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10 Richest Countries in Africa in Terms of Gross National Income (GNI) Per Capita

The best way to appreciate the demands and economic strength of a nation and the general standard of living of its citizen is by the use of GNI per capita.

Gross National Income (GNI) per Capita, previously called Gross National Product (GNP) per capita, means the number of goods, investments, money, and services staying in a nation. 

To compare the economies of nations using GNI, the currency of these countries is converted to US dollars using the official exchange rate.

Let’s look at the wealthiest countries in Africa in terms of Gross National Income (GNI) per Capita.

Generally, Sub-Sahara Africa has 1,480 308 in Gross National Income (GNI) per capita as of 2020 (World Bank).

1. Seychelles

Regarding Gross National Income per capita, the first most prosperous country in Africa is Seychelles. 

As of 2020, Seychelles stands at $12,720 Gross National Income (GNI) per capita. The amount was a 20.15% decline from the $15,930 figure of 2019.

Status of the economy of Seychelles

In Africa, especially Sub-Sahara Africa, Seychelles holds a high-income economic status because of its $12,720 Gross National Income (GNI) per capita.

A country is regarded as a high-income country if it has a GNI per capita of above $12,376 using the atlas method for over a year (World Bank).

Presently, in the whole of Africa, Seychelles holds the record for straight four years now and still counting. 

Despite the global pandemic, the country can still bounce back in its wealth through agricultural activities, tourism, and lots more.

Seychelles, in East Africa, has 115 islands located across the Indian Ocean with many beaches, ranking among the hot spots for tourists across the globe.

2. Mauritius

From World Bank data in 2020, Mauritius has a $10,230 Gross National Income (GNI) per capita, ranking it as the second most prosperous country in Africa in terms of GNI per capita.

An outlook at Mauritius’ economy

Mauritius has a decline of 20.7% in their Gross National Income (GNI) per capita from the $12,900 figure of 2019.

Previously, in 2019 the country was among the high-income countries, but the effects of the coronavirus, the lockdown, among other factors, set the country’s economy back.

With the resumption of exports, tourism, and other economic activities, before the end of 2021, the country expects to bounce back to its splendor of being a high-income country.

3. Gabon

Gabon is the third most prosperous country in Africa, rating from Gross National Income (GNI) per capita worth $6,970 in 2020 (World Bank).

A glance at the economy of Gabon

Compared to the $7,170 GNI per capita made by Gabon in 2019, they had a 2.79% decline in 2020 resulting from the effects of the global pandemic.

The economy of Gabon largely depends on oil, but other sectors like the agricultural sector, service, and industry still prevail.

4. Botswana

The fourth most affluent country in Africa, measuring from the Gross National Income (GNI) per capita, is Botswana, with $6,640.

Botswana’s economy

Botswana has one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa and the world. 

For the past ten years, the country’s economy has grown by 5%. Botswana’s economy generates income from trade, agriculture, tourism, mining, and other sectors.

The country made an annual growth rate of 4.36% in 2019, but in 2020, it declined by 13.32% due to the lockdown. 

The ease of the lockdown is returning economic activities in the country.

5. Equatorial Guinea

With a Gross National Income (GNI) per capita of $5,810, Equatorial Guinea is the fifth richest county in Africa at the end of 2020.

A view at Equatorial Guinea’s economy

The economic dependency of Equatorial Guinea is mainly on petroleum, coffee, and cocoa. 

Recently, the country has significantly improved infrastructure coupled with economic growth.

In terms of their GNI per capita, Equatorial Guinea has a turndown of 7.48% in 2020 from the 2019 figure of $6,280. 

Over the years, Equatorial Guinea has been investing in the infrastructure and development of energy.

6. South Africa

South Africa is the sixth most prosperous country in Africa regarding Gross National Income (GNI) per capita, valued at $5,410 in 2020.

A glance at the economy of South Africa

South Africa is an upper-middle-income economy and has the third-largest economy in Africa. Their primary industries include mining, automobile production, manufacturing, and more.

By the end of 2020, the country had a 10.43% decline in their GNI per capita, as they made $6,040 in 2019. 

The reduction resulted from the lockdown called by the global pandemic.

7. Namibia

Judging from Gross National Income (GNI) per capita, Namibia ranks the 7th most prosperous country in Africa, valued at $4,520 in 2020.

An overview of Namibia’s economy

Tourism offers about 19% of employment to the people of Namibia, thereby enhancing the country’s economy. Other sectors like manufacturing, fishing, mining, and labor are booming the country’s economy.

Due to the effects of economic lockdown in 2020, Namibia declined in GNI per capita by 12.74% from the $5,180 in 2019. 

However, upon opening and border and resumption of all other economic activities in 2021, the country expects a massive increase in its GNI per capita.

8. Eswatini

The landlocked Eswatini is the 8th richest country in Africa, ranking by Gross National Income (GNI) per capita valued at $3,580. Mozambique and South Africa border the country.

Overview of the economy of Eswatini

Eswatini is a country in the lower-middle-income rank. The top industries in the country are soft drink concentrates, coal, sugar, and wood pulp. These industries significantly contribute to the GNI per capita of the country.

Eswatini experienced a 2.6 decline in 2020 due to the impacts of COVID-19 on the people and activities. 

Nevertheless, upon the ease of the pandemics lockdown, trade, export, and export have resumed, making the country better.

9. Cape Verde

In 2020, Cape Verde made a Gross National Income per capita of $3,060, ranking the country the 9th richest in Africa based on GNI per capita.

A look at the economy of Cape Verde

The majority of the people in Cape Verde are in the economy’s public service, transportation, commerce, and trade sector. 2020 saw massive lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic, and the effect of this tells a lot about the country’s wealth.

By the end of 2021 and further, we project a growth rate of 4.6% in the economy of Cape Verde. 

They will drive growth by opening borders for activities and other industries like tourism, communication technology, energy, and other sectors of the economy.

10. Cote d’Ivoire

Cote d’Ivoire is the 10th most prosperous country in Africa as of 2020, with a Gross National Income (GNI) per capita of $2,280.

Features of the economy of Cote d’Ivoire

Cote d’Ivoire has a growing economy with most citizens dependent on industries like beverage, textile, vehicle assembly, electricity, etc.

The global pandemic COVID-19 hit the country like it did others in 2020 and had a significant effect on the activities of Cote d’Ivoire, causing a decline in the growth rate of the economy. 

Nevertheless, the resumption of economic activities will significantly improve the economy by 2021 end.

Here is the Gross National Income (GNI) of other African countries from the 2020 World Bank report; 

  • Angola $2,230
  • Ghana $2,230
  • Sao Tome and Principe $2,070
  • Nigeria $2,000
  • Congo Republic $1,830.

How to calculate the Gross National Income (GNI)

The gross national income is changed to the United States dollars using the World Bank Atlas technique, divided by population for the midyear.

You can calculate the Gross National Income (GNI) as the gross domestic product and the net receipts from abroad of employees’ receivable compensation, plus income on property and net taxes minus production subsidies.

What is the wealthiest country in the world measured by gross national income per capita?

Norway is the wealthiest country globally in terms of Gross National Income (GNI) per capita as of 2020, worth 78,169 US Dollars. 

Other countries that follow in terms of the highest GNI per capita worldwide include Denmark, Netherland, and Finland.

Which country has the most robust economy in Africa?

In Africa, Nigeria has the strongest economy with the highest GDP in Africa as of 2021, worth $514.05 billion. 

Egypt ranks second in the list of the Africa countries with the highest GDP.

Which is the wealthiest country in Africa in 2021?

In 2021, the wealthiest country in Africa ranked by their GDP is Nigeria standing at 514.05 billion United States dollars.


Seychelles has the highest Gross National Income (GNI) per capita in Africa, followed by Mauritius, Gabon, Botswana, and Equatorial Guinea.

The best approach to calculate the Gross National Income (GNI) per capita of any nation is to divide the gross national income by the country’s population by the middle of the year. 

The GNI per capita is among the many criteria for checking any country’s wealth.

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