Most countries in Africa have the highest growing economies globally, with fertile soil and abundant natural resources.
GDP per capita, otherwise known as the gross domestic product per person, is the best metric to measure how an average citizen of a country lives. It presents a better idea of every country’s wealth regarding the number of goods and services each person produces.
To calculate the average GDP per capita, you divide the value of a country’s goods and services produced (GDP) by their population.
In descending order, here’s a list of the 15 wealthiest countries in Africa ranked with GDP per capita in 2021, from different sources, including International Monetary Fund (IMF) reports.
The first richest African country with the highest GDP per capita as of 2021 is Seychelles, with 13.14 thousand U.S. dollars.
Presently, the country has a population of 99,160 and a GDP of about 1.20 USD Billion.
An outlook at the economy at Seychelles
The economic drive of Seychelles is by agriculture (e.g., vanilla and coconut production), tourism, fishing, and the construction of boats. Also, close to half of the country’s labor forces are in the civil service, which makes up the majority of the country’s revenue.
However, the effects of COVID-19 caused a significant decline in the GDP per capita of Seychelles from 3.9% in 2019 to -13.5% in 2020. There was lesser revenue because of the lockdown and many expenses resulting from spending to control the pandemic.
In 2021, the economy began to recover with the border opening for tourism and other economic activities.
Mauritius follows Seychelles as Africa’s second most affluent country, ranked by GDP per capita valued at 8.68 thousand U.S. dollars in 2021.
It has a population of 1,274,652 in 2021, according to Worldometer, and an estimate of 13.50 USD billion GDP in 2021.
A quick look at Mauritius’ economy
Mauritius, located on the Indian Ocean Island, depends on subsistence livestock and crop farming for economic improvement.
According to the World Bank, the GDP per capita in this country dropped to 8,622.7 thousand U.S. dollars in 2020, a decrease of about 3.6% due to the effects of the coronavirus.
The country plans to improve its GDP from 2.3% in 2021 to 1.7% in 2022. The global economy will revive, and this will increase the GDP per capita of Mauritania.
3. Equatorial Guinea
The central African country is another major player on the continent as the third richest African country in terms of GDP per capita, worth 8.63 thousand U.S. dollars in 2021.
By the end of 2021, the country anticipates having a GDP of 10.50 USD billion and a population of 1,465,739.
A glance at the economy of Equatorial Guinea
Before discovering oil deposits in Equatorial Guinea around 1980, the country had a high dependence on coffee and cocoa.
However, the oil reserve has been tremendously growing its economy as it ranked third among the Sub-Saharan African oil producers. The country continues to discover new gas reserves.
From the data of the World Bank in 2020, the country’s GDP per capita raised from 7.143.2 thousand U.S. dollars to 8.63 thousand U.S. dollars in 2021 (IMF). That is such an improvement from the recession caused by the global pandemic COVID-19.
Gabon has a GDP per capita of 8.57 thousand U.S. dollars in 2021 as against the 7,005.9 thousand U.S. dollars (World Bank data) in 2020, making it the fourth most prosperous country in Africa according to GDP per capita.
According to World Bank, they had a GDP of 15.59 billion USD with a growth rate of -1.3% annual changes in 2020.
Overview of the economy of Gabon
In Africa, Gabon is the fifth-biggest oil-producing country with massive economic growth driven by the large production of manganese and oil.
The country belongs in the upper-middle-income level in Africa. Oil accounts for 45% of their GDP, 60% of their fiscal revenue, and 80% of their exportation.
By exporting rubber, manganese, and crude oil, Gabon anticipates stabilizing its GDP per capita from the effects of the COVID-19 crisis in 2020.
Botswana has a GDP per capita of 7.35 thousand U.S. dollars in 2021, making it the fifth-highest in Africa. The figure was against the 6,711.0 thousand U.S. dollars in 2020.
From econometrics, the country’s GDP will be 17.00 billion USD by the end of 2021, 18.50 by the end of 2022, and 21.00 billion USD by 2023.
As of November 2021, Botswana has a population of 2,416,382.
A quick look at the economy of Botswana
For the past 50 years, tourism and the enormous deposit of diamonds have lifted Botswana’s economy to a great height.
These resources have greatly improved the country’s per capita, using an average increase of 5% annually.
Although the 2020 economic lockdown caused a decline in the demand for diamonds across the globe, Bostwana is currently improving its economic drive.
6. South Africa
South Africa, otherwise known as the Republic of South Africa, is the sixth most prosperous country in Africa, according to GDP per capita in 2021. It has a GDP per capita of 6.86 thousand U.S. dollars in 2021 against the World Bank 2020 data of 5,090.7 thousand U.S. dollars.
With a GDP of 415.315 billion U.S. dollars, it has a population of about 60,329,481. According to GDP, South Africa is the 2nd richest country after Nigeria (spendings on total imports and exports).
A look at the economy of South Africa
South Africa has a well-developed economy and is one of the top growing countries in the world.
It generates revenue from many sources, mainly exporting raw materials, including iron ore, diamonds, agricultural products, gold, and platinum metals.
Recently in 2020, political recession and the global pandemic affected the country’s economy and growth rate of their GDP like it did other nations. However, the country generates great returns from tourism, financial services, and manufacturing.
In the southern part of Africa, Namibia has a population of 2,603,804, with a GDP Per Capita in 2021 of 4.69 thousand U.S. dollars, and the figure is against the World Bank data 4.211.1 in 2020.
The average GDP of Namibia by the end of 2021 would be 11.00 billion USD, with an expected increase to 12.50 USD billion in 2022.
The economy of Namibia
The country is recovering from the effects of the coronavirus. Research reveals that by the end of 2021, there will be a 2.6% increase in the economy of Namibia, despite the impact of the covid-19 pandemic.
The country generates a majority of its revenue from tourism, trades, mining, and financial services. By the end of 2022, the economy of Namibia will likely grow by 3.3%, according to African Development Bank.
The GDP Per Capita in Libya as of 2021 is 4.07 thousand U.S. dollars. Analysts expect the country’s GDP to rise with a 78.2% growth rate to 51.00 billion American dollars by December 2021 and about 52.00 billion USD by 2022.
A look at Libya’s economy
Oil contributes to 60% of the country’s GDP and 95% of their export. Libya also generates revenue from the agricultural and industrial sectors, among others.
The GPD of this country will rise by 37.5% and 54.9% in December 2021 and 2022, respectively, from the creation of resources to procure capital and improve technology.
Egypt has a GDP per capita of 3.85 thousand U.S. dollars in 2021. The country has a population of 100 million persons and an estimated GDP of 302.256 billion
A look at the economy of Egypt
Egypt was the wealthiest country in Africa for many years. However, following the Arab unrest in 2011, the economy of this ancient country experienced a decline.
However, after their economic reform program, the economy is reviving with revenues flowing in from tourism, the exportation of agricultural products, natural gas, petroleum resources, and foreign exchange, among others.
Djibouti’s GDP per capita is 3.65 thousand U.S. dollars, ranking the country 10th among the wealthiest countries in Africa.
An outlook at the economy of Djibouti
Despite the shock of the global pandemic in 2020, the economy of Djibouti remains positive. The significant sources of revenue in this free-trade country include telecommunication, logistics, and transportation.
According to analysis, the economy of Djibouti will grow at the rate of 5.5% and then by 6.2% in 2022.
The country has a population of 988,002 in 2020 (World Bank) and an expected GDP of 3.40 U.S. billion dollars in 2021.
Algeria has a GDP per capita of 3.64 thousand U.S. dollars in 2021 with a population of 44,933,415 and a GDP of 155.00 USD billion.
A glance at the economy of Algeria
The economy of Algeria depends solely on the exportation of hydrocarbon. Generally, hydrocarbon generates 94% of the country’s export revenue, while 41% is from fiscal revenue and 20% DGP.
Tunisia has a GDP per capita of 3.56 thousand U.S. dollars in 2021. The GDP growth rate in the country was 2.7% in 2018, 1.0% in 2019, and −4.0% in 2020. Presently, the country is the 12 richest country in Africa, ranked according to GDP per capita.
An overview of the economy of Tunisia
Tourism, petroleum, agricultural products, production of car parts and phosphate drives rapid growth to the economy of Tunisia.
Although a decline befell Tusinia’s economy came from the effects of COVID-19, the GDP started improving upon business resumption and will increase by 3% by the end of 2021.
Morocco’s GDP per capita in 2021 is 3.47 thousand U.S. dollars, having a population of 36,029,138 and a GDP of 119 04 billion U.S. dollars. Morocco comes in as the 13th most prosperous country in Africa, ranked by GDP per capita.
A look at the economy of Morocco
Morocco has a stable economy ranking as the second-richest non-oil producing country in Africa. The economy of Morocco is driven mainly through manufacturing and mining. However, other economic drivers in the economy include service, agriculture, and industry.
Political problems and the global pandemic caused a decline in the country, but the economy is now rising, ranking as the third-largest phosphorous producer.
Also, the country generates vast income from the textile industries, telecommunication, export of electrical equipment, among others.
14. Republic of the Congo
The Republic of the Congo has a GDP Per Capita of 2.66 thousand U.S. dollars in 2021 against the 2020 data of 1,972.5 thousand U.S. dollars (World Bank).
A glance at the economy of the Republic of the Congo
Oil accounts for more than half of the GDP of the economy of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The country is among the top 10 oil-producing countries in Africa.
The increase in oil production coupled with steady oil prices has driven rapid growth in the Republic of the Congo economy. The favorable market condition has attracted many foreign partners in the oil sector.
Other sectors of the economy that improve the GDP include telecommunication, agriculture, public works, and transportation sectors.
15. Côte d’Ivoire
Cote d’Ivoire’s GDP Per Capita is 2.49 thousand U.S. dollars while their 2020 data was 2,325.7 thousand U.S. dollars in 2020 (according to World Bank).
An idea of the economy of Cote d’Ivoire
The francophone West African country of Cote d’Ivoire has had a steady, vibrant economy for the past decade.
The coronavirus unrest caused a decline to Cote d’Ivoire’s economy, but the country is rising upon the ease of many restrictions and resumption of economic activities.
Major drivers in the economy of Cote d’Ivoire include petroleum products, construction, agricultural products, and mining, among others.
Which African country will have the highest GDP in 2021?
Currently, Nigeria is the African country with the highest GDP, worth 446.543 billion United States dollars. Recall that GDP is the surest way of calculating the wealth of a nation.
By 2050, the African economy expects to reach a Gross Domestic Product of US$29. Achieving this margin will also improve the GDP per capita across African countries, reducing poverty and stabilizing the economy.
Most of these richest African countries ranked above according to their GDP per capita are among the fastest-growing countries globally.