Many of the world's poorest nations are in Africa. Most economies are unstable, and poverty is widespread. There are, however, some African countries that have the fastest-growing economies in the world. The largest components of the African economy are agriculture, trade, and natural resources, and the African economy is expected to reach a GDP of $29 trillion by 2050.
While there are several ways to compare a nation's wealth, one of the best ways to measure is by taking a look at the purchasing gross domestic product – or GDP – of a nation. This is the value of the goods and services that come from a nation for one year. GDP does not consider the difference in the cost of living and inflation rates between countries as GDP per capita at purchasing power parity (PPP) does.
Richest African Countries by GDP
GDP information from the International Monetary Fund was used to determine the wealthiest African countries. Six African countries have GDPs of over $100 billion. The top ten wealthiest African countries are:
- Nigeria - $514.05 billion
- Egypt - $394.28 billion
- South Africa - $329.53 billion
- Algeria - $151.46 billion
- Morocco - $124 billion
- Kenya - $106.04 billion
- Ethiopia - $93.97 billion
- Ghana - $74.26 billion
- Ivory Coast - $70.99 billion
- Angola - $66.49 billion
Nigeria is the richest and most populous country in Africa. The country's large population of 211 million is a likely contributor to its large GDP. Nigeria is a middle-income, mixed economy and emerging market with growing financial, service, communications, and technology sectors.
Egypt, the second-richest country in Africa, is the third-most populous country with 104 million people. Egypt is also a mixed economy with an emerging information and communications technology sector.
Richest African Countries by GDP per Capita
When looking at GDP per capita— gross domestic product per person— the richest countries look a little different. According to the IMF, the ten richest countries in Africa, in terms of GDP per capita, are:
- Seychelles - $26,120
- Mauritius - $22,030
- Equatorial Guinea - $18,240
- Botswana - $18,110
- Gabon - $16,240
- Madagascar - $13,720
- Egypt - $13,080
- South Africa - $12,440
- Algeria - $11,430
- Tunisia - $10,590
Although Nigeria has the highest GDP of any African country, its GDP per capita is not in the top ten countries for GDP per capita.
Seychelles is the richest country when using this metric. The Seychelles economy is primarily driven by fishing, tourism, boat building, processing coconuts and vanilla, and agriculture, especially cinnamon, sweet potatoes, tuna, and bananas. Its public sector contributes the most employment and gross revenue, employing two-thirds of the total labor force.