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Which is the richest country in Africa in 2019?

Which is the richest country in Africa in 2019?

So, which is the richest country in Africa?

I know what you are thinking about. When I wrote about the strongest currency in the world, nobody expected to see the Kuwait Dinar take the top position.

As they say, do not judge a book by its cover and the number of wives a man takes never determines his strength.

We have seen KOT (Kenyans online) take on their Nigerian counterparts in a war that seems never to end.  As to what they are fighting for, no one seems to know for sure.

Nigeria sees itself as the big boy of the West Africa, Egypt of the North Africa, South Africa of the South and Kenya of East Africa.

However, are these countries even among the richest in Africa?

Let us explore to find which is the richest country in Africa.

20 Richest Countries in Africa by GDP( Which is the richest country in Africa by GDP)

We are going to consider this by looking at their GDP. For numbers do not lie.

However, what is GDP?

GDP (Gross Domestic Product) according to Wikipedia is a monetary measure of the market value of all the final goods and services produced in a specific time period, often annually.

GDP does not compare the differences in poverty levels and inflation. However, it is a good measure of comparing differences in living standards between nations.

Since GDP is a measure done annually, here are the top 20 richest countries according to 2019 estimates.

Have a look.

Rank Name 2019 Population( In Millions)   GDP(in Billions of US Dollars)
20 Zimbabwe 16.5 16.4
19 Senegal 16 24.2
18 Zambia 18 26.0
17 Uganda 43 28.0
16 Sudan 43 33.2
15 Cameroon 24 38.4
14 Tunisia 12 41.6
13 DRC 81 43.0
12 Libya 6.4 43.2
11 Cote d’ Ivoire 24.3 45.9
10 Ghana 28.8 51.8
09 Tanzania 57.3 55.6
08 Ethiopia 112.5 83.8
07 Kenya 53 89.6
06 Angola 32 114.5
05 Morocco 36.5 118.2
04 Algeria 41.3 188.3
03 Egypt 97.6 249.5
02 South Africa 58 376.5
01 Nigeria 201.8 397.5

You can already see the winner, but let us dig deeper.

20. Zimbabwe

At Position 20 is Zimbabwe is located in Southern Africa with an estimated population of 15 million people. The capital of Zimbabwe is Harare.

The economy of Zimbabwe is heavily dependent on agriculture and mining, though after years of mismanagement the country is struggling.

However, after the political changes we saw, things could be looking up.

GDP =19.367 billion dollars.

19. Senegal

Senegal is a country in West Africa and a stable economy in the region. Senegal gained independence from France in 1960 and is one of the French speaking nations in Africa.

It has a population of about 16 million people and has enjoyed an annual economic growth of over 6% in the last four years.

Its Capital is Dakar.

GDP =24.240 billion US dollars.

18. Zambia

Zambia is among the fastest-growing economies in the world powered by huge deposits of copper ores.  The Kwacha is its Currency and the capital city is Lusaka.

It is rated lower middle income with GDP per capita of 1,509.80 US dollars according to the World Bank. However, rural poverty and unemployment remain a significant problem in Zambia.

GDP =25.778 billion US dollars.

17. Uganda

Uganda is a landlocked country in East Africa that depends heavily on Agriculture to power its economy. However, oil deposits have been discovered along the border with DRC.

The economy of country in the recent past has slowed down which has reduced its effect on income and poverty reduction.

This has been as a result of unrest in its northern neighbor, South Sudan as well as adverse weather conditions among others.

The capital of Uganda is Kampala, and the currency is the Ugandan Shilling.

GDP = 27.855 billion US dollars.

16. Sudan

Sudan is country in North East Africa endowed with huge deposits of fossil fuels. It is one of the countries in Africa the Nile River passes through.

Powered by oil, its economy is heavily depended on the oil exports and related industries.

Its Capital is Khartoum.

GDP =33.249 billion US dollars.

15. Cameroon

Cameroon is a lower-middle-income country within the Congo Rain forest basin whose economy is driven by timber, agricultural products, minerals, oil and gas.

The population of Cameroon is over 24 million (a million of these are Nigerians!); it is the 15th richest country in Africa. Its Capital is Yaoundé.

GDP = 38.445 billion US dollars.

14. Tunisia

Tunisia, or the Tunisian Republic, is located in the extreme north of Africa bordering the Mediterranean Sea to the north.

The main drivers of the economy are exports, foreign investment, and tourism.

Its Capital if Tunis.

GDP = 41.662 billion dollars.

13. Democratic Republic Of Congo

It is often said that should you need any any minerals, then DRC is the place to be. Honestly speaking the DRC is a country endowed with wealth unimaginable.

The country is endowed with minerals (name any, you will find it there), large deposits of fossil fuels, a large tropical wilderness and a huge river flowing within its borders.  

With these resources, The DRC should be among the richest countries. However years of conflict has made this not possible.

According to the publication by African Business Magazine, the mineral wealth of Congo is estimated at 24 trillion US dollars. This is almost equivalent to the combined GDP of the United States of America and Europe.

However, for now its GDP is only 42.692 billion US dollars. Its Capital is Kinshasa

GDP = 42.692 billion US dollars.

12. Libya

Libya is a country in North Africa with huge oil deposits and the strongest currency in Africa. Libya’s energy sector is the primary driver of its economy, which generates approximately 95% of its revenues, 80% of GDP and 99% of government revenues.

It is among a few counties in Africa that are classified as upper middle economies.

 Its Capital is Tripoli

GDP = 43.236 billion dollars.

11. Cote D’Ivoire

Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) is a country in West Africa that is the largest exporter of Cocoa in the world. Besides Cocoa, the country exports Cashew nuts.

It is one of the most stable economies in the region. Its GDP is 45.875 billion US pounds.

Its capital is the Yamoussoukro.

GDP of Cote d’Ivoire is 45.875 billion dollars.

10. Ghana

Ghana is a country located in West Africa whose economy is depended on export of cocoa, gold, and many resources.

The country has had political stability for years, which has propelled its economic growth.

With an urbanization rate of 55.41% and trade balance of 1.19 billion US dollars among many other factors, Ghana is one of the richest countries in Africa.

Its Capital is Accra.

GDP = 51.815 billion US dollars.

9. Tanzania

Tanzania is a country in East Africa that is home to the Serengeti plans and one of the three countries that share the Lake Victoria. The country is heavily depended on Agriculture to fuel is economy.

However, huge deposits of natural gas have been discovered within the country. It is a very stable economy politically making it one of the top Safari destinations in Africa.

Its capital is Dodoma, while the commercial center is the city of Dar es salaam.

GDP = 55.645 billion US dollars.

8. Ethiopia

Ethiopia, or the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country in North East Africa.

The country has embarked on rapid modernization making it a darling with investors. Having never been colonized, it’s one of the richest in Africa.

The economy of Ethiopia is agriculture based, having the best coffee the world has ever know (By the way, coffee was discovered in Ethiopia).

 Its capital is Addis Ababa, which also serves as the headquarters the African Union (AU).

GDP = 83.836 billion US dollars.

7. Kenya

Which is the richest country in East Africa? Kenya it is.

The country is powered by sectors such as Agriculture, manufacturing (I hear they opened Africa’s largest Industrial park), tourism (home to the wildebeest migration) and now begun exporting crude oil. It is also a leader in technology.

The country is also said to contain the largest Geo thermal potential in the world and home to some of the world’s best Safari destinations.

The Capital is Nairobi.

GDP = 89.591 Billion US dollars.

6. Angola

Angola is one of the countries in Africa that is known to contain huge oil deposits. Besides fossil fuels, the country is rich in minerals such as diamond.

Years of civil unrest has dragged an otherwise rich nation backwards.

The capital of the Republic of Angola is Luanda.

GDP = 114.504 billion US dollars.

5. Morocco

Morocco, or otherwise called the Kingdom of Morocco, is a constitutional monarchy located in North Africa.

The economy of Morocco is depended on Agriculture, Tourism, Energy and Narcotics (The country grows Cannabis for the export market)

Rabat is the capital.

GDP = 118.178 billion US dollars.

4. Algeria

Algeria or People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria is another North African Country that is classified as an Upper Middle-income country by the World Bank.

The country is rich in hydrocarbons though sectors such as Tourism, Agriculture are also taking shape.

Algiers is the capital of Algeria.

GDP = 188.342 billion US dollars.

3. Egypt

The Arab Republic of Egypt or just Egypt is one of the oldest nations on earth and a very stable economy.

The country’s economy is depended on agriculture, petroleum products, tourism and manufacturing.

Its Capital is Cairo.

GDP = 249.471 billion US dollars.

2. Republic of South Africa

South Africa or the Republic of South Africa is a country rich in minerals, and is a top exporter of gold, silver, and diamond.

Besides mining, the country is also a top tourist destinations in Africa. It has a population of about 56 million people.

Its capital is Pretoria.

GDP = 376.679 billion US dollars.

1. Nigeria

So, which is the richest country in Africa? It is Nigeria.

We have a winner.

Nigeria or the Federal Republic of Nigeria is a country in West Africa endowed with huge hydrocarbon deposits.

Besides fossil fuels, the country is also depended on Nollywood, a film industry that is second only to Hollywood. The economy is also supported by manufacturing, agriculture and tourism. With a huge local market (Nigeria is currently the most highly populated country in Africa, with a population of more than 201.8 million inhabitants), the economy is consumer driven.

Even with this, large populations of Nigeria still languish in extreme poverty with wealth accumulated by a few.

The Capital of Nigeria is Abuja.

GDP = 397.472 billion dollars.


Now we know which is the richest country in Africa. Though Africa is often considered a dark continent, there is hope that with proper political will, countries such as the DRC could one day take on the economic heavy weights of economic world.

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