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. All figures are from the 2017 International Monetary Fund data. Currently, Equatorial Guinea is the richest country in Africa, with a per capita income of $34,865.

10. Namibia - $11,528

Namibia can be found in Southern Africa. With a per capita GDP of $11,528, 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. Tunisia - $11,987

Tunisia is a country found in north Africa. Much of Tunisia's economy has longtime been dependent on industries such as oil, tourism, and automobile parts. The 1970s saw a period of unstructured growth for the economy of the country. Today, the per capita income in Tunisia is $11,987, Africa's 9th highest.

8. Egypt - $12,994

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 $12,994.

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.

7. South Africa - $13,403

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 $13,403.

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.

6. Algeria - $15,000

Algeria, the largest country in Africa by land area, 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 - $18,146

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 foregn 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 - $19,266

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 $19,266.

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 - $21,628

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 $21,628.

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 - $28,172

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 $28,172.

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 - $34,865

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 $34,865.

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.

African Countries by GDP

RankCountryGDP Per Capita (International Dollar)
1Equatorial Guinea34,865
2Seychelles28,712
3Mauritius 21,628
4Gabon19,266
5Botswana18,146
6Algeria 15,150
7South Africa13,403
8Egypt12,994
9Tunisia11,987
10Namibia11,528
11Swaziland9,882
12Libya9,792
13Morocco8,612
14Cape Verde6,942
15Angola6,813
16Republic of the Congo6,707
17Nigeria5,927
18Ghana4,605
19Sudan4,580
20Mauritania4,474
21Zambia3,997
22Lesotho3,869
23Cote d'Ivoire3,857
24Djibouti3,567
25Kenya3,496
26Cameroon3,359
27Tanzania3,283
28Sao Tome and Principe 3,208
29Senegal2,678
30Chad2,433
31Uganada2,352
32Zimbabwe2,277
33Benin2,219
34Mali2,169
35Ethiopia2,113
36Guinea2,039
37Rwanda2,018
38Burkina Faso1,884
39Guinea-Bissau1,806
40Sierra Leone1,791
41The Gambia1,686
42Togo1,612
43Comoros1,560
44Madagascar1,554
45South Sudan1,503
46Eritrea1,434
47Mozambique1,266
48Malawi1,172
49Niger1,153
50Liberia867
51Burundi808
52Democratic Republic of the Congo785
53Central African Republic 681
54SomaliaNA

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