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Africa’s Largest Countries (AFRILAC)

Published: May 1st, 2017

Category: Featured, News

Africa’s Largest Countries (AFRILAC)

An Overview of Economic, Political, and Demographic Conditions and Trends

By Abe Goldman, Emmanuel Akande, Benjamin Avuwadah, and Levy Odera

Over half of sub-Saharan Africa’s one billion people live in its six largest countries by population.  In current size order these include Nigeria, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Africa, Tanzania, and Kenya.  In aggregate, they are estimated to have over 535 million people in 2017, and their combined GDP as of 2015 is estimated at over $1 trillion.

The next eight largest countries by population are, in size order, Uganda, Sudan, Ghana, Angola, Mozambique, Cameroon, Madagascar, and Cote d’Ivoire, whose aggregate current population is estimated at about 233 million and whose total GDP in 2015 was about $345 billion.  In total these 14 countries, whose current populations range from about 24 million to 190 million, include almost 75% of the population of sub-Saharan Africa. Their current aggregate population of almost 770 million is expected to double by 2050 or soon afterwards.  Although many of these countries have experienced rapid economic growth over the last decade, several, including three of the four largest as well as several smaller countries, have recently faced sharp economic slowdowns or reversals, and they as well as others confront serious political challenges and in several cases, violent unrest or insurgencies.  Virtually all will also need to deal with infrastructural deficiencies in order to maintain reasonable economic progress, especially given rapid demographic change and climatic and other environmental challenges.

This ongoing series of reports, with support from the CAS’ Title VI funding, focuses on comparative and individual analyses of economic, political, infrastructural, and demographic, conditions, trends, and issues in these fourteen largest countries of sub-Saharan Africa.  In addition to comparative overviews and data summaries on these topics across the 14 AFRILAC nations, the reports will include rotating individual country profiles and periodic updates of developments and data both on individual countries and comparisons among them.

The AFRILAC reports and updates will be available at the CAS website as well as distributed to other sources and sites at US and African institutions.

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