South Africa regains pole position as Africa’s largest economy


South Africa has regained its position as Africa’s largest economy in dollar terms after hovering between second and third place.

In April 2014, Africa’s most advanced economy was relegated to second place by Nigeria after the West African country rebased its gross domestic product (GDP) data.

In 2016 it flirted with third place as Egypt moved to second position. Now it is back on the top.


According to Bloomberg, “based on gross domestic product at the end of 2015 published by the International Monetary Fund, the size of South Africa’s economy is $301 billion at the rand’s current exchange rate, while Nigeria’s GDP is $296 billion.”

The change comes as the rand gained over 16 per cent against the dollar since the start of the year, while Nigeria’s naira lost over a third of its value following the Central Bank of Nigeria’s removal of the country’s currency peg in June, says the media company.