While Africa is often described with phrases such as political instability, food insecurity, terrorist insurrections, corruption, and so on, this continent still harbours some of the fastest-growing countries in the world economically.
Below is an extensive guide on the top 10 richest African countries as per their GDP per Capita. While there are several ways to determine a country’s wealth, the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) Per Capita method divides a particular country’s economic output by its total population, making the ideal measurement of its standard of living.
With that being said, let’s begin.
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Top 10 Richest Countries in Africa: Comparison Table
|Country||Land Size||Population||GDP Per Capita|
|Equatorial Guinea||28,051 km²||1,507,260||$8462|
|South Africa||1.22 million km²||60,600,000||$6994|
|Libya||1.76 million km²||7,082,580||$6018|
|Egypt||1.002 million km²||106,699,488||$3876|
List of the Richest African Countries
- GDP per Capita: $13306
According to World Bank data, Seychelles had a GDP per Capita of $13306 last year, making it the wealthiest country in Africa.
Seychelles attributes a huge percentage of its wealth to tourism. Its beautiful beaches, breathtaking nature, and all-year-round suitable temperatures attract tourists from across the globe throughout the year. According to World Bank data, this country generated approximately $220 million in 2020, which was a decline as it generated about $618 million in 2019.
Seychelles also generates a significant percentage of its wealth from fishing. This country exported over 6,600 tonnes of fish and crustaceans in 2019, making revenue of over $13 million, according to the Seychelles Fisheries Authority.
- GDP per Capita: $8812
Mauritius comes in as the second richest African country with a GDP per Capita of $8812 in 2021, according to the World Bank data.
While Mauritius built its economy on agriculture, particularly sugarcane farming, this country has diversified its economy to tourism, textiles, financial and business services, and energy, to name a few.
Besides its wide range of economic sectors, Mauritius is known to have suitable economic conditions contributing to its high wealth per Capita. For starters, Mauritius has one of the lowest tax rates in the world.
Mauritius is also home to a good of high net-worth individuals, about 4,400, to be precise. What’s more, this country is one of the few where it is the easiest to do business in.
3. Equatorial Guinea
- GDP per Capita: $8462
According to the World Bank, Equatorial Guinea is the third richest country in Africa, with a GDP per Capita of $8462. While coffee and cocoa farming is predominant in this country, crude oil accounts for a significant percentage of its GDP.
Recent statistics showed that the country had about 1.1 billion barrels of crude oil reserves in 2020. However, while Equatorial Guinea has a significant amount of crude oil to boost its economy, many of its citizens live in extreme poverty. This is due to corruption, poor management of funds, and so on.
And that’s not all; according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), this country’s crude oil reserves may run dry by 2035 if new ones aren’t discovered. This may significantly affect the country’s economic state.
- GDP per Capita: $8017
Gabon is the fourth wealthiest country in Africa, with a GDP per Capita of $8017. While Gabon does a wide array of raw materials like timber and minerals, crude oil accounts for a big part of its revenue and GDP.
Oil accounts for more than three-quarters of Gabon’s export and 60% of its revenue.
- GDP per Capita: $7347
Botswana is the fifth richest country in Africa, having a GDP per Capita of $7347 last year. This country’s economy is primarily dependent on diamond mining. It produces the world’s largest diamonds, about 40% of the total global diamond output.
Diamond mining accounts for approximately 80% of the country’s revenue and 50% of its GDP. However, since the diamond market has gradually saturated, Botswana mining companies have started diversifying into mining other minerals like nickel and copper.
6. South Africa
- GDP per Capita: $6994
South Africa is the sixth wealthiest country in Africa, with a GDP per Capita of $6994. This country’s economy relies on transport equipment, food products, minerals, and textiles. Mineral mining, such as coal, gold, and diamonds, accounts for over 90% of its export earnings.
- GDP per Capita: $6018
Coming in at number seven in our list of the top 10 richest African countries is Libya, with a GDP per Capita of $6018. Like Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, this country’s economy mainly depends on oil revenues. Crude oil represents about 95% of the country’s export earnings.
- GDP per Capita: $4729
Namibia takes the eighth position in our list of the top 10 richest African countries with a GDP per Capita of $4729, with mining being the largest contributor to the country’s economy. The country is the fourth largest exporter of non-fuel minerals in Africa.
Apart from mining, the country’s economy also relies on livestock rearing, manufacturing, food processing, and fishing.
- GDP per Capita: $4214
Taking the ninth position is Eswatini, with a GDP per Capita of $4214. This landlocked country’s economy is quite diversified. It relies on agriculture, mining, and manufacturing.
Manufacturing accounts for a considerably large percentage of the country’s export earnings and GDP.
- GDP per Capita: $3876
Wrapping up our list is Egypt, with a GDP per Capita of $3876. Egypt’s economy mainly depends on agriculture, tourism, petroleum, and natural gas. It also attributes its wealth to many exported goods each year.
Q: Which Country is the Richest in Africa?
Using GDP per Capita, Seychelles is the wealthiest African country, with a GDP per Capita of $13306. When it comes to GDP, Nigeria is the wealthiest country in Africa, with a GDP of $441 billion as of 2021. South Africa has the largest amount of private wealth in Africa, which is about $651 billion.
Q: What Is the Poorest Country in Africa in 2022?
A: Based on the GDP per Capita values, Burundi is the poorest country in Africa, with a GDP per Capita of about $236 (according to World Bank data.)
Q: Which Is the Fastest Growing Country in Africa?
A: A good number of African countries have demonstrated rapid economic growth. Among them include Ghana, Tanzania, Egypt, and Botswana, to mention a few.