Trade, agriculture, human resources, and industry are the major components of the African economy. As of 2012, Africa housed 1.07 billion people in the 54 countries of the continent. Though the country is rich in resources, the people of the country have been exploited for decades and are poverty stricken. It is expected that the African economy will reach a GDP of $29 trillion by 2050. However, it is also estimated that the disparity in income will deter the wealth distribution among the people of the continent. Currently, a number of African countries are among the poorest while others have some of the fastest growing economies in the world. Here we discuss the ten richest countries in Asia and the nature of their economies.
10. Namibia – $11,800
Namibia can be found in Southern Africa. With a per capita GDP of $11,800, it is the tenth richest country in Africa. Mining, agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism all play large parts in the country’s economy. The country is sparsely populated, with a population of around 2 million.
However, cost of living in Namibia remains relatively high. Many goods that are consumed within the country are imported, which contributes to their high costs. Furthermore, there is a monopoly over many commodities, which also further escalates this cost. The unemployment rate in Namibia is also high, at around 27.4%. The country today is characterized as an emerging economy.
9. Egypt – $12,100
Egypt is a transcontinental country with territories stretching from Africa’s northeast corner to Asia’s southwest corner across the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt shares its borders with the Gaza Strip and Israel, the Red Sea, Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea, Sudan, and Libya. Cairo is the capital of the country. It ranks ninth on our list with a per capita GDP of $12,100.
The economy of Egypt depends on agriculture, tourism, natural gas, and petroleum imports, as well as revenues from the Suez Canal. A large number of Egyptians also work abroad. The remittances of these workers contribute to the wealth of the nation. Despite the abundant natural resources and nearness to the sea, overpopulation, desertification and decreasing water levels of the Nile are the major factors threatening the Egyptian economy. The infiltration of terrorist groups and internal rebellions also serve to damage the country’s economic stability.
8. South Africa – $13,500
South Africa, the southernmost country on the continent, is bordered by Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho, and Mozambique. The country has a mixed type of economy and has a relatively high GDP compared to other African countries. Despite this fact, South Africa has high rates of unemployment, poverty, and a wide gap between the rich and the poor. Nonetheless, it ranks eighth on the list with an average per capita income of $13,500.
South Africa is enlisted among the top 10 countries in the world for income inequality. The economic disparity among South Africa’s population is primarily a result of the apartheid regime in the country which ended in 1994. Gradual improvements in the country’s economy have occurred since then. Tourism is one of the biggest revenue generating industries in South Africa. Germany, US, Japan, and China are the biggest trade partners of South Africa outside of Africa.
7. Libya – $14,200
Libya is located in North Africa. It is the fourth largest country in Africa by land area. The population is around 6 million, and the per capita GDP is $14,200.
A country rich in oil reserves, Libya ranks as the 7th richest country in Africa by per capita GDP. Its oil reserves account for almost all of the country’s exports, and make up the fast majority of the country’s GDP as well. Libya is also rich in natural gas and gypsum. Libya is defined as being an “Upper Middle Income Economy” by the World Bank.
Like most entries on this list, the GDP of Libya is greatly due to its oil reserves and relatively small population. Per capita GDP does not take income inequality into consideration. Unemployment in Libya is high, and wavers around 21%.
6. Algeria – $15,000
Algeria, the largest country in Africa, is located in the Northern part of the continent. It is the 6th richest country in Africa with a GDP per capita of $15,000. The country has a population of over 40 million. Like many countries on this list, it is considered by the World Bank to be an upper middle country.
Traditionally, the state has played a large role in the economy of Algeria. However, in recent years, the economy has diversified. To date, unemployment rates remain high, especially among youth. The country’s economy relies greatly on hydrocarbons (petroleum and natural gas).