the mining sector is the major factor behind the improvement in DR Congo’s GDP growth. Currently, the country’s GDP stands at $30.8 billion.

  • 15. Ivory Coast

    • GDP: $32 billion

As a result of the significant infrastructural projects, Ivory Coast saw an 8.8 percent growth rate in 2013. Meanwhile, the country’s economy is driven by some of the key sectors. Based on forecast, the growth rate of Ivory Coast is likely to stand at 9% due to the country’s economic futures which are considered bright and auspicious. Currently, the overall GDP of Ivory Coast stands at $32 billion.

  • 16. Cameroon

    • GDP: $30 Billion

Cameroon has been undergoing some security and political unrest. Due to this, Cameroon is one of the countries greatly affected by poverty. However, in recent moments, the improvement in economic growth has alleviated the incidence of poverty. In 2013, Cameroon experienced a significant GDP growth of 47.8 percent and this was due to the vibrant contributions from the tertiary sector. As it stands, Cameroon is declared with the GDP of $30 billion, making them number 16th position on the list of largest economies in Africa 2018.

  • 17. Uganda

    • GDP: $23.053 Billion

In the fiscal year 2009/10, Uganda was declared with the poverty rate of 24.5% but for the fiscal year of 2012/13, this reduced to 22.2%. In that same period, the GDP growth was estimated at 5.2 percent. Apparently, this signifies that Uganda is on a remarkable path to stabilize its economy and alleviate the incidence of poverty. Also, it has been predicted that this improvement could help Uganda in attaining its poverty alleviation plan through Millennium Development Goals. Currently, Uganda’s GDP is valued at $23.053 billion.

  • 18. Zambia

    • GDP: $22.416 Billion

The volume of Zambia’s agricultural produce was hit by a great decline and this forced a 6.5 percent reduction into the country’s real GDP in 2013. Alongside copper –which accounts for 70% of Zambia’s revenue from exports –agriculture is a key sector for the Zambian government to generate revenue. As it stands, Zambia’s GDP is estimated at $22.416 Billion. Eighteenth position on the list of Largest Economies in Africa.

  • 19. Gabon

    • $20.664 billion

In 2013, Gabon was favoured by a slight improvement which brought about a 5.5 percent increase in the GDP growth. Likewise, the country has achieved some stability in its macroeconomic sector and this largely resulted from private investment, its membership within the franc zone, earnings from mining, increased oil prices, earnings from forestry and vibrant investment by the Gabonese government. At the moment, Gabon’s GDP stands at $20.664 billion.

  • 20. Equatorial Guinea

In 2013, Equitorial Guinea was hit by economic recession and this resulted from the decline in oil and gas production coupled with the reduction in oil revenue. In 2012, Equatorial Guinea had a favourable GDP growth of 5.3 percent but for the fact that the country’s economy is majorly carried by the oil and gas sector, Equatorial Guinea was driven backwards with an unfavourable economic growth of -1.4% Unfortunately, expert economic forecasts imply that Equatorial Guinea will still experience negative GDP growths in coming years.


Written by How Africa

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