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Top Largest & Fastest-Growing Economies in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2023

© AP Photo / Itsuo InouyeA woman sits in front of an International Monetary Fund logo at the venue of the IMF and World Bank meeting, Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012.
A woman sits in front of an International Monetary Fund logo at the venue of the IMF and World Bank meeting, Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.02.2023
Despite the expected slowdown in global economic activity due to the ongoing energy and food crisis, Africa, with its young population and rich natural resources, is one of the world's fastest-emerging regions. Most nations of the continent are projected to grow in 2023, but what economies in sub-Saharan Africa are worth paying attention to?
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has published its outlook for global economic growth in 2023 this week, where it was revealed that the global economy is projected to slow further amid the ongoing fight against inflation. The outlook expected global growth to fall from an estimated 3.4 percent in 2022 to 2.9 percent in 2023, then to slightly improve to 3.1 percent in the following year.
However, the IMF believes that growth rates in Sub-Saharan Africa will average around 3.8 in 2023 and jump to 4.1 percent in 2024, as the African economies are continuing to recover from the coronavirus pandemic and other internal and external crises that have played significant roles in rising inflation rates.

According to Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, Chief Economist and Director of the IMF Research Department, Africa is recovering very quickly and the projected growth of the African continent in 2023 and 2024 “is quite a bit below the typical growth rates that the region experienced before the pandemic.”

Top 5 Largest Economies in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2023


Nigeria is expected to maintain its place at the top of Africa’s largest economies in the year 2023, with its real gross domestic product (GDP) projected to reach $574.3 billion this year, according to the IMF’s January 2023 World Economic Outlook update.
The economy of the West African nation, which has recently been improving security in its oil production sector, according to the IMF, would grow by 3.2 percent in 2023, 0.2 percent higher than in 2022, and is expected to continue the upward trend in the coming years.

South Africa

Despite the notable slowdown in the country’s economic growth this year, in comparison with previous years, South Africa is also predicted to maintain its position as the second-largest economy in the region, with its GDP expected to grow by 1.2 percent, reaching $422.3 billion this year.
In its January update, the IMF believes the slowdown in South Africa's economic growth reflects "weaker external demand, power shortages, and structural constraints."
However, the figures are still attention worthy, as the country’s GDP is expected to continue improving in the near future.


Angola’s economic performance is considered one of the most impressive in the African continent, according to the IMF outlook. The Southern African nation is about to restore its position as the third-largest economy in Sub-Saharan Africa, with its real GDP growing by 3.4 percent to $135.5 billion.
Angola ranks as Africa’s second-largest oil producing state after Nigeria and is a significant producer of rough diamonds; its steady economic growth is believed to be linked to rising oil prices, along with the government’s implementation of tight monetary policy.


With the armed conflict in the Tigray region in Northern Ethiopia coming to an end in late 2022, the IMF projects the East African nation’s economy to witness the most impressive growth in the African continent this year.
Ethiopia’s GDP is predicted to expand by 5.3 percent to $126.2 billion. The country is set to replace neighboring Kenya as the fourth-largest economy in sub-Saharan Africa, thanks to the Ethiopian government’s ambitious economic reform measures aimed at expanding the nation’s external economic activities.


Beset by numerous challenges, including the aftershocks of the coronavirus pandemic, drought, along with other internal and global factors, Kenya’s economy is expected to drop from fourth to fifth place in the list of the largest economies in Sub-Saharan Africa despite the fact that its real GDP growth is among the most impressive in the continent.
The International Monetary Fund projects Kenya’s real GDP to grow 5.1 percent and reach $117.6 billion in the year 2023.
A logo with various national flags of countries around the world are seen as Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank Group, speaks at the African Development Bank’s Annual meeting in Accra, Ghana, on May 23, 2022.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.01.2023
Economic Growth in Africa to Exceed Global Estimates in 2023-2024, ADB Report Reveals

Top Fastest-Growing Economies in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2023

Speaking of the fastest-growing economies in the continent in 2023, some African countries with smaller economies have bigger ambitions; the tempo of their economic growth is particularly impressive. In the following list, Sputnik reveals the top five fastest-growing economies in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2023, according to the latest data made available by the IMF.


Senegal is expected to pave its way to the top of the list of the fastest-growing economies in Sub-Saharan Africa, with its real GDP growing by 8.1 percent to $29.8 billion.
Although the size of the Senegalese economy, which is driven by mining, construction, tourism, fishing and agriculture, might seem small if compared with countries in the previous list, the West African nation is expected to continue growing in the coming years thanks to its abundant natural resources in iron, zircon, gas, gold, phosphates, and numerous oil discoveries that are projected to boost the country's economy.


The IMF expects the economy of Niger to continue its fast-paced growth thanks to its developing agricultural sector, which makes up nearly 50 percent of the country's national economy.
Niger's GDP is projected to grow 7.2 percent, reaching 15.5 billion. This would make the West African nation the second fastest-growing economy in the Sub-Saharan region.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo

Despite the ongoing armed conflicts and terrorist attacks targeting the eastern and northeastern regions of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the country's economy is expected to become the third fastest-growing in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The DRC's real GDP growth is projected by the IMF to hit 6.7 percent, reaching $70.6 billion in 2023, which is higher even than the period before the coronavirus pandemic.


Rwanda is making its way back as one of the fastest-growing economies in the African continent as the country is recovering from the hit of the COVID-19 pandemic on its economy.
The small African nation is expected to see its GDP grow 6.7 percent to $13.1 billion in 2023, according to IMF data. Rwanda's real GDP growth dropped from 10.1 percent before the pandemic to 3.5 percent in 2020. However, the pace of growth has started to improve since 2021.

Cote d'Ivoire

Having fully recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic, Cote d'Ivoire's economy is projected to return to its pre-pandemic levels. It's expected to grow by 6.5 percent in 2023, with a GDP of $72.7 billion.
The Ivorian economy is largely market-based and depends heavily on the agricultural sector, in which nearly 70% of the Ivorian people are engaged in some form or another.
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