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Poorest Countries In Africa

Poorest Countries In Africa

Poverty Across Africa

Africa is a continent blessed with rich natural resources, cultural diversity, and enormous potential. However, it's also a continent that's been grappling with several socio-economic challenges, with poverty being one of the most significant. The issue of poverty varies dramatically across its 54 nations, with many facing complex and overlapping factors such as weak domestic institutions, regional conflicts, undiversified economies, and inadequate access to quality health and education services.

This analysis of the 2022 Gross National Income (GNI) per capita data across African countries provides vital insights into the economic well-being of the continent's nations, shedding light on the poorest countries, as well as broader regional development trends.

Notable findings from the data include:

  • Among all African nations, Burundi records the lowest GNI per capita at $238.4, making it the poorest country in Africa. Following closely are the Central African Republic and Sierra Leone, with a GNI per capita of $427.1 and $461.4, respectively.
  • There is a considerable gap in living standards across the continent. Seychelles, for instance, records the highest GNI per capita at $15,874.5 - over 67 times larger than Burundi's.
  • Despite being resource-rich, countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria have disproportionately low GNIs per capita at $2,448.0 and $2,184.4, respectively, indicating a possible disconnect between natural resource wealth and living standards.
  • Interestingly, a few relatively politically stable countries such as Rwanda and Uganda fall into the lower bracket, with GNIs per capita of $966.3 and $964.2, respectively, suggesting that political stability alone doesn't necessarily translate into wealth.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa, in particular, is home to many of the continent's poorest countries, illustrating the critical development challenges faced in this region.

The disparities represented in these figures underline the urgent need for targeted policies and interventions to foster inclusive growth and poverty reduction in Africa.

10 Poorest Countries in Africa

Leading the list is Burundi, with the lowest GNI per capita in Africa at $238.4. The economic instabilities compounded by political turmoil has seen this East African country grapple with poverty over the years.

Next is the Central African Republic, a country immensely rich in resources but ranks second poorest with a GNI per capita of only $427.1. Sierra Leone comes third with a GNI per capita of $461.4, a country that has struggled to recover economically since its civil war ended. Following closely is Somalia, a nation ravaged by war and prolonged drought that trails at $461.8.

At the fifth position is Madagascar with a GNI per capita of $505.0. Despite its famed biodiversity and agricultural potential, the country is yet to realize significant economic success.

Niger and Mozambique rank 6th and 7th on the list of poorest countries in Africa, with GNI per capita of $533.0 and $541.5, respectively. These countries face numerous challenges, including frequent climate shocks and political instabilities.

The Republic of Congo, despite being an oil-rich country, has a GNI of only $586.5, reflecting its struggles with corruption and poor governance. Meanwhile, Malawi and Chad, with respective GNIs per capita of $645.2 and $716.8, completes the list of the top 10 poorest countries in Africa.

10 Poorest Countries in Africa (GNI per Capita):

  1. Burundi - $238.4
  2. Central African Republic - $427.1
  3. Sierra Leone - $461.4
  4. Somalia - $461.8
  5. Madagascar - $505.0
  6. Niger - $533.0
  7. Mozambique - $541.5
  8. Republic of the Congo - $586.5
  9. Malawi - $645.2
  10. Chad - $716.8

By Country

Full Data Set

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Frequently Asked Questions


Year: 2022

Source: GNI per capita, Atlas - The World Bank

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