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Top 10 most developed countries in Africa in 2020

Written by Wamiq Ali

Compiling and researching for a list of top 10 most developed countries in Africa is a difficult task. It’s difficult for so many reasons, one important reason is that the African nations got freedom in a relatively recent times. Further, on reading 50 important facts about Africa, the reader can take a start in knowing the African continent.

Generally Africa is thought to be a poor country. Is African really poor or what are the reasons behind its low development? Poverty in Africa is a long debate, the current question is the extent of development in Africa. Measuring the development in Africa leads to the most developed countries in the region.

How top 10 most developed countries in Africa should be ranked and measured?

Several indicators can be used to show the development in a country. Political, social, technological and scientific development are all connected in a way or the other. The important measure is the human satisfaction and the resultant quality of life. This brings us to the UNDP’s Human Development Index, it uses healthcare, life expectancy and education as a benchmark.

Further, businessmen also care about development in a country, since they need to invest. Therefore, Ease of Doing Business index by World Bank Group would serve as another parameter for seeking the development extent of a country in Africa. Doing Business Index (DBI) leads to the Per Capita Income in the countries, aka PCI.

World Bank Group also calculates the Gross Domestic Product of different nations. Thus it’s safe to say that HDI, GDP, PCI and DBI would help us measure the countries from top to the bottom.

Top 10 most developed countries in Africa as ranked through Human Development, Ease of Doing Business and Gross Domestic Product

Choosing PCI, DBI and HDI as the main measures of development in Africa, we used Weighted Average to find the rankings, HDI has been given a weightage of 40%, PCI is given 30% (Normalised against the US PCI of $65k as of 2019) and DBI is given 30%. Human Development is the precursor to the Per Capita Income and Doing Business Index i-e a well provided nation can cope with the other two in a well equitable fashion. The DBI data is collected from World Bank. Where as the HDI data is collected from UNDP.

Note: Doing Business score is calculated out of 100 and Human Development is calculated out of 1, so, the DBI would be adjusted against the HDI by dividing it through 100.

1. Mauritius

After applying the weighted formula, Mauritius in Africa turns out to be the most developed country in Africa. It’s an island state of 1.3 million people. Tourism sector plays an important role in the economy of the democratic country. Although the economy needs a transition to become knowledge-based economy through the incremental productivity.

Doing Business Rank: 81.5

Per Capita Income: USD 22,724

Human Development Index: 0.796

2. Seychelles

It’s an archipelago of 115 islands and lies near Madagascar. The population of Seychelles is 95,000 people. A majority of this population lives on the main island named Mahé. It benefits largely from the earnings of the tourism sector. World Bank report presents a tourist count of 361,844 during the year 2018, a huge number as compared with the population. However, due to its heavy reliance on imported goods, there is a large structural deficit. Productivity rates needs to be improved for greater participation in development when compared with the First World Countries.

Doing Business Rank: 61.7

Per Capita Income: USD 25,007

Human Development Index: 0.801

3. Botswana

Botswana is a landlocked country in the South Africa. While discussing facts about South Africa’s culture, we showcased the people of Botswana through an ethnic filter. The country after freedom was pretty much dependant due to its bad economy. It serves as a success story in the recent times. The economic turn of the country is very much attributed to diamond wealth and good governance. It has a population of 2 million. However, like Mauritius and Seychelles, Botswana also faces income inequality.

Doing Business Rank: 66.2

Per Capita Income: USD 15,951

Human Development Index: 0.728

4. Tunisia

Almost every eye turned towards the Tunisia when Arab Spring started in the year 2010, later spreading to Libya, Syria and other Middle Eastern countries. The overthrow of regime along with the people urge for democratic values were the basis of Arab Spring protests. There has been a significant contraction in the industrial and agriculture sector. Around 32% exports of Tunisia are based on technology and machines.

Doing Business Rank: 68.7

Per Capita Income: USD 10,677

Human Development Index: 0.739

5. South Africa

The transition of South Africa from a period of apartheid into a democratic country, is something worth knowing. The cultural facts about South Africa show this precisely. South Africa is a major exporter of the minerals and with that foreign exchange, it imports oil. The foreign direct investment is a good tool for South Africa for accelerating its economy. It’s a mostly industrialised and diverse economy. The growth period started after the end of apartheid in 1996, Nelson Mandela played an important role in the human rights struggles.

Doing Business Rank: 67.0

Per Capita Income: USD 11,756

Human Development Index: 0.705

6. Morocco

According to the recent developments, the government of Morocco is busy in increasing the social support programs. The vocational training institutes are at its top agenda in order to create jobs and skills. Currently in 2020, the trade deficit is not that much in the case of Morocco, as imports are $37.4bn with a comparative exports of $24.9. This data is taken from 2017 figures. Morocco has a flourished textile industry, as it has a good agriculture base. On the contrary, it is still in the process of modernisation as it relies on external support for capital goods like machines.

Doing Business Rank: 73.4

Per Capita Income: USD 7,480

Human Development Index: 0.676

7. Egypt

The country promises an old age history. The 10 facts about Egypt showcase such a most-sought-after history, something which shows how the very first civilisations of the humans started on the Earth, nearly 5000 years ago. The country faces a trade deficit of $26bn as per the figures of 2017. It’s provided with rich crude reserves. Like the most African countries, Egypt also relies on external imports for the machines. The country undergoes structural reform program under the monitoring of IMF. The first review of the program was successful and in the end of FY2019, the GDP growth reached 5.6pc. Tourism plays an important role in the economy of Egypt. However, 32.5pc people live below the poverty line in Egypt.

Doing Business Rank: 60.1

Per Capita Income: USD 10,744

Human Development Index: 0.700

8. Namibia

The country enjoys natural mineral riches; therefore, World Bank terms it as an upper-middle-income country. It’s mostly desert. Owing to the fiscal consolidation in FY 2016/17, the country faced a slowing GDP growth; however, that brought forward a reduction of the primary deficit. Mining sector supports the economy of the country at a greater level. The country since its independence in 1990 has been facing poverty, as it reduced the poverty successfully from 69.3% to 28.7% (a figure obtained in 2010). The Doing Business Index reports flexible labour regulation in Namibia.

Doing Business Rank: 61.4

Per Capita Income: USD 9,683

Human Development Index: 0.645

9. Kenya

Poverty, inequality and climate changes are the challenges which Kenya faces. The democratic process introduced a new constitution for Kenya in 2010. After the MDGs were put forward in 2000, Kenya attained some of the important goals like reduced child mortality and primary school enrolment increment. It reduced the gender gap in the education. Our 10 facts about Kenya showcase a picture of its economy and culture. Tea serves as the major export in Kenya.

Doing Business Rank: 73.2

Per Capita Income: USD 3,052

Human Development Index: 0.579

10. Rwanda

The last country in the development index of Africa when accounted for the top ten, is Rwanda. It’s a landlocked country having 12.5million people in total as of 2018. The 1994 genocide in Rwanda was a huge challenge for the international community. One of the major exports of Rwanda is the coffee, second in number is the tea. The mining sector plays an important role. It has imports of $1.11bn as of 2017. It exported commodities worth $224m in 2017.

Doing Business Rank: 76.5

Per Capita Income: USD 1,959

Human Development Index: 0.536

Note: Those who want to receive the detailed data regarding the 54 countries in Africa which are most developed, must use the contact form. Other than these 10 countries, all the countries in Africa are ranked by the Editorial Team.

About the author

Wamiq Ali

Programmer, Blogger and an Entrepreneur trying to make this web a better place by making others learn for free.

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