Top 10 Richest Countries In Africa By GDP [2023 IMF Update]

This post is focused on the wealthiest countries in Africa based on the Gross domestic product (GDP), though quite different in terms of GDP per person as smaller African countries top the list.

The African continent is the poorest of all, as many of its countries were colonies until the middle of the 20th century, though rich in natural resources. Progress has been slow to arrive and development is taking short steps. Nowadays there are already African countries among the 30 richest in the world.

Some of its 54 countries have resources such as diamonds, sugar, gold, uranium, silver, oil and petroleum. As oil is a priceless product, its production places countries such as Nigeria and Egypt at the top in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The continent is also home to fertile terrain capable of growing a wide range of agricultural products, providing many opportunities for trade. Despite the social, political and other problems that some of its countries have had to grapple with, Africa continues to gain renown as a land rich in opportunity.

We will be talking generally about the richest countries of Africa, the richest countries in Africa 2018, the richest countries in Africa 2019 and the richest countries in Africa 2019 as there aren’t much differences in the ratings.

You must have different questions concerning this like; is Nigeria the richest country in Africa? Which country is the richest in Africa? Is Equatorial Guinea the richest country in Africa?

From statistics provided by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), RichUpdates compiled a list of the ten richest African countries of 2023.

What is Gross Domestic Product?

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the measure used to define a country’s wealth. It is the sum of everything that is produced and marketed. Another important indicator for defining a country’s wealth is the Human Development Index (HDI), the higher the better.

Top 10 Richest Countries In Africa 2023

What are the richest countries in Africa? Here is the list of the top ten richest countries in Africa with the amount of GDP each of them generates which was used as a base for the ranking.

#1. Nigeria

With a GDP of $ 376.284 trillion in 2018 and more in the subsequent years, Nigeria is rated as the richest country in Africa. The economy is classified as mixed and an emerging market. According to the World Bank, they managed to reach the low-middle income level. Nigeria has the highest GDP in Africa, as well as having the largest population. With a current population of 195 million based on the latest United Nations estimates, Nigeria is a powerhouse of economy and development compared to its neighbors. With an abundance of natural resources, some of the country’s largest exports include oil, cocoa, and rubber. In fact, Nigeria is Africa’s largest supplier of crude oil. Not to mention the rich agricultural sector that is responsible for 18% of the country’s GDP and almost a third of employment. Nigeria’s main agricultural exports, ranking first in Africa in terms of agricultural products such as cocoa, groundnuts, rubber, and palm oil. Nigeria is currently among the top 30 in relation to world GDP.

#2. South Africa

South Africa is the second on our list of richest countries in Africa, this is very much expected as the country is doing well and one of the most developed countries in Africa. In 2017 South Africa’s GDP was $ 349.4 billion, with per capita income of $ 6,160.73. The country’s population is 56.72 million, so the income per person ends up being higher than the leader of the ranking above. South Africa has the second largest economy in Africa, after Nigeria, with a GDP of $ 349,299bn. The statistics were higher than expected for 2018, as the country’s economy grew by 1.3%, only slightly higher than the National Treasury’s expectation of 1.0% and of which there has been some annual improvement. The best performing industry to contribute to this growth was agriculture, followed by mining and manufacturing. Demand for manganese ore, chromium, iron ore, and anything else used in steel production helped fuel this growth. Some of the country’s key exports include corn, diamonds, and fruits. Considering that South Africa is the world’s second largest gold producer, it should come as no surprise that this precious metal is also one of the country’s top exports. The country’s development is concentrated in the metropolitan areas of Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Durban and Pretoria.

#3. Egypt

Egypt is the third richest country in Africa, the country has a long and rich trading history with many ups and downs. After the 2011 revolution, foreign exchange reserves fell considerably. Reserves fell from $ 36 billion in December 2010 to just $ 16.3 billion in January 2012. The revolution also negatively affected the country’s economic growth, prompting the government for economic reform that will focus on sustainable growth. GDP in 2018 was $ 237,037bn. Some of the country’s top exports include oil, insulated cables, video screens, and gold. The largest non-oil industries are tourism, textile production, food processing.

#4. Algeria

Fourth on our list of richest countries in Africa is Algeria. Algeria had a nominal GDP of $ 178.287 trillion in 2018, but the country’s economic growth slowed in the same year due to a slight decrease in hydrocarbon production. Oil and natural gases are the country’s most important mineral resources, with the largest exports mined or manufactured, while agriculture plays a comparatively minor role. However, some examples of Algeria’s main agricultural crops that are exported are wheat, oats, citrus, olives, and dates.

#5. Angola

Angola is still plagued by a 27-year civil war that began immediately after gaining independence from Portugal in 1975, before finally ending in 2002. But the country’s economy recovered considerably in the post-war years and today is considered one of the fastest growing countries in the world, despite recent struggles with the global oil market. In 2017 it had a GDP of $ 124,209bn, but the sharp drop in world oil prices has caused GDP growth to decline to 1.5% from 10.3% before 2014. The government intervened by cutting expenses, increasing non-oil revenues and devaluing the kwanza. Angola exports crude oil, petroleum products, diamonds, fish, fish products, coffee, sisal, cotton and wood.

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#6. Morocco

Morocco’s GDP was $ 109.824 trillion and this is a huge amount which has placed the country on the list of Africa’s wealthiest nations. The service sector accounts for slightly more than half of GDP and industry per quarter, made up of mining, mainly phosphate rock extraction, construction and manufacturing. The tourism, telecommunications and textile sector registered the highest growth. Important exports that exclude phosphates are electrical components, inorganic chemicals, transistors, citrus fruits, vegetables, and fish.

#7. Ethiopia

With a GDP of $ 80.874 billion in 2018 and more in subsequent years, Ethiopia has one of the fastest growing economies in the world and has the second largest population in Africa. According to the IMF’s World Economic Outlook, growth for 2019 is forecast at around 8.5%. The country’s accelerated economic growth is largely driven by industrial activity, seeing investments in infrastructure like the Grand Renaissance Dam and a light rail system, as well as manufacturing. Some of Ethiopia’s main exports include coffee, leather, textiles, natural rubber, spices, and mineral products. Agriculture is perhaps the largest industry in the country, as the banking, telecommunications and transportation sectors are dominated by state-owned companies.

#8. Kenya

Kenya had a GDP of $ 79.511 trillion in 2018. Trade is a crucial part of the country’s growth. The combined value of exports and imports equals 38 percent of GDP. The agricultural sector dominates the Kenyan economy. The main industries in the country are agriculture, industry and manufacturing, and services. In a rich agricultural sector, Kenya produces tea, coffee, sisal, pyrethrum, corn and wheat that are grown in the fertile highlands. Cattle predominate to the north and east, while coconuts, pineapples, cashews, cotton, sugar cane, sisal, and corn are grown in the lowlands. Tourism also plays an important role in Kenya’s service industry despite a slowdown due to security concerns and negative publicity.

#9. Sudan

Sudan had a GDP of $ 58.239bn in 2018, averaging 4.26% in terms of annual growth rate from 2005 to 2017. Despite significant growth, Sudan still faces a number of problems such as political conflicts and lack of basic infrastructure in large areas. Most of the population also relies heavily on subsistence agriculture. Along with the problems mentioned above, many Sudanese will remain or fall below the poverty line. As for South Sudan’s secession, the country lost three-quarters of its oil production in 2011, a massive blow considering that the oil industry has driven much of Sudan’s GDP growth since 1999. As a large Arab nation, Sudan has a rich history dating back to the time of the ancient Egyptians and Nubians. As a result, the country is dotted with ancient pyramids that attract tourists from other Arab and Western countries, subsequently contributing to Sudan’s tourism industry. Some of the other leading industries include cotton ginning, cement, soap distillation, and pharmaceuticals. The country’s main exports are petroleum and petroleum products, cotton, sesame, cattle, peanuts, gum arabic, and sugar. distillation of soap and pharmaceutical products. The country’s main exports are petroleum and petroleum products, cotton, sesame, cattle, peanuts, gum arabic, and sugar. distillation of soap and pharmaceutical products. The country’s main exports are petroleum and petroleum products, cotton, sesame, cattle, peanuts, gum arabic, and sugar.

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#10. Tanzania 

In 2018, according to the IMF, Tanzania’s GDP was $ 51,725 ​​million. Half of the country’s workforce finds employment in the agricultural sector, while the rest is divided between mining, manufacturing, food processing and telecommunications. The heavy dependence on agriculture makes Tanzania vulnerable to environmental shocks and commodity prices. Some of its main exports are minerals such as gold and diamonds, coffee, cotton, tea and tobacco. Tourism in Tanzania is also on the rise. About 38 percent of the land area is set aside in protected areas for conservation, but they are used as game reserves and national parks. The country is also home to Kilimanjaro, which attracts the attention of international tourists who want to visit the sleeping giant. 17.5% of GDP in 2016 came from tourism and is expected to continue to increase.

In conclusion, With the current pandemic that has plagued the world, it is expected that there will be a drastic decline in the GDP of countries in Africa, not only in Africa but all over the world.


What is the richest country in Africa?

With a GDP of $ 376.284 trillion in 2018 and more in the subsequent years, Nigeria is rated as the richest country in Africa. The economy is classified as mixed and an emerging market.

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