Based on their GDP, Nigeria, Egypt and South Africa are the largest economies of all 54 African countries. With all countries combined, the African continent has a GDP similar to India, but smaller than that of California.
Nigeria was the largest economy in Africa in 2016, followed by Egypt and then SA. As for the ranking of 2017, the math to get to a trustworthy ranking is rather complicated, due to discussions of what the exchange rate of the Nigerian Naira should be. CNBC reports that, based on the principles of the IMF, Nigeria leads the ranking. In a comment piece, Charlie Robertson, Global Chief Economist of Renaissance Capital, suggests that South Africa’s economy may be bigger. When using more ‘realistic’ Naira exchange rates, South Africa is the largest economy of Africa, before Egypt and Nigeria.
According to Robertson, the ranking for GDP per capita shows that Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Ivory Coast are all in roughly the same place: “just ahead of Bangladesh – with wealth levels double that of Rwanda or Uganda. Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, Ghana and Kenya are among those best placed to industrialize in the coming years.”
Further reading on CNBC Africa