Africa is the second largest continent in the world. As of 2013, Africa’s population was about 1.1 billion people thus making it the second most populous continent, with the number accounting for 15% world’s population. It is the home of 54 fully sovereign states. This article narrows down to the richest and poorest countries in Africa.
Top 5 richest countries in Africa
Many documentaries have been made, some of them regarding Africa as the poorest continent. However, it is worth noting that there are some progressing countries that have made an impact to the world’s economy. The following list has been prepared with respect to the countries’ Gross Domestic Product (Purchasing Power Parity) abbreviated as GDP/PPP.
Morocco makes it to our Africa’s richest countries as the number five. According to the International Monetary Fund(IMF) sources, Morocco has $127,000 GDP (PPP) in her account while on the same note its GDP per capita is $90.7 billion. Morocco is one of the largest producers of phosphorus in the world, a reason why its economy has largely been influenced by the fluctuations of phosphates prices.
With an estimated GDP of $268,900 and $134.7 billion GDP per capita, Algeria is the fourth richest country in Africa. Thanks to the fossil fuels energy sector which stand as the backbone of Algeria’s economy. This sector accounts for 95% of the country’s exports and an enticing 30% GDP. This country has billion barrels of oil reserves since inception.
Being among the top 20 exporter of goods to the US market, Nigeria bags the third richest country in Africa. It boasts of $294,800 GDP (PPP) as well as GDP per capita of $165.4 billion. This has been accelerated by the major oil production in most of Nigeria’s towns and cities. Furthermore, its ever rising population has provided enough manpower for the economy.
2. South Africa
South Africa is not only the second richest country in Africa, but is also ranked 25th in the world when it comes to GDP (PPP). South Africa is known to be the largest Africa’s energy producer, while at the same time its largest consumer. As per the IMF, it has an estimated GDP (PPP) of $403,900 and $227.3 billion GDP per capita. South Africa’s substantial income also comes from the tourism sector.
Egypt is arguably the richest country in Africa today. It has an overwhelmingly developed economy. Its GDP (PPP) of $467,600 and GDP per capita of $187.9 billion makes it top the list of Africa’s richest countries. It has a developed market diversified with activities such as oil, coal, natural gas and hydro power among others. It remains an exporter to many countries.
Top 5 poorest countries in Africa
As much as Africa has developed at a higher pace in the recent past, it still holds some of the poorest countries in the world. A good number of citizens in some of these countries live way below the poverty line. The classification of the top five poorest countries below is based on IMF’s GDP per capita.
Eritrea stands on a GDP per capita of $735. It holds history of the Italian colonization, a factor that might be the reason to its slow growth over time. The Eritrean rebels who fought the government for long were also an impedance for the poor economic performance.
Sparked by the civil and tribal wars for a long time, Burundi has never had peaceful time to grow its economy, making it the fourth poorest country in Africa. According to IMF, Burundi has an estimated GDP per capita of $615. About 80% of Burundi’s population live in abject poverty, probably due to the large infestation of the HIV menace, corruption and nepotism.
Zimbabwe has been known for its massive fluctuations, which has pulled down its economy. It has been into major economic crises with IMF confirming its GDP per capita to be $487. The fact that about 20% of Zimbabwe’s population tests HIV positive threatens its labour productivity and manpower. This is because the general life expectancy has reduced by far.
With an estimated GDP per capita of $465, about 85% of Liberia’s population live below the poverty line. Perhaps the lifelong war period and political instability played a major role in dragging Liberia’s economy. This is despite the fact that Liberia was colonized by freed slaves and not European countries.
1. Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
Finally, the Democratic Republic of Congo takes the number one spot as the poorest country in Africa. It succumbs on an estimated GDP per capita of $348. The extreme Congo war which claimed the lives of about 5.4 million people and attracted at least 7 foreign armies is what destroyed this country. Perhaps it has been into one of the deadliest difficulties of all times.