Top 10 African Economies

Based on the World Economic Outlook review of the world’s wealthiest economies, based on data released by the International Monetary Fund, the following are the top 10 performing economies currently dictating business growth in Africa by Gross Domestic Product (GDP). 

10. Ethiopia - US$ 48,145 million: The hub of East Africa’s growing prosperity has somewhat migrated from Ethiopia to Kenya in recent years, but the former still makes the top 10. Primary sectors for GDP growth in the country are telecoms, finance, transport and retail; all of which compliment Ethiopia’s most lucrative agriculture sector, which accounts for nearly half of the country’s GDP.

9. Libya - N/A: Depending almost entirely on the country’s petroleum sector, Libya’s export potential has long made it one of the most lucrative economies in Africa. Despite ongoing political unrest and subsequent dips in GDP, the country’s oil revenues still ensure that Libya remains in the top 10.

8. Kenya -US$55,206 million: Now seen as the hub for not only East Africa, but central Africa as well, across a number of sectors, Kenya’s influence on the continent has not only brought about internal opportunities, but has led it to becoming a major focal point for Foreign Direct Investors (FDIs). Tourism, telecommunications, media and construction are all prominent sectors in providing this sustainable growth.

7. Sudan - US$70,127 million: Launched as a consequence of its booming oil industry, Sudan has traditionally profited largely from FDIs and oil price increases. Now, with long-running political unrest mostly a thing of the past, the country is once again an attractive investment proposition, and its GDP has benefited as a consequence.

6. Morocco - US$105,101 million: North Africa is the region struggling the most in Africa at the moment, with Tunisia falling out of the top 10 as a consequence. The international appeal of countries like Morocco has also floundered as a consequence of political instability in the wider region, but the country holds on to its place on the countdown, thanks largely to former glories and its competitiveness in key sectors.

5. Angola - US$121,704 million: For much of the past decade, Angola has been identified as one of the fastest growing economies, not just in Africa, but in the world. Since its 27-year civil war ended in 2002, the country has gone from strength to strength, thanks primarily to successes in the oil industry and strong export markets.

4. Algeria - US$211,906 million: Like much of North Africa, oil and gas is the main source of Algeria’s revenue, and while the economy is forecasted to grow, the rate of growth is unlikely to be as extremes as it has been in the past. Nevertheless, recent efforts into enhancing hydro-carbon wealth have increased projected GDP growth from 2.8 per cent in 2013 to four per cent in 2014.

3. Egypt - US$271,427 million: Of all the major economies in Africa, it is perhaps Egypt who should be most concerned, having shown little to no sign of economic growth in recent years. With political aspects once again a major factor, the country is now in the process of rebuilding its production capabilities since 2011’s fall of Hosni Mubarak’s regime.

2. South Africa - US$350,779 million: Having long been considered as the gateway to Africa, South Africa’s position as the continent’s number one economy has finally been usurped over the past year due to the inconsistency of some key sectors. While it is still the number one FDI proposition by a sizeable margin, problems within the private sector and internal structures has inhibited the kind of growth seen in the first decade of the millennium.

1. Nigeria - US$580,470 million: The emerging market has officially emerged, and the exciting prospect for Nigeria is that there is still massive potential for even further growth moving forward. With the country’s GDP now the only one in Africa to top US$500 million, projections for forthcoming progress forecast Nigeria to be among the world’s top 20 economies by 2020.

This push could come largely from international input, with the country’s FDI levels still some way behind South Africa’s, once again highlighting the potential still lingering.

Recent successes in Nigeria have come largely due to an economic reformation which has occurred over the past 10 years, now acting as a hub for West Africa as a region. Previously pigeon-holed as an oil producer, the country’s key industries now vary across a range of sectors; its global significance stemming from its foothold in the financial and professional services domain. 

Source: African business review


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