Africa’s Five Largest Economies

October 3, 2018

Africa economy coins

In recent years, Africa has been listed as the world's poorest inhabited continent. But by relying on modern economic reforms and its four major economic sectors (trade, agriculture, human resources, and industry), Africa has recently enjoyed significant growth. An uptick in sales of commodities, services, and manufacturing has helped the African economy rebound.

In this article we’ll examine five of the countries responsible for Africa’s slowly improving economy.

The ranking is based on each countries’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP), a statistic that specifies the value of all the final goods and services produce within a country in a given year.

Here’s a list of the top five countries in Africa, based on their GDPs (in Billions of International dollars):

5. Morocco

At 314 billion Int$, Morocco’s GDP makes it the fifth healthiest economy in Africa. Moroco’s services sector comprises over half of its GDP, while industry (mining, construction and manufacturing) accounts for a quarter.

The fastest growing industries in Morocco are tourism, telecom, information technology, and textiles.

4. Algeria

Africa’s fourth largest GDP, 666 billion Int$, belongs to Algeria. Recently, the Algerian economy has been expanding due to a recovering oil and gas sector.

Diversifying the economy with non-oil sector opportunities is a primary goal, but that will require creating more jobs for young people and improving a dismal housing situation that affects much of the country.

3. South Africa

One of most industrialized countries on the continent, South Africa boasts the third largest GDP at 794 billion Int$.

Named by the World Bank as one of only four African upper-middle-income economies, South Africa is nevertheless saddled with a high rate of poverty and unemployment.

The top three categories of exports from South Africa are mineral products, precious metals, and vehicles and aircraft vessels. South Africa is also popular with tourists, sustaining a tourism industry that accounts for a substantial amount of the country’s revenue.

2. Nigeria

Runner up in the ranking of African economies is Nigeria, with a GDP of 1,168 billion Int$. Currently maintaining a middle-income economy, Nigeria is expanding its role in several key sectors, including manufacturing, financial, communications, and technology.

Its manufacturing sector, in particular, has soared in recent years, becoming the largest in Africa in 2013.

1. Egypt

Taking steps to reduce excessive governmental control in the 1990s helped Egypt’s economy become Africa’s most robust, with a GDP of 1,292 billion Int$. A revitalized approach to structural reforms has helped Egypt become a more market-oriented economy, which in turn has created new interest from foreign investors.

However, the Egyptian government has not paid attention to wealth inequality, so the up-side of national economic improvement has not enhanced the standard of living for the general population, who are still suffering with unemployment and underemployment.