How A Trio Of African Countries Rule The Continent’s Finances

By Claire Obae

  • Africa is home to a trio of financial powerhouses that are outshining the rest of the continent
  • South Africa leads the pack with $651B, closely followed by Egypt and Nigeria with $307B, and $228B in private wealth respectively

Africa is a continent of tremendous wealth, but not all countries are equal when it comes to the distribution of that wealth. There are currently 21 billionaires in Africa, 305 citizens with over $100 million each and 136,000 people with at least $1 million in assets. While South Africa, Egypt, and Nigeria have $651 billion, $307 billon, and $228 billion in private wealth respectively, many African countries have less than $1 billion in total private wealth.

Why This Matters: On a continent that is often chided for its lack of financial infrastructure, Africa’s three largest economies are quietly becoming forces to be reckoned with on the global financial stage. Three countries in particular stand out for their financial prowess and account for 56% of the total wealth. 

This is a significant achievement for these countries, but what do these numbers mean? These countries have experienced strong growth rates over the past few years, which has allowed them to become some of Africa’s largest economies. However, these countries have seen their private wealth levels fall over the past decade, but are expected to pick up in the next decade.

At the same time, Africa is a continent of contrasts. While the majority of its population is poor, it also has a small but growing middle class and a handful of billionaires. The continent is home to some of the world’s poorest countries. According to the World Bank, sub-Saharan Africa accounts for less than 1% of global GDP per capita. This highlights one of the most pressing issues facing Africa today, inequality.

What’s Next: Despite Africa’s growing economy, wealth inequality remains a problem. In this current climate of economic uncertainty, it’s important for investors to consider diversifying their portfolios with Africa-focused funds.

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Claire Obae

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