10 Most developed countries in Africa (2023)

Africa is the second largest and most populated continent after Asia. The Continent is about 30.3million km², including adjacent islands, and covers 6% of the total earth’s surface. Statistics show that it has over 1.4 billion population as of 2021 which accounts for over 18% of the world’s population.

It has 54 fully recognized sovereign states, eight territories and two de facto independent states with limited or no recognition.

Despite being faced with environmental issues from diversification, deforestation, water scarcity and pollution; Africa still holds the position of one of the strongest continents in the world.

This article ranks the most developed countries on the continent based on Human Development Index (HDI).

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Top 10 most developed countries in Africa

RankCountryHDI
1. Seychelles0.6
2.Mauritius0.6
3.Kenya0.5
4.Algeria0.5
5.Tunisia0.5
6.Morocco0.5
7. Egypt0.5
8.Zimbabwe0.5
9.Gabon0.5
10.

1. Seychelles – 0.6

Seychelles is the most developed country in Africa with an HDI of 0.6 according to the World Bank’s data.

Seychelles possesses a significantly improved structure for Tourism, which has caused tremendous improvement to the nation’s economy and its overall development. Since 1976, Seychelles has grown its GDP becoming one of the fastest-developing countries in the world. 

The Island nation has a small population of 107,118 as of 2022.

2. Mauritius, 0.6

Mauritius is yet another island in Africa, it has an HDI of 0.6 and stands as the continent’s second most developed nation. According to statistics, the Standard of living in the nation is as high as 75% while the knowledge rate stands at 91.3% of the country’s entire population.

Mauritius has an advanced economy known for having free schools and health services to the general public. The nation is also known as a strong tax haven for companies across the world and is Africa’s first point of call for a continental tax haven nation.  

The country’s economy is centred on Tourism, Textile, sugar and financial services with investments from both local and foreign players.

Also read: Poorest countries in Africa

3. Kenya – 0.5

Surprisingly Kenya climbs to the third most developed country in Africa, beating South Africa, Egypt and Nigeria. The nation is also the most developed country in mainland Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. 

The economy of Kenya is influenced mainly by a strong service sector offering services ranging from finance, real estate, tech and others. Kenya also has a strong tourism industry having over 300,000 visitors annually. 

4. Algeria – 0.5

The 4th most Development country in Africa, having an HDI of 0.5, is Algeria. The country has the highest life expectancy of 76.3% of any African nation. Algeria’s economy is largely influenced by tourism and trade with Europe being the largest trader with the nation. The nation is also a leading oil-producing nation, which accounts for the bulk of its GDP.

Algeria is the most developed North African nation.

5. Tunisia – 0.5

Tunisia is an advanced country on the continent with strong developments in the services, manufacturing and agricultural sectors. The country has a well-diversified economy with exports ranging from citrus fruits, sardines, vegetables, oils, almonds, textiles and chemicals.

Tunisia has a life expectancy of 75 years, a GDP per capita of $3,924.34, and an economic freedom of 56.6% which was advanced by an improved healthcare system.

6. Morocco – 0.5

This is the 6th country in Africa’s HDI ranking, having a rank of 0.5, is the Kingdom of Morocco. Morocco’s economy is largely influenced by agriculture, manufacturing, mining and a strong serviced-based industry. Morocco is the most visited country in Africa with over 7 million visitors annually.

Morocco has the fifth largest economy in Africa and exerts a powerful influence in Africa and the Arab world.

Morocco’s biggest trading partners include the United States, Spain, France and other nations of the African continent. 

7. Egypt – 0.5

Egypt is one of the strongest countries on the African continent in terms of economy, military strength, politics and overall influence. The country is Africa and the Arab world’s most diversified economy, having a significant presence in tourism, services, manufacturing, agriculture, banking and others. 

Before the oil boom in the gulf countries, Egypt was formerly the richest, largest economy and most developed country in the Arab world.

Egypt is also one of the few African nations dependent on a strong export market, trading with the middle east, Europe, South Asia and other parts of Africa. It holds a strong attribute of one of the countries having high technological advancement in Africa.

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8. Zimbabwe – 0.5

Zimbabwe comes as the continent’s 8th most developed nation and Southern Africa’s most developed nation. The nation is also the 2nd most developed in Sub-Saharan Africa. Zimbabwe trades in mining (to which it has a large diamond reserve), agriculture and a strong services sector. Following sanctions from the West during Mugabe’s regime, the country plunged into recession but picked up after the 4t quarter of 2019.

9. Gabon – 0.5

Gabon is the most developed country in Central Africa, having an HDI of 0.5. The nation leverages its agricultural, mining and services sector. The country deals in exports ranging from Aluminium ores, tin ores, petroleum, cocoa and others.

Gabon has a life expectancy of 66.84 years, and a GDP of $18.27 billion as of 2021.

Gabon is one of the wealthiest nations in Africa and has one of the strongest per capita incomes on the continent. Nonetheless, income inequality in Gabon has caused the nation’s wealth to be shared by a few while other portions of the nation suffer from poverty.

10. Ghana – 0.5

Ghana finishes as the most developed country in West Africa and Africa’s 10th most developed as of 2021. The West African nation is known for trades in manufacturing, agriculture (particularly cocoa), mining and others.

Ghana has strong reserves of gold and petroleum. The country’s major exporter includes Nigeria, the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union. 

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Conclusion

There are over 54 nations in Africa, a majority of which live in extreme poverty. Africa is currently home to the world’s most poverty-stricken and underdeveloped nations.

Nonetheless, the list above offers some of the countries in Africa with a strong HDI according to the continent’s standards. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What position is South Africa on the list?

South Africa finishes as the 12th most developed nation on the continent with an HDI of 0.4 just after Namibia. 

Which African country is the richest?

Seychelles maintains its position as the richest country in Africa in terms of GDP per capita. 

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Richard Okoroafor

Richard Okoroafor

Richard is a brilliant legal content writer who doubles as a finance lawyer. He brings his wealth of legal knowledge in corporate commercial transactions to bear, offering the best value that exceeds expectations.

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