In recent times, many analysts and critics have somewhat lost hold of the determinants in ranking the most developed countries in Africa.
The primary reason is the peculiarity of the African continent in comparison with Europe, Asia, and America. The continent faces unique challenges and remains one of the youngest concerning the amalgamation of its nations.
When ranking African nations in terms of development, it will be evil to use the same parameters used in ranking countries in continents like Europe, Asia, and America.
Every year, the United Nations Development Program releases a special report which outlines indices and indicators of human development; the aim is to update these parameters for accurate ranking.
To achieve its goal of accuracy and efficiency, the United Nations Development Program uses the Human Development Index (HDI) to scale and rank the countries. The HDI is quantified using healthcare, education, and life expectancy as benchmarks.
Furthermore, the World Bank Group publishes the GDP and ‘Doing Business Index (DBI)’ of countries yearly; this identifies the Per capita Income (PCI) of citizens and business stability ratio.
To effectively create a list of most developed countries in the African context, a reconciliation of the HDI, GDP, DBI, and PCI are the primary parameters to consider.
The publication has ranked the ten most developed countries in Africa in 2020 using these yardsticks. The list recognizes countries that have made tangible progress in putting measures in place to improve human development, provide infrastructure and create an enabling environment for businesses to strive.
Here are the Top 10 Most Developed Nations in Africa 2020
Seychelles drives its economy through tourism and has managed to maintain considerable growth within the last decade. The government has managed to use the revenue from tourism to move its population of approximately 95,500 (2018) towards upper-middle-income earners.
However, experts claim that the country needs to reduce its dependency on tourism and explore other business and investment opportunities.
- Global Ranking: 62
- Life Expectancy: 73.7
- GDP: 1.486 billion USD
- Gross National Income Per Capita: USD 26,077
Mauritius has managed to improve significantly and stabilize its economy since gaining independence in 1968. With an estimated 1.3 million multicultural inhabitants, the country is one of the most promising countries in Africa.
However, one of the critical challenges the nation is facing remains reducing income-based inequality, which critics claim has been on the rise despite the considerable development and economic progress the country has experienced in recent times.
- Global Ranking: 66
- Life Expectancy: 74.9
- GDP: 12.34 billion USD
- Gross National Income Per Capita: USD 20,189
Algeria is a major player in the MENA region and is on record to have achieved the remarkable feat of reducing poverty in the country by 20% within the last 20 years.
Algeria boasts of a viable economy which reflects in the standard of living of its citizens and available infrastructure in the country.
However, depression in oil prices has brought a decline in the country’s currency reserves, as the country is highly dependent on crude oil exportation.
- Global Ranking: 85
- Life Expectancy: 76.3
- GDP: 170.41 billion USD
- Gross National Income Per Capita: USD 13, 802
Despite having a very turbulent history, Tunisia has gradually evolved into a nation with a developing and stable economy. The country is recovering from years of conflict and gaining good momentum in human and socio-economic development.
Tunisia’s economy depends on tourism, agriculture, and electrical/mechanical exportation.
However, poverty remains a significant threat to the countries progress as millions of people remain affected by the many years of conflict.
- Global Ranking: 95
- Life Expectancy: 75.9
- GDP: 75.9 billion USD
- Gross National Income Per Capita: USD 10, 275
Botswana gained its independence in 1966 and has not looked back since then. At the time of its independence, it was on record to be one of the poorest counties in the world. Yet, in no time, it became a model of development success in the African continent. It has maintained an average of 5% growth per annum over the last decade.
The country’s economy relies on mining, construction and service sectors.
However, one of the setbacks to the country’s development is poverty and unemployment.
- Global Ranking: 101
- Life Expectancy: 67.6
- GDP: 67.6 billion USD
- Gross National Income Per Capita: USD 15, 534
Rwanda recently emerged in the top 30 countries of the World Bank’s Doing Business Report in 2019 for the first time with a remarkable score of 77.88. The record reflects the level of effort the government has invested in infrastructural development.
The country has also made a record 52 reforms in the last decade, which has brought significant improvements in human and capital development. Because the country had to start from scratch in 1994 after the genocide, makes its development success story even more remarkable.
However, many critics have continued to accuse the long-serving government of President Paul Kagame of human rights abuse and oppression of the press and opposition.
- Global Ranking: 106
- Life Expectancy: 67.1
- GDP: 9.14 billion USD
- Gross National Income Per Capita: USD 1, 990
Gabon has made remarkable improvements within the last decade.
It is the fifth-largest oil producer in Africa and boasts of one of the highest urbanization rates on the African continent.
Also, upper-middle-income has experienced healthy development over the past decade.
However, the decline in oil prices threatens the country’s currency reserves as the country remains highly dependent on oil.
- Global Ranking: 110
- Life Expectancy: 66.5
- GDP: 14.62 billion USD
- Gross National Income Per Capita: USD 16, 431
8. SOUTH AFRICA
South Africa boasts of a highly developed economy and advanced infrastructure. It is a significant player on the African continent.
The country is one of the world’s largest exporters of gold and platinum; this has helped it developed key sectors remarkably.
However, development has slowed down, and the nation has one of the highest inequality rates in the world.
- Global Ranking: 113
- Life Expectancy: 63.4
- GDP: 349.4 billion USD
- Gross National Income Per Capita: USD 11,923
Egypt has improved its economic activities in the last decade; the country has adopted many amendments and reforms and is beginning to reap the fruits as their GDP experienced a 5.3% increase within six years. Export of goods and services, improvements in foreign exchange reserves and a more dynamic tourism sector have contributed significantly to the development in Egypt.
However, the country continues to battle a weak healthcare system and unemployment.
- Global Ranking: 114
- Life Expectancy: 71.7
- GDP: 235.4 billion USD
- Gross National Income Per Capita: USD 10, 355
Morocco’s economy is stable and versatile. The country has experienced growth in various industries over the last decade.
However, the country has experienced some internal problems which affected its development. The main challenge remains to boot the private sector to encourage job creation for the rising younger generation.
- Global Ranking: 123
- Life Expectancy: 76.1
- GDP: 109.1 billion USD
- Gross National Income Per Capita: USD 7, 340
There is still significant room for improvement in the African continent for growth. As you can see from the list, the highest developing countries are not the wealthiest countries on the continent.
Instead, the list recognizes countries that have taken conscious steps in improving human and capital development regardless of their revenue and population.
With the level of development and reforms in various countries across the continent, there is no doubt that the list will see the inclusion of other countries that are climbing the development ladder.