Top 10 strongest countries in Africa (2020)

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Africa is undoubtedly one of the most important and powerful continents of the world. With all the uprisings, terrorism activities, and unrest observed in different countries of Africa. World powers keep meddling in Africa’s affairs to gain their share. It takes a lot of factors to become a stable country, especially to top the list as the most powerful country in Africa. These factors include the economic and military power, the natural resources, geostrategic location of the country. And how much the country is important to the world. In today’s world, a country needs to be powerful enough to protect its sovereignty, supremacy, and independence. Therefore, we found it pertinent to let our readers know about the strongest countries in Africa that the world should be wary of.

The strongest country in Africa, along with its reasons to top the chart, will also be discussed.

The country that will rank number one on this list will also be the most powerful in Africa due to many factors that will also be described in this article.

People keep wondering about certain questions like which country in Africa has the strongest army.

Which country has the strongest military in Africa in 2020, and which country is the superpower in Africa.

Fortunately, we will discuss all of such questions, and you will come to know much more regarding the powerful countries in Africa.

You will find all the answers in the following list of the most powerful countries in Africa.

So, here is the list of the top 10 strongest countries in Africa.

We will not keep any surprises as the list will start from top to bottom.

You may still be astonished to see a few entries in this list and their hidden potential to dominate the continent.

1. Egypt

With an area of around 1,001,449 sq. km, the Arab Republic of Egypt is the 12th largest country by area in Africa.

But for the people wondering which country has the strongest military in Africa 2020 will hold, Egypt is the answer.

We will keep the statistics simple.

Egypt has a total number of military forces of around 1,314,500.

The number also includes reserved and paramilitary forces.

Egypt possesses the best ground force in Africa in terms of training, equipment and technology.

So, for the question of which country in Africa has the strongest army, Egypt is the most pertinent answer.

Egypt also possesses a mighty economic strength in Africa.

With around 300 billion USD of GDP, Egypt is the 3rd largest economy of Africa.

That makes a per capita income of around 3000 USD to rank the country on the 15th number in Africa’s race of per capita income.

Egypt is also full of natural resources like oil and gas that have always dominated the world economy.

Egypt is one of the largest oil and gas producers in Africa, which keeps on multiplying the country’s strength.

With the Arab Spring, the Egyptian revolution, and the toppling of the government that recently happened.

Egypt has been facing numerous problems in gaining a steady growth.

Still, the evergreen tourism industry in Egypt due to its prehistoric culture and tradition.

And, along with its great international standing and diplomatic strategies.

Egypt can surely be termed as the most powerful country in Africa.

2. Nigeria

While Egypt enjoys the de facto status of being the most powerful country in Africa, Nigeria seems to be running fast to wear the crown in the continent.

With an area of 923,768 sq. km, Nigeria is the 14th largest country in Africa by land.

But the country’s tremendous economy truly makes Nigeria the economic king of Africa.

Nigeria sustains the huge economy of around 445 billion USD, the largest in Africa.

The country has been focusing on its steady economic growth and refrains from getting involved in the world’s race of military might.

It still has a huge number of 215,000 military personnel that are committed to protecting its borders and sovereignty.

Coming to Nigeria’s potential for natural resources, it uplifts the country further on the chart.

Nigeria is often called the “Giant of Africa” due to its huge number of natural resources that also include its population.

RELATED: Nigerian navy salary, ranks, and structure in 2020

With over 190 million of its population, Nigeria is also the most populous country of Africa with a major portion of its youth below the age of 18 years.

Its natural resources include oil and gas along with huge mining potentials.

The tourism prospects also play their part in supporting the country’s economy.

With all these brilliant features, didn’t you already guess the answer to that question of which country is the superpower in Africa?

Yes, you can call Nigeria the undeclared superpower of Africa.

Although Egypt is currently holding the seat of the strongest country in Africa, Nigeria is not far away from that position.

3. South Africa

South Africa is considered as one of the most modernized countries in Africa.

There are several reasons why we have put this country on the 3rd number in the ranking of African powers.

With 371 billion USD, South Africa is the second-largest economy of Africa after Nigeria and 9th largest country of the continent by area.

The stats for this amazing country do not end here.

It is also the 5th most populous country of Africa that accounts for the huge manpower in the region.

Although the country does not have one of the largest militaries in the region but is still considered as one of the most powerful countries in Africa.

Because if the United Kingdom can dominate the world with a handful of soldiers.

Then the size of the army might not count much for being powerful.

Still, the country has around 80,000 of military and paramilitary strength.

South Africa is the only country in Africa that attempted to become an atomic power in 1979.

Therefore, the ambitions of the country to lead the continent cannot be ignored.

The country is full of tourist sites and natural resources.

Additionally, the geostrategic location of South Africa also boasts its importance for world politics.

4. Angola

Angola is yet another contender to become the most powerful country in Africa.

With around 92 billion USD, it is the 7th largest economy of Africa.

Interestingly, it is also the 7th largest country in Africa by area.

It also falls among the top 10 countries that have the best ground force in Africa.


It has the military personnel of around 117,000.

The country is full of natural resources like diamonds and oil.

Angola is sometimes referred to as the African country floating on oil.

With its fastest-growing economy and a huge portion of youth in its population, Angola is surely running fast to emerge as the strongest country in Africa.

The development and infrastructure in the country are often compared to the most developed cities in the world like Paris.

Had the country been progressing without the internal unrest like civil wars that lasted for around 3 decades, Angola would have surpassed its peers long ago.

5. Algeria

The whopping economy, the size of the country, and the staggering military strength have mainly contributed to putting Algeria to the 5th position in the race of being the strongest country in Africa.

With the 2,381,741 sq. km of its land size, Algeria is the largest country in Africa by size.

It has an enormous GDP of 183 billion USD that makes it the 4th largest economic power in Africa.

The size of its military and paramilitary troops counts for 467,200.

Algeria is also the 8th largest country in Africa by population.

The most interesting fact about Algeria is that it is self-sufficient and does not owe any money to any country or international organization.

These facts are strong enough to make Algeria one of the strongest countries in Africa.

6. Morocco

Morocco is another great country in Africa that is rich with the economy, military strength, and natural resources.

It has a huge economy of 121 billion USD and is the 18th biggest country in Africa according to the area of its land.

The country ranks at number 10 in the chart of most populous countries in Africa as per the census carried out this year in 2020.

Morocco is also ahead of many other African countries in terms of the number of military troops.

It has around 400,000 military troops, including the paramilitary staff to fight for the country.

Morocco is also rich in natural resources like mining and minerals.

7. Ethiopia

Ethiopia is Africa’s 8th largest economic power.

It has a GDP of around 91 billion USD.

The country’s economy has been growing at a fast pace of 10% recently, which is wonderful for the progress of any country in the world.

Ethiopia has an active military force of 138,000 and does not have any paramilitary or reserved staff.

Ethiopia is also the 10th largest country in Africa by size and has the 2nd largest population in the continent.

The only disadvantage that Ethiopia faces is its state of being one of the landlocked countries in Africa.

So, it focuses less on sea routes and ranks low on its naval power.

Still, the rest of its outstanding statistics cannot be ignored while considering Ethiopia as one of the strongest countries in Africa.

8. Kenya

As one of the most desired countries to be visited by the tourists, Kenya enjoys much more than just being a tourist destination.

Kenya is the 6th largest African economy, with around 100 billion USD of annual GDP.

While Kenya may be the country with the lowest number of military forces in this list.

Some factors have still brought this country into the top 10 strongest countries of Africa.

Kenya is the 7th most populous country of Africa that shows that they are not running short of people to be inducted in military forces.

Apart from oil and gas, Kenya is extensively rich in natural resources like mining and hydropower.

Kenya’s importance for the world never seems to be fading away due to its geostrategic location.

That is why Kenya is considered to be in the race of becoming the strongest country in Africa.

9. The Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is the 2nd largest country of Africa by its land size.

Be it the economy, the number of military personnel, or the area of the country.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is always ahead of most of the African countries.

Maybe this is the reason that international establishments never leave this country on its own and every world power has its stakes in this country.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo has been facing internal unrest for many years.

This has caused the country to develop its forces to maintain peace and harmony in the country

The international powers have also been sending their troops to help the government train their military personnel and for the supply of weapons etc.

With that being said, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been able to maintain its huge economy of 48 billion USD to make the country the 11th biggest economy of Africa.

The number of military personnel is 134,250. It is also the 4th largest country of the continent by its population.

10. Sudan

Talking about the most powerful countries of Africa and not including Sudan would be unfair.

Sudan has an economy of 31 billion USD and a huge military size of 209,300 personnel.

Sudan is the 3rd largest country of Africa by the land size.

It is also the 9th most populous country of the continent.

So, if Sudan possesses everything that it takes to make it a powerful country.

It would not be a fair idea to underestimate its might in the region.

With huge deposits and reserves of oil, Sudan is one of the most important countries for international politics and interests.

The country is also full of other natural resources like minerals and ores.

Top 10 strongest countries in Africa (2020) summary:

A country’s power or strength cannot only be decided based on its military power.

While military power is certainly a necessary factor in evaluating the country’s strength.

There are other factors required to calculate the country’s standing in the regional or international comparison.

The countries mentioned in the list of the top 10 strongest countries in Africa have been developed after carefully analyzing the history, strength, and current situation in these countries.

The factor of future predictability has also been incorporated in organizing the list of most powerful countries in Africa.

While it is an unending race of becoming the most powerful country in Africa.

These countries are doing what they can to fulfil the prerequisites of becoming the strongest country in Africa.

Published by Gbemisola

Gbemisola is an enthusiastic freelance writer. She has written hundreds of articles ranging from business and technical articles to affiliate articles. She’s also a digital marketer with experience in social media marketing, advertising and search engine optimization. Her aim is to see your business come to limelight through content creation and advertisement.