Here is the ranking of the top ten African nations based on the ability of the citizens to make purchases during the year, referred to by economists as GDP (PPP) or Purchasing Power Parity. This method differs from just looking at the overall economic wealth of a nation. It examines the relative cost of local goods, services and inflation across the country. Then it gives us an idea of the quality of economic life for the local people. The PPP for the U.S. on this same scale is $57,045.46. This ranks the U.S. at the 9th highest of all nations in the world. This is the method used by the United Nations when measuring poverty levels. And so this is what we rely on in listing The 10 Richest Countries in Africa.
note: The number in the parenthesis is where these African economies rank compared to all economies worldwide. So “4| (81)” means “ranks 4 in Africa and 81st against all nations”.
The total number of independent states in Africa is 54. There is no one flag, there is no one culture, and there is no one language. Over 3,000 different ethnic groups exist throughout the continent. In short Africa is incredibly diverse. Widely accepted as the original home of the human species, today it remains the second-largest continent and home to over 1-billion people.
Also realize that there is a real need to establish a system and update the official statistics for many countries across Africa. With the interest, growth and reach of the African Diaspora a project of this nature should be made a top priority. This list comes from a number of sources for economic data as summarized in the most recent “Richest Country in the World” rankings by Global Finance magazine.
Equatorial Guinea 1 | (37): Equatorial Guinea gained independence in 1968 after 190 years of Spanish rule; it is one of the smallest countries in Africa consisting of a mainland territory and five inhabited islands. Exploitation of oil and gas deposits, beginning in the 1990’s, has driven economic growth in Equatorial Guinea, allowing per capita GDP to rise to over $29,735.42 in 2015. The primary exports are petroleum products and timber. The GDP (PPP) ranking is 37th highest in the world.
Gabon 2 | (55): Gabon’s small population, abundant natural resources, and considerable foreign support have helped make it one of the more stable African countries. Gabon enjoys a per capita income four times that of most sub-Saharan African nations, but because of high income inequality, a large proportion of the population remains poor. The country depended on timber and manganese until oil was discovered offshore in the early 1970’s. Gabon per capita GDP (PPP) is $22,878.98 ranking it at number 55 in the world.
Libya 3 | (63): Libya elected a new parliament in 2014. This followed fighting between government and opposition forces, with the QADHAFI regime ultimately being toppled in mid-2011. Libya’s economy is almost entirely dependent on the nation’s energy sector, which generates about 65% of GDP and 96% of government revenue. Income from the sale of crude oil and natural gas, coupled with a small population, give Libya one of the highest nominal per capita GDPs at $19,182.46, number 63 in the world.
Algeria 4 | (81): Algeria government has halted the privatization of state-owned industries and imposed restrictions on imports and foreign involvement in its economy. Hydrocarbons have long been the backbone of the economy, accounting for roughly 60% of budget revenues, 30% of GDP, and over 95% of export earnings. Algeria has the 10th-largest reserves of natural gas in the world and is the sixth-largest gas exporter. It ranks 16th in oil reserves. Declining oil prices have placed stress on the government’s financial strategies and population subsidies. The $14,802.35 GDP (PPP) enable it to rank 81st in the world.
South Africa 5 | (87): Jacob ZUMA became president after the ANC won general elections in 2009; he was reelected in 2014. South Africa is a middle-income, emerging market with an abundant supply of natural resources; well-developed financial, legal, communications, energy, and transport sectors; and a stock exchange that is Africa’s largest and among the top 20 in the world. The current $13,078.00 GDP (PPP) rank the country number 87 in thw world. The government faces growing pressure from urban constituencies to improve the delivery of basic services to low-income areas and to increase job growth.