Society

The Richest Countries In Africa

Equatorial Guinea, Seychelles, and Mauritius all rank high on the list of African countries by GDP per capita.

Trade, agriculture, human resources, and industry are the major components of the African economy. As of 2012, Africa housed 1.07 billion people in the 54 countries of the continent. Though the country is rich in resources, the people of the country have been exploited for decades and are poverty stricken. It is expected that the African economy will reach a GDP of $29 trillion by 2050. However, it is also estimated that the disparity in income will deter the wealth distribution among the people of the continent. Currently, a number of African countries are among the poorest while others have some of the fastest growing economies in the world. Here we discuss the ten richest countries in Asia and the nature of their economies.

10. Namibia - $11,800

Windhoek, the capital city of Namibia.

Namibia can be found in Southern Africa. With a per capita GDP of $11,800, it is the tenth richest country in Africa. Mining, agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism all play large parts in the country's economy. The country is sparsely populated, with a population of around 2 million.

However, cost of living in Namibia remains relatively high. Many goods that are consumed within the country are imported, which contributes to their high costs. Furthermore, there is a monopoly over many commodities, which also further escalates this cost. The unemployment rate in Namibia is also high, at around 27.4%. The country today is characterized as an emerging economy.

9. Egypt - $12,100

The skyline of Cairo is seen here on the Nile River.

Egypt is a transcontinental country with territories stretching from Africa’s northeast corner to Asia’s southwest corner across the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt shares its borders with the Gaza Strip and Israel, the Red Sea, Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea, Sudan, and Libya. Cairo is the capital of the country. It ranks ninth on our list with a per capita GDP of $12,100.

The economy of Egypt depends on agriculture, tourism, natural gas, and petroleum imports, as well as revenues from the Suez Canal. A large number of Egyptians also work abroad. The remittances of these workers contribute to the wealth of the nation. Despite the abundant natural resources and nearness to the sea, overpopulation, desertification and decreasing water levels of the Nile are the major factors threatening the Egyptian economy. The infiltration of terrorist groups and internal rebellions also serve to damage the country’s economic stability.

8. South Africa - $13,500

Cape Town, South Africa.
South Africa, the southernmost country on the continent, is bordered by Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho, and Mozambique. The country has a mixed type of economy and has a relatively high GDP compared to other African countries. Despite this fact, South Africa has high rates of unemployment, poverty, and a wide gap between the rich and the poor. Nonetheless, it ranks eighth on the list with an average per capita income of $13,500.

South Africa is enlisted among the top 10 countries in the world for income inequality. The economic disparity among South Africa’s population is primarily a result of the apartheid regime in the country which ended in 1994. Gradual improvements in the country’s economy have occurred since then. Tourism is one of the biggest revenue generating industries in South Africa. Germany, US, Japan, and China are the biggest trade partners of South Africa outside of Africa.

7. Libya - $14,200

An aerial view of the city of Tripoli, Libya.

Libya is located in North Africa. It is the fourth largest country in Africa by land area. The population is around 6 million, and the per capita GDP is $14,200.

A country rich in oil reserves, Libya ranks as the 7th richest country in Africa by per capita GDP. Its oil reserves account for almost all of the country's exports, and make up the fast majority of the country's GDP as well. Libya is also rich in natural gas and gypsum. Libya is defined as being an "Upper Middle Income Economy" by the World Bank.

Like most entries on this list, the GDP of Libya is greatly due to its oil reserves and relatively small population. Per capita GDP does not take income inequality into consideration. Unemployment in Libya is high, and wavers around 21%.

6. Algeria - $15,000

Algiers, the capital city of Algeria.

Algeria, the largest country in Africa, is located in the Northern part of the continent. It is the 6th richest country in Africa with a GDP per capita of $15,000. The country has a population of over 40 million. Like many countries on this list, it is considered by the World Bank to be an upper middle country.

Traditionally, the state has played a large role in the economy of Algeria. However, in recent years, the economy has diversified. To date, unemployment rates remain high, especially among youth. The country's economy relies greatly on hydrocarbons (petroleum and natural gas).

5. Botswana - $16,900

The business district in Gaborone, Botswana.

Botswana is located in southern Africa. The country is known for its reputation as a stable democracy. It has a population of around 2.1 million, and a land area of around 224,610 square miles.

The economy of Botswana grew very quickly. It is considered to be a middle-income country. The country is also home to a highly sophisticated banking system and a low level of foreign debt. Metals and gemstones are important to the economy of Botswana, and include resources such as uranium, gold, diamonds, copper, and, to a lesser extent, gold.

4. Gabon - $19,300

Editorial credit: Anton_Ivanov / Shutterstock.com. Industry in Libreville, Gabon.

A Central African country, Gabon is located on the west African coast and is bordered by Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, and the Republic of the Congo. Libreville is the capital and biggest city of the country. It ranks fourth on this list with an average GDP of $19,300.

The economy of Gabon centers around oil. However, over recent decades, oil production in Gabon has been declining, with some experts predicting that it is soon to run out. The Gabonese government has been accused of overspending. Again, it is important to note that income inequality is not taken into consideration when per capita GDP is reported. A low population of 1,475,000 and a high amount of oil revenue explains Gabon's position on the list of richest countries. However, many of its residents continue to live in poverty.

3. Mauritius - $20,500

The boardwalk of Port Louis, the capital of Mauritius.

Mauritius is an island country located in the Indian Ocean off of the southeast coast of the African continent. Throughout its history, the country has been at times a Dutch colony, a French colony, and a British colony. It has been independent since 1968 and has a population of around 1.3 million. It is the third richest country in Africa with a GDP per capita of $20,500.

The economy of Mauritius is greatly centered around tourism. Although agriculture used to play an important role in the country's economy, its important has shrunken. The World Bank refers to Mauritius as an "upper middle income economy". It has been applauded for its free economy. Tourists are drawn to Mauritius for its pleasant climate, beautiful beaches, and warm ocean water.

2. Seychelles - $28,000

Victoria, the capital city of Seychelles.

Seychelles is also an island country found in the Indian Ocean. It is actually made up of around 115 small islands. With a population of only 92,000, it has the tiniest population of any country in Africa. It ranks as the second richest country of Africa, with a reported per capita GDP of $28,000.

Seychelles is characterized as a highly developed country. However, income inequality is also rampant. The country's economy is largely based on tourism, by an overwhelming margin. Fishing and the processing of natural resources such as coconut also play a part. Before tourists began to visit the country, plantations used to drive the economy of Seychelles. In recent decades, the government has tried to come up with initiatives of how they can reduce their dependence on tourism. Although it has been suspected that Seychelles may harbor offshore oil reserves, to this date none have been found.

1. Equatorial Guinea - $38,700

Editorial credit: alarico / Shutterstock.com. A view of the city of Bata, Equatorial Guinea.

Equatorial Guinea is a country located in Central Africa. It is relatively small, covering only around 10,830 square miles. The population measures at around 1,222,245. It is partly this low population that helps the GDP to remain relatively high. It comes in first place with a GDP per capita of $38,700.

Although this number may appear to be high, on the UN's Human Development Index, Equatorial Guinea ranks 136th. This is mostly due to the extreme income inequality that is found within the country. It is difficult to determine what exactly the median income for those living in Equatorial Guinea would be, as access to the country is still rather limited. Although the country's GDP is very high, it has been noted that many residents of Equatorial Guinea lack basic rights such as access to clean water.

The Richest Countries In Africa

RankCountry NameGDP Per Capita (International Dollar)
1Equatorial Guinea$38,700
2Seychelles$28,000
3Mauritius$20,500
4Gabon$19,300
5Botswana$16,900
6Algeria$15,000
7Libya$14,200
8South Africa$13,500
9Egypt$12,100
10Namibia$11,800
11Tunisia11,700
12Swaziland$9,800
13Morocco$8,400
14Angola$6,800
15Republic of the Congo$6,800
16Cape Verde$6,700
17Nigeria$5,900
18Sudan4,500
19Ghana$4,400
20Mauritania$4,400
21Zambia$3,900
22Côte d'Ivoire$3,600
23Djibouti$3,400
24Kenya$3,400
25Cameroon$3,300
26São Tomé and Príncipe$3,300
27Lesotho$3,100
28Tanzania$3,100
29Senegal$2,600
30Chad$2,600
31Mali$2,300
32Benin$2,200
33Uganda$2,100
34Rwanda$1,900
35Ethiopia$1,900
36Burkina Faso$1,800
37South Sudan$1,700
38Zimbabwe$1,700
39The Gambia$1,700
40Sierra Leone$1,700
41Guinea-Bissau$1,600
42Comoros$1,500
43Togo$1,500
44Madagascar$1,500
45Guinea$1,300
46Eritrea$1,300
47Mozambique$1,200
48Niger$1,100
49Malawi$1,100
50Liberia$900
51Burundi$800
52Democratic Republic of the Congo$800
53Central African Republic$700
54Somalia$400

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