10 Libya ($36.874bn) –Libya has the largest proven oil reserves in Africa and the state-run industry is dominated by the National Oil Corporation. Over half of its GDP and all its export earnings derive from the petroleum sector. Agriculture plays a large part in the overall economy nonetheless, Libya remains dependent on imports for most of its food requirements.
9 Ghana ($37.158bn) – Among the top ten fastest growing economies in the world, Ghana’s industrialisation is going some way to fuel that growth. It operates a diverse range of sectors including manufacturing, exporting digital technology goods, ship construction and is rich in hydrocarbons and industrial minerals. Telecommunications play a vibrant role in the country’s economic success and the mass media of Ghana is among the most liberal in Africa.
8 Tunisia ($46.360bn) – Tunisia has been going through a period of economic transformation with its reform programme which has seen the government liberalize priced, reduce tariffs and lower debt-service-to-exports and debt to GDP ratios. It has also formed agreement with the European Union removing tariff and other trade barriers on most goods. Its main industries are oil, phosphates, agri-food products, car parts manufacturing and tourism.
7 Sudan (64.750bn) – Often described as the Arab world’s food basket, Sudan accounts for 45 percent of arable land in the Arab world. However, its 84 million hectares of arable land but currently less than 20 percent of it is cultivated. A potentially vibrant agricultural sector is hindered by infrastructure and finance problems. Its primary resources are cotton and peanuts of which it is a major exporter.
6 Morocco ($99.241bn) –Moroccans’ quality of life is second only to South Africans according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s quality-of-life index. A robust economy based on supply and demand, today it is enjoying a yearly growth of between four and five percent. Its thriving services sector accounts for just over half of GDP while industry comprising mining, construction and manufacturing make up an additional quarter.
5 Angola ($100.9bn) – Despite having one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, the majority of Angolans are still poor, with a third of the population relying on subsistence agriculture. Following the end of the Angolan Civil War in 2002, the country enjoyed rapid GDP growth but has had to work hard to repair ravaged infrastructure and weakened political and social institutions. It has extensive oil and gas reserves as well as diamonds.
4 Algeria ($190.7bn) – Oil, gas and mineral-rich Algeria’s economy is expected to grow by 4.0 percent this year. Exports of oil and gas account for 97 percent of its total exports and the country produces a wide range of minerals the most productive of which are iron and zinc. Some 14 percent of the workforce are employed by agriculture although Algeria is largely dependent on imported food, some 45 percent.
3 Egypt ($235.7bn) – The country has a stable economy and enjoys continuous growth averaging 4-5 percent in the past 25 years. It has recently gone under a number of reforms which has helped the country towards achieving a more market-oriented economy. It boasts significant mineral and energy resources including petroleum, natural gas, phosphates, gold and iron and ore. However, a mainstay gas been its tourism market which contributes one percent to the world tourism market.
2 South Africa ($408bn GDP) – country’s GDP rates has almost tripled since 1996, which saw the end of a 12-year period of international sanctions against the country. With its mixed economy, South Africa was last year ranked as the top African Country of the Future by FDi magazine based on the country’s economic potential, labour environment, cost effectiveness, infrastructure, business friendliness and foreign direct investment strategy.
1 Nigeria ($509.9 billion) – At the time of publishing the Nigerian Government issued new GDP figures putting its current rate at $509.9billion, effectively surpassing South Africa as the number one economy.
The new figures put Nigeria as 24th in the list of the world’s biggest economies and is as a result of a process known as rebasing. GDP is usually measured by reference to the shape of the economy in a “base” year and Nigeria’s was hopelessy out of date by taking a snapshot of its economy in 1990.
Since then the mineral-rich country has seen a range of industries growing rapidly particularly in the services sector with the rapid growth in telecommunications and the advent of mobile phones.
Manufacturing has also expanded across the country with factories that have opened since 1990 now included. There has also been a huge increase in the number of small businesses operating in Nigeria, believed to have escalated ten-fold.