Statistics released in 2018 by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for 2017 reveals Nigeria and South Africa are the largest economies in Africa with a combined GDP of around$750 billion. Conscious pragmatic efforts will have to be made especially in strengthening the non oil sectors if the continent wants to compete with top economies around the world.
With an estimated population of 200 million, the West African country boast of $376.284bn in GDP, making Nigeria the highest GDP in Africa. The country is blessed with abundant natural resources especially crude oil, which accounts for over 70 percent of its earnings. Other non oil export include; cocoa, and rubber. In fact, Nigeria is Africa’s largest crude oil supplier. Not to mention the rich agricultural sector that’s responsible for 18% of the country’s GDP and almost a third of employment. Ranking first in Africa in terms of farm output, Nigeria’s main agricultural exports are cocoa, peanuts, rubber, and palm oil. Its tech industry is also booming, as start ups continue to take center stage.
2. South Africa
With a GDP of $349.299bn, South Africa is the second largest economy in the continent. IMF data in 2017 revealed that the country's GDP grew by 1.3%, just higher than the National Treasury’s expectation of 1.0%.
Although, recent political tensions, power outbreaks had threatened its once blooming economy, its mining sector and agriculture are the country's power assets followed by manufacturing. A demand for manganese ore, chrome, iron ore, and anything used in the production of steel helped spur on this growth.
Some of the country’s key exports include diamonds, fruits and vegetables. It is also the second largest producer of gold.
Once a giant in by economic and military means, Egypt has fallen off the pecking order after the 2011 revolution. Foreign exchange reserves fell considerably. Reserves fell from $36bn in December 2010 to only $16.3bn in January 2012. The political unrest that ensued also negatively impacted the country’s economic growth, urging the government towards economic reform that’ll focus on sustainable growth. The GDP in 2017 stood at $237.037bn. Some of the country’s main exports include petroleum, insulated wire, video displays, and gold. The biggest non-petroleum based industries are tourism, textile production, food processing.
As an oil producing country, Algeria has a GDP of $178.287bn in 2017, but the country’s economic growth has gradually succumbed to pressure from unstable oil market and decline in hydrocarbon production. Petroleum and natural gases are the country’s most important mineral resources, with the biggest exports being either mined or manufactured, while agriculture plays a comparatively minor role. However, examples of some of Algeria’s principle farm crops that are exported are wheat, oats, citrus fruit, olives, and dates.
Angola today is considered one of the fastest-growing economy in the world, despite recent struggles with the global oil market. In 2017 it had a GDP of $124.209bn, but the sharp decline in global oil prices have caused GDP growth to drop to 1.5% from 10.3% pre-2014.
The government intervened by cutting expenditure, increasing non-oil revenue, and devaluing the kwanza. Angola exports crude oil, petroleum products, diamonds, fish, fish products, coffee, sisal, cotton, and lumber and its biggest industries are oil, diamonds, agriculture, and fishing.
The North African country's GDP stood at $109.824bn in 2017. It once boast of a booming tourism sector, however, extremist groups and their threat to the security of lives has had significant effect on the economy.The services sector accounts for just over half of GDP and industry a quarter, made up of mining, primarily phosphate rock mining, construction, and manufacturing. Telecoms and textile sector recorded the highest growth. Important exports excluding phosphates are electric components, inorganic chemicals, transistors, citrus fruits, vegetables, and fish.
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