What are the richest countries in Africa?

By Remitbee - Feb 2, 2022

Because of its large size, Africa possesses abundant natural resources. The continent has seen a lot of expansion and development in the previous years, with 54 nations making up Africa.

As another year starts, let's look at the richest countries in Africa by GDP per capita! This article should give you a better look at the following African countries' relative economic stability and riches.

Guess which African country is the wealthiest in 2022?

Understanding GDP and GDP per capita

Gross Domestic Product or GDP is the ultimate criterion for measuring and ranking countries' wealth used by economists and politicians worldwide. GDP is the total worth of all services and goods generated in an economy, usually annually.

This metric represents a country's productivity. However, the drawback of GDP is that this does not give a complete picture.

This is where GDP per capita comes in, giving a more accurate picture of how well-off a country's citizens are. Now when we talk about a country's standard of living, we're talking about the average number (and quality) of products and services that its citizens can afford.

Because real GDP represents the number of goods and services produced, GDP per capita, or real GDP divided by population, is commonly used to measure a country's economic wellbeing or standard of living. Thus, it tells us which countries are the most prosperous!

5. Madagascar

Population – 28.7 million Area- 581,795 km² GDP per capita: 13,720

Madagascar is a small island country off the coast of East Africa in the Indian Ocean, home to almost 30 million people.

Madagascar's economy is mainly centred on agriculture, which accounts for around 40% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). They have approximately 89 primate species, 5,000 plant species, 60 animal species, and 350 bird species found nowhere else in the world. That's why it is one of the world's most biodiverse countries!

A vast amount of Madagascar's natural resources are taken advantage of without the provision of profit sharing or taxes, which is a shame.

4. Gabon

Population – 2.3 million Area- 257,670 km² GDP per capita: $16,240

Gabon is a country in central Africa located on the west coast of Africa. It is surrounded by Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, the Republic of Congo, and the Gulf of Guinea.

Gabon is one of Africa's richest countries, with abundant natural resources such as oil, lumber, manganese mining, and uranium ore.

On the other hand, Gabon is going through a serious economic crisis, which has resulted in the country's oil output being slashed in half. Overall, Gabon's GDP growth is slow, and inflation is high at -2.7 percent.

3. Botswana

Population – 2.4 million Area- 581,730 km² GDP per capita: $18,110

Botswana is a country in Southern Africa's heartland. Botswana's economy has traditionally been built on animal husbandry and has evolved significantly throughout the years.

Around 50% of the country's exports are diamonds. There is no wonder it is one of Africa's top diamond producers, accounting for the third greatest dollar value contribution among African nations, after South Africa and Angola.

Mining accounts for around 12% of GDP, with diamonds accounting for 80%. One in every four families in Botswana is expected to own at least one diamond ring, earring, or pendant.

Unfortunately, the diamond market has become saturated during the last decade, resulting in a severe economic collapse and political unrest. Meanwhile, mining corporations have been expanding their operations into other sectors such as copper and nickel in recent years to maintain the economy.

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2. Mauritius

Population – 1.3 million Area- 2030 km² GDP per capita: $22,030

Mauritius is an island republic situated in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Africa. It is the second biggest economy in Africa based on its GDP per capita.

Mauritius' economy was founded on sugarcane plantations but has since expanded to include textiles, tourism, and banking. Approximately 80% of its visitors come from neighbouring African nations, France, and the United Kingdom.

The government generates public debt to upgrade infrastructures to contend with its neighbour, South Africa's economic superpower. Mauritius also has a free port policy, implying no taxes or tariffs on export-oriented items manufactured in Mauritius.

1. Seychelles

Population – 99,045 Area– 460 km² GDP per capita: $26,120

Seychelles is a tiny island in the Indian Ocean, just off the coast of East Africa. It is the wealthiest country in Africa in terms of per capita income. Its remarkable GDP per capita is primarily due to its thriving tourist business, which contributes considerably to its GDP.

Tourism contributes to around 40% of national GDP and over 70% of foreign currency profits. Initially, fishing was the economy's cornerstone, with tuna being the top catch. However, Seychelles has expanded its tourist business in recent years by adding housing and services on the island.

Note: All data are based on the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) and World Bank's most recent annual reports, which use current GDP values in US dollars.

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