loader image

Africa’s Most Dynamic Economies in 2023

Home > Blog > Economy > Africa’s Most Dynamic Economies in 2023

Africa’s Most Dynamic Economies in 2023

Forecasts by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) highlight a stable economic landscape in Africa and the dynamism of some of the continent’s nations.

Economic Growth Map of the African Continent

The IMF forecasts average real gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 3.2 % in 2023. Despite the global economic slowdown, most African countries are experiencing GDP growth, except two countries. Sudan faces a decline of 18.3 % and Equatorial Guinea is expected to contract by 6.2 %.

Regional differences in economic growth

The North African region recorded a significant real GDP growth of 4.2 %, driven by the expected solid recovery in Morocco and Libya as well as the Free Trade Project between North Africa and Russia. Indeed, Libya overcame a 9.6% recession to post an impressive 12.5 % growth in 2023, the highest on the continent. Similarly, Morocco saw its growth increase from 1.3 % to 2.5 % between 2022 and 2023. Overall, the region is experiencing positive growth, with GDP growth rates increasing in all countries:

  • Algeria, with 3.8 % growth
  • Egypt, with growth of 4.2 %
  • Tunisia, up 1.3 %

By contrast, growth in sub-Saharan Africa will slow to 2.7 % in 2023. This decline is due to factors such as the challenges of climate change, conflict, and global economic uncertainty. However, some countries are making significant progress:

  • Mozambique, with a 7 % increase in GDP
  • Democratic Republic of Congo, with growth of 6.7 %
  • Côte d’Ivoire and Rwanda, with growth of 6.2 %
  • Ethiopia, with growth of 6.1 %

Top 10 GDP Growth Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa

According to the IMF, here is a projection of the most dynamic economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2023.

It’s important to note that GDP measures only the wealth created by all actors, private and public, within a national territory. It does not take into account income inequality and therefore cannot be used to assess a country’s overall wealth and development.

Nevertheless, the GDP growth rate is a key indicator used to assess a country’s economic dynamism. There are no real winners or losers in this ranking. For example, Ethiopia, although ranked 5th, has the highest nominal GDP. However, Mozambique, which has the fastest economic growth, has a lower GDP than Tanzania, which ranks 10th.

“African Lions” excluded from best growth ranking

Also known as the « African Lions », the continent’s most developed and wealth-creating countries are South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt and Morocco. Their economic stability has had a significant impact on Africa’s economic landscape. However, data compiled by the IMF shows that these four nations are not among the ten African countries with the most dynamic economic growth.

South Africa recorded a modest GDP growth of 0.9 %. Despite this, the data suggests economic stability and remains one of the wealthiest countries in Africa. According to the World Bank, the country will have a GDP of 405.9 billion USD by 2022. Similarly, Egypt and Morocco have GDPs of 477 billion USD and 134.18 billion USD, respectively, for the same year. Nigeria recorded a GDP of 476.75 billion USD.

Drivers of Economic Growth and Development

The drivers of economic growth and development in Africa vary from country to country. However, there are some common factors, such as a growing young and active population, the emergence of a middle class, an increase in purchasing power, and labor market dynamism. In addition, the stimulation of regional trade, fostered by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), is contributing to this progress.

Resilience efforts in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery initiatives are also multiplying across the continent. The promotion of financial and digital inclusion, as well as the professional integration of women, are essential vectors for socio-economic development.

Economic diversification

As in Tanzania, Rwanda, and Ethiopia, economic diversification is seen as an essential factor for development. These countries have worked with their regional neighbors to develop a sustainable economic strategy. This initiative involves the sustainable use of the continent’s rich biological resources and the integration of farmers into new value chains. For example, Tanzania is stepping up efforts to ensure that its aquaculture sector contributes 4.2% of GDP by 2025.

To illustrate, Rwanda’s economy is booming, with agriculture at the center, accounting for about 55% of employment and contributing 25% to GDP. In addition to a strong economy, Rwanda is establishing itself as a high-end tourism destination, which is stimulating growth in the services sector. Its debt profile is showing signs of improvement and remains largely concessional. However, weak human capital is hampering its development.

Africa’s top 10 economic powers

The ranking of Africa’s top 10 economic powers in 2023 is dominated by countries with diversified, stable economies. Based on IMF projections, here is the ranking in terms of GDP:

  1. Egypt : The land of the Pharaoh stands out as the continent’s economic leader, with a GDP of 398.4 billion USD
  2. Nigeria : Africa’s leading oil exporter with a GDP of 390 billion USD
  3. South Africa : The economic giant has a GDP of 380.91 billion USD
  4. Algeria : Reports a GDP of 224.11 billion USD
  5. Ethiopia : Continues to show impressive economic growth with a GDP of 155.8 billion USD
  6. Morocco : The Kingdom of Cherif has a GDP of 147.34 billion USD
  7. Kenya: An African leader in sustainable energy, Kenya has a GDP of 112.75 billion USD
  8. Angola : Despite a GDP of 93.8 billion USD, the country continues to face economic challenges
  9. Tanzania : Projected GDP of 84.03 billion USD
  10. Côte d’Ivoire : With a GDP of 79.43 billion USD, Côte d’Ivoire completes the top
  11. Development prospects and the future of the African continent in 2024

According to IMF forecasts, the future of the African continent in 2024 looks promising. Its average economic growth outlook of 3.8 % is higher than the world average and that of Europe. Economic growth is projected to increase in several African countries, demonstrating the resilience of these economies in the face of various challenges.

Key sectors such as trade, tourism, mining, and extractive industries are expected to underpin this growth. In addition, efforts are underway to strengthen resilience and implement structural reforms to promote economic diversification. Inflation is also projected to decline, indicating a more stable economic environment.

Despite this positive outlook, several challenges remain. Growth in sub-Saharan Africa could be dampened by escalating political tensions and climatic shocks. Indeed, climate change is causing severe humanitarian crises in Africa, affecting some 407.5 million people between 2000 and 2022.

Share this article
Share this Article:
Join our newsletter

Join the latest releases and tips, interesting articles, and exclusive interviews in your inbox every week.