Top 10 Fastest Growing Economies in Africa by GDP
Africa is one of the world’s fastest-growing consumer markets. With the rise in technological innovations, population growth, internet access, mobile phones usage; Africa’s emerging economies present new and exciting opportunities to multinational companies considering expansion into a foreign market. Rahima Coulibaly, director of Brookings’ Africa Growth Initiative, predicts that in the next five years, “about half of the world’s fastest growing economies will be located on the continent.”
Being a predominantly consumer market, it is no surprise that consumer expenditure on the continent has grown at a compound annual rate of 3.9% since 2010 and reached $1.4 trillion in 2015. This figure is expected to reach $2.1 trillion by 2025, and $2.5 trillion by 2030.
These figures and predictions prove beyond a reasonable doubt that organisations looking to expand their operations into the growing markets in Africa, stand to gain a lot.
However, despite the growth prediction of the overall economy of the continent, only a few countries have actually experienced significant economic growth. This article will highlight the top ten fastest growing economies in Africa, using the monetary measure of their market value (GDP) to serve as a guide for international corporations intending to expand into the African market.
NIGERIA – The Giant of Africa
With a GDP of $446.543 billion, Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa and the 27th largest economy in the world. Officially known as the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the West African country has a population of over 200 million, making it the 7th most populous country in the world.
Nigeria is also Africa’s largest crude oil supplier and has a prosperous agricultural sector that is accountable for 18% of its GDP and about a third of employment opportunities. In Africa, Nigeria ranks first in terms of farm output and its major agricultural exports are cocoa, rubber, palm oil and peanuts.
SOUTH AFRICA – The Rainbow Nation
Known officially as the Republic of South Africa and the southernmost country on the continent; South Africa has the 2nd largest economy with a GDP of $358.839 billion. It is the 25th most populous country in the world with a population of over 58 million.
In 2019, the highest performing industry that contributed to the growth of the economy was agriculture, followed by mining and manufacturing. South Africa is Africa’s 2nd producer of gold and this is one of its key exports. Other significant exports are corn, diamonds, fruits, platinum, coal briquettes, sugar, and wool.
EGYPT – The Gift of the Nile
The Arab Republic of Egypt as it is officially known has a GDP of $302.256 billion, earning the position of the 3rd largest economy in Africa. Located in the northeast corner of Africa, this country has a population of about 97.55 million, making it the 14th most populous country in the world.
Some of the country’s main exports include crude petroleum, natural gas, nitrogenous fertilizers, insulated wire, gold, cement and ceramic. Other growing industries are tourism, textile production and food processing. Agriculture in Egypt has however been deregulated, with exceptions to the production of sugar and cotton.
ALGERIA – The Desert Foxes
Ranking 4th with a GDP of $173.757 billion, the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria is a North African country with an estimated population of over 42 million, making it the 33rd most populous country in the world.
The largest African country in terms of landmass and the 10th largest in the world, with all but 2% of its exports being petroleum products. As Africa’s largest oats market, Algeria also exports citrus fruits, olives, and dates.
ANGOLA – The Kuwait of Africa
Angola, officially the Republic of Angola, has the 5th largest economy in Africa with a GDP of 124.6 billion. The Southern African country is the 44th most populated country in the world with an estimated population of over 31 million.
Angola is still plagued by the seven-year-long civil war that began after its independence but the country’s economy has been growing steadily since the war ended in 1975 and is currently considered as one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Angola’s exports include crude oil, petroleum product, diamonds, fish products, coffee, cotton, and lumber.
MOROCCO – The Santorini of Africa
Morocco is a Northern African country with a GDP of $119 billion, making it the 6th biggest economy in Africa. With a population of over 36 million, the Kingdom of Morocco as it is known officially sits as the 40th most populous country in the world.
The services sector in Morocco accounts for a little over half of the GDP and exports from the mining, construction, and manufacturing, tourism, telecoms, and textile industry accounts for about a quarter of its GDP.
The three main exports in Angola include agricultural products such as citrus fruits, vegetables, semi-processed goods, phosphates and products of phosphate, and textiles.
KENYA – The Silicon of the Savannah
The Republic of Kenya has the 7th largest economy in Africa with a GDP of $99.246 billion. The East African nation has an estimated population of over 48 million, making it the 29th most populous country in the world.
The industrial sector dominates Kenya’s growing economy, with the country’s primary industries being agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism.
ETHIOPIA – The Cradle of Humanity
With a GDP of $91.166 billion, Ethiopia has the 8th largest growing economy in Africa. Officially named the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the country which is located in the horn of Africa has a population of about 114.96 million, making it the 12th most populous country in the world.
Ethiopia has one of the fastest growing economies in the world and this is driven mainly by industrial activities, with agriculture as the country’s largest industry. Some of the country’s major exports include coffee, leather, textile, natural gum, spices, and mineral products.
GHANA – The Gold Coast
Ghana has a GDP of $68 billion, making it the 9th largest economy in Africa. The Republic of Ghana is situated in the western region of the continent and has a population of about 31.07 million.
The major industries in Ghana are mining, food processing, light manufacturing, small commercial shipbuilding, and aluminium smelting. And some of its main exports include gold, timber products, cocoa, and aluminium.
TANZANIA – Sail in the Wilderness
With a GDP of $62.22 billion, the United Republic of Tanzania has the 10th largest economy in Africa. The East African country is the 24th most populous country in the world with an estimated population of 59.73million.
The country’s primary economic industries are agriculture, mining, manufacturing, food processing, and telecommunications. Some of the country’s main exports include gold, diamonds, coffee, cotton tea, and tobacco.
Over the last decade, the African market has experienced the entry of international corporations like Netflix, Google, Etc. The presence of these organisations has contributed to making the African market highly competitive.
Africa is a continent that offers great opportunities. With a rapidly urbanising population, some of the most dynamic economies in the world and the fastest growing economies on the planet, Africa offers an unparalleled market opportunity for international organisations looking to expand.
If there was ever a time for future-focused organisations to set up their business on the continent, it is now. However, to enjoy all the benefits of expanding into African nations, companies must develop a market entry strategy that is well aligned with the current realities and abundant opportunities to be found in Africa’s fastest growing markets.
Expanding into African markets will require a significant amount of preparation and knowledge. Factors such as cultural nuances, country-specific regulations and finding and hiring top talent need to be considered. Expanding into new markets should not be done a whim and international organisations should ensure to partner with experienced, verified and reliable market entry professionals like Workforce Group.
At Workforce Group, we leverage on our extensive knowledge of the market and existing labour laws to help organisations expand their global footprints and effectively scale their operations into Africa. We have been helping businesses in the region achieve their strategic and growth objectives for the past 16 years and we are your best bet for doing the same. To learn more about how you can successfully set up operations in African countries, download this guide we have put together for expanding your business into the Nigerian market or schedule a consultation here.
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