10 Most Prosperous and Successful African Countries

The most prosperous countries in Africa include Botswana, South Africa, Morocco, Namibia, Tunisia, Algeria, Ghana, Rwanda, Burkina Faso, Senegal.

Nigeria is popularly referred to as the giant of Africa. She is also known to be one of the richest countries of Africa. Nigeria is as well, the country with the largest economy in Africa. But it’s quite surprising that according to the latest Legatum Institute Africa Prosperity Report released by the Cable News Network(CNN), Nigeria was not found among the ten most prosperous African countries. According to the report, the research and conclusions made were based on factors such as economy, education, and health. It would have been manageable if Nigeria made it to the list but is not at the top rather than not being mentioned at all. In fact, you will be the more surprised to get to know the number one country on this list.

Most Successful African Countries

10. Senegal

  • GDP (PPP): $78.547 billion
  • GDP (Per Capita): $4,092.53
  • GNI Per Capita: $1,640


Senegal ranks as the continent’s 10th most prosperous nation, according to Legatum Institute’s 2014 Africa Prosperity Report, up nine places since 2012. Her main industries include food processing, mining, cement, artificial fertilizer, chemicals, textiles, refining imported petroleum, and tourism. Exports include fish, chemicals, cotton, fabrics, groundnuts, and calcium phosphate. The principal foreign market is India while other foreign markets include the United States, Italy and the United Kingdom. Senegal spends almost 6% of her GDP on education. Education is compulsory and free up to the age of 16. Though there is still a large room for improvement, Senegal is doing commendably well to be considered among the top ten most prosperous African countries.

9. Burkina Faso

  • GDP (PPP): $62.788 Billion
  • GDP (Per Capita): $2,663.39
  • GNI Per Capita: $830


Agriculture represents 32% of its gross domestic product and occupies 80% of the working population. Burkina Faso has significant reserves of gold, but cotton is the economic mainstay for many Burkinabes. The country is also very rich in other mineral resources such as iron, tin ore, etc. The total fertility rate of Burkina Faso is 5.93 children born per woman (2014 estimates), the sixth highest in the world. Burkina Faso wasn’t making it to this list some years ago but, having risen by five places since 2012, she ranks ninth in this latest report. However, Burkina Faso is one of the countries with the highest rate of illiteracy.

8. Rwanda

  • GDP (PPP): $37.211 Billion
  • GDP (Per Capita): $2,807.56
  • GNI Per Capita: $930


Rwanda’s economic freedom score is 64.8, making its economy the 65th freest in the 2015 Index. Rwanda is ranked 4th out of 46 countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa region, and its score exceeds the world average. It is one of the countries which is on track in fulfilling the 4th and 5th Millennium Development Goals. In terms of the maternal mortality ratio,it reduced from 1,400 deaths per 100,000 live births in 1990 to 320 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2013. The government provides free education in state-run schools for nine years: six years in primary and three years following a common secondary programme. Rwanda was ranked the eighth most prosperous African nation.

7. Ghana

  • GDP (PPP): $227.189 Billion
  • GDP (Per Capita): $6,753.84
  • GNI Per Capita: $2,350

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A significant growth has been noticed in Ghana’s economy since 2012 and after that, it has been forward ever. Currently, Ghana’s economy is growing at the commendable rate of 6%. The West African nation was ranked seventh in the prosperity rankings and was considered the second safest nation on the continent.

6. Algeria

  • GDP (PPP): $628.990 Billion
  • GDP (Per Capita): $3,691
  • GNI Per Capita: $3,660
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People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, is a country in North Africa on the Mediterranean coast. Algeria’s economy is largely based on hydrocarbons, due to which manufacturing has suffered from Dutch disease. The country supplies large amounts of natural gas to Europe, and energy exports are the backbone of the economy. According to OPEC. Algeria has the 17th largest reserves of oil in the world. The country, where 93% of respondents have a cell phone, topped the economy index and is ranked the sixth most prosperous nation in Africa.

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5. Tunisia

  • GDP (PPP): $162.097 Billion
  • GDP (Per Capita): $12,299.68
  • GNI Per Capita: $3,840


Tunisia has a diverse economy, ranging from agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and petroleum products, to tourism. The country has a relatively small population, less than 11 million. The country ranks first in the health sub-index and citizens have a life expectancy of 75 years — 17 years higher than the African average. The European Union remains Tunisia’s first trading partner, currently accounting for 72.5% of Tunisian imports and 75% of Tunisian exports. Tunisia is one of the European Union’s most established trading partners in the Mediterranean region and ranks as the EU’s 30th largest trading partner. Tunisia is the fifth most prosperous African nation according to the Legatum Institute Report.

4. Namibia

  • GDP (PPP): $27.118 Billion
  • GDP (Per Capita): $4,866
  • GNI Per Capita: $4,650


Namibia’s economy is tied closely to South Africa’s due to their shared history. Namibia has considerable quantities of gold, and the largest economic sectors are mining (10.4% of the gross domestic product in 2009), agriculture (5.0%), manufacturing (13.5%), and tourism. Fourth most prosperous African country: Namibia, ranked second in the governance sub-index.

3. Morocco

  • GDP (PPP): $385.337 Billion
  • GDP (Per Capita): $9,041.24
  • GNI Per Capita: $113.27


Morocco’s economy is considered a relatively liberal economy governed by the law of supply and demand. Morocco has become a major player in the African economic affairs, and is the 5th African economy by GDP. Morocco is ranked the third most prosperous African country in terms of economic, education, health.

2. South Africa

  • GDP (PPP): $997.444 Billion
  • GDP (Per Capita): $15,361.30
  • GNI Per Capita: $6,530


The South African economy is a very rich one with good provision of employment opportunities both for citizens and foreigners. It is a fertile ground for businesses and investments. South Africa has a mixed economy, the second largest in Africa after Nigeria. It also has a relatively high GDP per capita compared to other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. The healthcare spending in the country is about 9% of GDP. She is ranked the second most prosperous country in Africa.

1. Botswana

  • GDP (PPP): $47.262 Billion
  • GDP (Per Capita): $19,286.91
  • GNI Per Capita: $6,430

Botswana Logo

As well as her beautiful natural heritage, Botswana is the most prosperous African country according to the research conducted by the Legatum Institute. The country is well-known for her massive deposit and production of gold. Asides posting a relatively high per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $15,176, Botswana also fared well in terms of governance, education and personal freedom. As the country spends 8% of its GDP on education, it is among the biggest proportional spenders in the world according to the World Bank. This is the third year in a row that Botswana has topped the index.

Most Prosperous African Countries

  1. Botswana
  2. South Africa
  3. Morocco
  4. Namibia
  5. Tunisia
  6. Algeria
  7. Ghana
  8. Rwanda
  9. Burkina Faso
  10. Senegal


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