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Africa’s Ten Largest Economies in 2007

Last Updated: 1/17/2010 1:52:36 PM

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While the African continent has some of the poorest countries in the world, it still has some countries that can make a claim to be economic powerhouses as they benefit from rising oil prices. looks at the ten largest economies on the continent.....

Some African economies have benefitted from the rising oil prices
Some African economies have benefitted from the rising oil prices

The African economy consists of the trade, industry, and resources of approximately 887 million people were living in 54 different states. Africa is the world's poorest inhabited continent.

Though parts of the continent have made significant gains over the last few years as in the past ten decade African countries have experienced an average growth rate of 5.4%, which in keeping with the global growth rate.

While Africa still contiues to host some of the poorest countries in the world, the entire continent is not utterly impoverished and there is considerable variation in its wealth. Arab North Africa has long been closely linked to the economies of Europe and the Middle East. South Africa is by far the continent's wealthiest state, both in GDP per capita and in total GDP, and its neighbors have shared in this wealth.

ClickAfrique lists top ten largest economies in Africa below:

1. South Africa

GDP: $ 467.6 billion Global Rank: 27
South Africa is a middle-income, emerging market with an abundant supply of natural resources; well-developed financial, legal, communications, energy, and transport sectors; a stock exchange that is 17th largest in the world; and modern infrastructure supporting an efficient distribution of goods to major urban centers throughout the region.

2. Egypt

GDP: $ 431.9 billion Global Rank: 29
Egypt is bisected by the highly fertile Nile valley, where most of its economic activity takes place. Since 2005, when the government reduced personal and corporate tax rates, reduced energy subsidies, and privatized several enterprises, the stock market boomed, and GDP grew about 5% per year in 2005-06, and topped 7% in 2007. The economy also experienced an increase in foreign direct investments. However, the subsidies have contributed to a sizeable budget deficit - roughly 7.5% of GDP in 2007 - and represent a significant drain on the economy.

3. Nigeria

GDP: $ 294.8 billion Global Rank: 40
Oil-rich Nigeria is virtually a mono-economy as demonstrated by its overdependence on the capital-intensive oil sector, which provides 20% of GDP, 95% of foreign exchange earnings, and about 80% of budgetary revenues. The largely subsistence agricultural sector has failed to keep up with rapid population growth and the country, once a large net exporter of food, now must import food. GDP rose strongly in 2007, based largely on increased oil exports and high global crude prices.

4. Algeria

GDP: $ 268.9 billion Global Rank: 42
The hydrocarbons sector is the backbone of the Algerian economy, accounting for roughly 60% of budget revenues, 30% of GDP, and over 95% of export earnings. Sustained high oil prices in recent years have helped improve Algeria's financial and macroeconomic indicators. Real GDP has risen due to higher oil output and increased government spending. The government's continued efforts to diversify the economy by attracting foreign and domestic investment outside the energy sector, however, has had little success in reducing high unemployment and improving living standards. Structural reform within the economy, such as development of the banking sector and the construction of infrastructure, moves ahead slowly hampered by corruption and bureaucratic resistance.

5. Morocco

GDP: $ 127 billion Global Rank: 60
The Moroccan Government's ongoing efforts to diversify the economy is being fustrated as Morocco's GDP growth rate slowed to 2.1% in 2007 as a result of a draught that severely reduced agricultural output and necessitated wheat imports at rising world prices. Continued dependence on foreign energy and Morocco's inability to develop small and medium size enterprises also contributed to the slowdown.

6. Sudan

GDP: $ 107.8 billion Global Rank: 62
Despite the ongoing Darfur conflict, Sudan's economy is booming on the back of increases in oil production, high oil prices, and large inflows of foreign direct investment. GDP growth registered more than 10% per year in 2006 and 2007. Agricultural production remains important, because it employs 80% of the work force and contributes a third of GDP. Since 1997, Sudan has been working with the IMF to implement macroeconomic reforms, including a managed float of the exchange rate. In January 2007, the government introduced a new currency, the Sudanese Pound, at an initial exchange rate of $1.00 equals 2 Sudanese Pounds.

7. Angola

GDP: $ 80.95 billion Global Rank: 72
Angola's high growth rate is driven by its oil sector, with record oil prices and rising petroleum production which, along with its supporting activities, contribute about 85% of GDP. Increased oil production supported growth averaging more than 15% per year from 2004 to 2007. Much of the country's infrastructure is still damaged or undeveloped from the 27-year-long civil war. The government is making use of lines of credit from China, Brazil, Portugal, Germany, Spain, and the EU to rebuild Angola's public infrastructure, and several large-scale projects were completed in 2006. Corruption, especially in the extractive sectors, and the negative effects of large inflows of foreign exchange, are major challenges facing Angola.

8. Libya

GDP: $ 78.79 billion Global Rank: 73
Libya depends primarily upon revenues from the oil sector, which contribute about 95% of export earnings, about one-quarter of GDP, and 60% of public sector wages. Libyan officials in the past five years have made progress on economic reforms as part of a broader campaign to reintegrate the country into the international fold. The removal of sanctions against Libya has helped attract more foreign direct investment, mostly in the energy sector. The non-oil manufacturing and construction sectors, which account for more than 20% of GDP, have expanded from processing mostly agricultural products to include the production of petrochemicals, iron, steel, and aluminum.

9. Tunisia

GDP: $ 77.16 billion Global Rank: 75
Tunisia has a diverse economy, with important agricultural, mining, tourism, and manufacturing sectors. Governmental control of economic affairs while still heavy has gradually lessened over the past decade with increasing privatization, simplification of the tax structure, and a prudent approach to debt.

10. Kenya

GDP: $ 57.65 billion Global Rank: 83
The regional hub for trade and finance in East Africa, Kenya has been hampered by corruption and by reliance upon several primary goods whose prices have remained low. Despite little effort by the Kibaki government to deal with the corruption scandals that rocked it in 2005 and 2006, the World Bank and IMF, and other donors, continue to lend the nation money. The scandals have not weighed down growth, with estimated real GDP growth at more than 6 percent in 2007.


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