WASHINGTON, DC, 1 January 2021 – Nigeria remains Africa’s biggest economy, according to latest rankings published by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

With a nominal GDP of $442.97 billion, Nigeria outpaces Egypt ($361.87 billion) and South Africa $282.58 billion).

Nominal GDP does not take into account differences in the cost of living in different countries.

Africa: Nigeria Still Africa’s Top Economy

IMF Managing Director – Photo IMF

The list of the top ten African economic powerhouses is completed by Algeria ($147.32 billion), Morocco ($112.22 billion), Kenya ($101.04 billion), Ethiopia ($95.58 billion), Ghana ($67.33 billion), Tanzania ($64.12 billion), Angola ($62.72 billion), and Cote d’Ivoire ($61.50 billion).

With a nominal GDP of $39.03 billion, The Cameroons ranks 14thimmediately behind the eleventh-placed Democratic Republic of Congo ($46.06 billion) and Tunisia ($39.22 billion).

The lowest ranked African countries – from the 45th-ranked to the rock-bottom 54th-ranked – are, in that order, Liberia ($3.06 billion), Central African Republic ($2.32 billion), Eritrea ($2.07 billion), Lesotho ($1.90 billion), Cape Verde ($1.87 billion), The Gambia ($1.80 billion), Comoros ($1.20 billion), Seychelles ($1.19 billion) and Sao Tome and Principe ($0.41 billion).

Nigeria is also a world economic powerhouse, ranked the 26thbiggest economy worldwide by the IMF.

The IMF is, however, not bullish about Nigeria’s economic outlook, describing it in WEO as “challenging”.

Africa: Nigeria Still Africa’s Top Economy

Nigeria’s real GDP is projected to post a 3.25 percent contraction in 2020 when the data comes in, according to IMF experts.

The IMF forecasted that the Nigreian economy will begin its post-coronavirus recovery by the second quarter of 2021. with GDP growth expect to post a very subdued 1.5 percent.

Output is only predicted to recover to pre-coronavirus pandemic levels in 2022.

In its 2020 Article IV Consultation on Nigeria, the IMF had said the country’s economy was “buffeted” by a cocktail of issues.

COVID-19-induced crises were exacting a heavy toll on Africa’s biggest economy, the Fund noted.

Africa: Nigeria Still Africa’s Top Economy

Low oil prices, a reduction in capital outflows, concerns over double-digit inflation and growing concerns about the balance of payments are among Nigeria’s most crucial challenges.

Low global oil prices led, in 2020, to large output contraction and a spike in unemployment in the heavily oil-dependent Nigerian economy.

Africa: Nigeria Still Africa’s Top Economy

Global oil prices fell 15 percent early in 2020.

The nose-dive in prices jeopardized plans by the Nigerian authorities to raise the N2.64 trillion ($692.54 billion) in revenues from oil sales.

The revenue was projected at the beginning of the year when Nigeria expected its oil output to be an average of two million barrels a day.

While Nigerian authorities have made all the right speeches about diversifying the economy away from dependency on oil, crude oil still accounted for about 80 percent of the country’s total exports.

Supply shortages may have pushed up headline inflation to a 30-month high, the IMF said in its 2020 Article Consultation on Nigeria.

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