With an area of about 30.2 million square kilometers, Africa is world’s second largest continent. It is also world’s second most populous continent. 1.111 billion people (2013) live in Africa.
Algeria is the largest country (by area) in Africa; and Nigeria is the largest country by population. In early 2014 Nigeria surpassed South Africa as Africa’s largest economy.
Here is a brief overview of the largest economies in Africa:
20. Equatorial Guinea – GDP: $15.396 billion
Oil and gas contribute significantly to Equatorial Guinea’s economy. The economy of Equatorial Guinea was affected by recession in 2013. It was due to fall in revenue from oil and lower oil and gas output. It experienced negative GDP growth of -1.4 percent after positive 5.3 percent growth in 2012. Experts estimate negative growth in 2014 (-1.8 percent) and 2015 (-8.5 percent).
19. Gabon – GDP: $20.664 Billion
Vigorous public investment, revenue from forestry, rising oil prices, revenue from mining, membership of the franc zone and private investment have contributed to Gabon’s macroeconomic stability. The country’s GDP grew by 5.5 percent in 2013.
18. Zambia – GDP: $22.416 Billion
Zambia’s growth in real terms decreased to 6.5 percent in 2013. This was mainly due to a reduction in agricultural output. Copper contributes about 70 percent to the nation’s export earnings.
17. Uganda – GDP: $23.053 Billion
Absolute poverty continued to drop, from 24.5 percent in 2009/10 to 22.2 percent in 2012/13. The nation is on track to achieve its Millennium Development Goal for poverty reduction by 2015. The nation’s GDP grew by 5.2 percent in 2013.
16. Cameroon – GDP: $30 Billion
Cameroon has to use growth to reduce poverty. However it has remained stable in a region that is affected by political and security crises. Growth in 2013 was driven by the tertiary sector, which accounted for 47.8 percent of GDP.
15. Ivory Coast – GDP: $32 Billion
Ivory Coast grew by 8.8 percent in 2013. This is largely due to major public works projects. The growth rate is estimated to be around 9 percent in the next two years. Prospects of the nation are bright.
14. Democratic Republic of Congo – GDP: $30.8 Billion
Mining, trade, agriculture and construction contributed to GDP growth of 8.1 percent in 2013. It was 7.2 percent in 2012. DRC’s economy remained robust in 2013. Mining has been the main driver of growth.
13. Tanzania – GDP: $36.6 Billion
The GDP growth of around 7 percent is driven by communications, financial intermediation, transport, agriculture, construction and manufacturing. Investments in infrastructure will definitely support growth.
12. Tunisia – GDP: $45.611 Billion
The nation’s growth of 2.6 percent in 2013 was below the forecast of 4.5 percent. The growth rate was 3.7 percent in 2012. This slowdown is due to political deadlock, fragile social context and stagnation in the euro zone.
11. Ghana – GDP: $50 Billion
Ghana had maintained an average growth of around 6 percent over the past six years. However, it decelerated to 4.4 percent in 2013, much lower than 7.9 percent recorded in 2012.
10. Ethiopia – GDP: $51 Billion
Ethiopia’s economy grew by 9.7 percent in 2012/13. Growth has been robust during the last decade.
9. Kenya – GDP: $56.3 Billion
Kenya’s growth in the first three quarters of 2013 (5.2 percent, 4.3 percent and 4.6 percent) was driven by tourism, financial intermediation, agriculture and construction. The nation is recovering from the slowdown it went through in 2011.
8. Sudan – GDP: $63 Billion
The nation’s real GDP grew by 3.6 percent in 2013. The growth was driven by mining and agriculture; and the inflows from oil transit fees and the transitional financial arrangement (TFA) with South Sudan.
7. Libya – GDP: $67,622 Billion
Officially the State of Libya, this country had the highest HDI in Africa in 2009. The civil war and NATO led military intervention in 2011 affected the economy negatively. According to the Libyan Ministry of Economy, GDP declined sharply in 2013 due to oil blockades. It is expected to rebound during 2014/15. The nation’s economy depends upon revenue from the oil sector, which accounts for 80 percent of GDP.