The Nigerian government issued new GDP figures putting its current rate at USD509.9 billion, effectively surpassing South Africa as the number one economy in the continent.
The new figures put Nigeria as 24th in the list of the world’s biggest economies and are as a result of a process known as rebasing. GDP is usually measured by reference to the shape of the economy in a “base” year and Nigeria’s was hopelessly out of date by taking a snapshot of its economy in 1990. Since then the mineral-rich country has seen a range of industries growing rapidly particularly in the services sector with the rapid growth in telecommunications and the advent of mobile phones taking the lead.
Manufacturing has also expanded across the country with factories that have opened since 1990 now included. There has also been a huge increase in the number of small businesses operating in Nigeria, believed to have escalated ten-fold.
The country’s GDP rates has almost tripled since 1996, which saw the end of a 12-year period of international sanctions against the country. With its mixed economy, South Africa was last year ranked as the Top African country of the Future by FDI Magazine based on the country’s economic potential, labour environment, cost effectiveness, infrastructure, business friendliness and Foreign Direct Investment Strategy.
Egypt has a stable economy and enjoys continuous growth averaging 4-5% in the past 25years. It has recently gone under a number of reforms which has helped the country towards achieving a more market-oriented economy. It boasts significant mineral and energy resources including petroleum, natural gas, phosphate, gold, iron and ore. However, a mainstay gas has been tourism market which contributes one percent to the global tourism market.
Oil, gas and mineral-rich Algeria’s economy is expected to grow by 4.0% in 2014. Export of oil and gas accounts for 97% of its total exports and the country produces a wide range of minerals the most productive of which are iron and zinc. Some 14% of the workforce is employed by agriculture; although Algeria is largely dependent on imported food, some 45%.
Despite being one of the fastest growing economies in the world, the majority of Angolans are still poor, with a third of the population relying on subsistence farming to feed. Following the end of the Angolan civil war in 2002, the country enjoyed rapid GDP growth that has had to work hard to repair ravaged political institutions. It has extensive oil and gas reserves as well as diamonds.
Moroccans quality of life is second only to South Africans according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Quality of Life Index. A robust economy based on supply and demand, today, it is enjoying a yearly growth of between 4-5%. Its thriving services sector accounts for just over half of GDP while industry comprising mining, construction and manufacturing make up an additional growth.
Often described as the Arad’s world food-basket, Sudan accounts for 45% of arable land in the Arab world. However, its 84 million hectares of arable land but currently less than 20% of it is cultivated. A potentially vibrant agricultural sector is hindered by infrastructure and finance problem. It’s primary resources are cotton and peanuts of which it is a major exporter.
Tunisia has been going through a period of economic transformation with its reform programmes which has seen the government liberalized prices reduced tariffs and other trade barriers on most goods. Its main industries are oil, phosphates, agro-foods, car parts manufacturing and tourism.
Among the top ten fastest growing economies in the world, Ghana’s industrialization is going some way to fuel that growth. It operates a diverse range of sectors including manufacturing, exporting digital technology goods, ship construction and is rich in hydrocarbons and industrial minerals. Telecommunications play a vibrant role in the country’s economic success and the mass media of Ghana is among the most liberal in Africa.
Libya has the largest proven oil resources in Africa and the state-run industry is dominated by the National Oil Corporation. Over half of its export earning is derived from the petroleum sector. Agriculture plays a large part in the overall economy nonetheless. Libya remains independent on imports for most of its food requirements.
Nigeria has recently taken over as the largest economy in Africa following a rebasing of its GDP rates; effectively pushing South Africa into second position. The rebasing process was long overdue as Nigeria’s figures were previously set in its 1990 base year.
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