Top 20 most powerful countries in Africa 2022 (Global Fire Power Index report)

Top 20 most powerful countries in Africa 2022 (Global Fire Power Index report)

The most powerful country in Africa has the strongest military. The Global Firepower ranking uses over 50 factors, including the military's defence budget, logistical capability, and geographical location, to determine a nation's PowerIndex ('PwrIndx') score.

Most powerful African country ranking
A military car standing in a wet place. Photo: pixabay.com @Michael Drummond
Source: UGC

The Global Fire Power Index report is developed from a unique in-house formula that allows smaller countries to compete with more technologically-advanced nations. Hence, several nations you thought were doing well are nowhere close to some of the most powerful countries in Africa.

What is the most powerful country in Africa?

Most African countries invest heavily in their military and defence systems. Moreover, strong political influence, economic stability and growth rate, and solid international alliances are also vital factors for determining the power of a nation. Here is a list of superpower countries in Africa and their defence spending budget in 2022.

20. Cameroon

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most powerful countries in Africa
Cameroon air force officers in blue uniform. Photo: @cameroonairforceinfo
Source: Facebook
  • Power index ranking - 2.5052
  • Estimated defence budget - $398 million

The Republic of Cameroon has about 1,499.37 nominal GDP per capita and a population of over 27.8 million as of May 2022. The nation has active military personnel of about 14,200, a defence budget of approximately $398 million, and a 2.5052 power index rating.

19. South Sudan

most powerful countries in Africa
A South Sudan flag background. Photo: @ollegN
Source: Getty Images
  • Power index ranking - 2.5771
  • Estimated defence budget - $276 million

The Republic of South Sudan has a population of about 11.19 million and a nominal GDP per capita of $1,119.65. The country is covered by grassland, swamps and tropical forests. It has about 185,000 active military personnel, a defence budget of approximately $276 million and a power index rating of 2.5771.

18. Mali

most powerful countries in Africa
Mali military carrying guns. Photo: @ForcesArmeesMalienne
Source: Facebook
  • Power index ranking - 2.3839
  • Estimated defence budget - $591 million

The Republic of Mali is the eighth-largest country in Africa, with about 20 million people and a nominal GDP per capita of about $859. The nation has approximately 10,000 active military personnel. Its estimated defence budget in 2022 is $591 million.

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17. Ghana

most powerful countries in Africa
Ghana military attending a meeting. Photo: @Ghana National Armed Forces
Source: Facebook
  • Power index ranking - 2.3098
  • Estimated defence budget - $289 million

The Republic of Ghana's estimated population of over 31 million makes it the second-most populous West African country after Nigeria. Its nominal GDP per capita is estimated at $2,328.53. The nation has a power index rating of 2.3098, around 15,500 active military personnel, and a defence budget of about $289 million.

16. Zimbabwe

most powerful countries in Africa
One of Zimbabwe's military weapons. Photo: @ZimbabweArmy
Source: Facebook
  • Power index ranking - 2.2498
  • Estimated defence budget - $117 million

The Republic of Zimbabwe's estimated population is over 15 million, and its nominal GDP per capita is 1,128.21. As of May 2022, the nation's total military personnel is 30,000. It has a 2.2498 power index rating and a defence budget of $117 million.

15. Uganda

most powerful countries in Africa
Uganda's military aircrafts flying in the clouds. Photo: @UgandaPDF
Source: Facebook
  • Power index ranking - 2.2436
  • Estimated defence budget - $934 million

The Republic of Uganda is the 15th most powerful country in Africa in 2022. It has about 43 million people and a nominal GDP per capita of $817.04. This East African landlocked country has a power index rate of 2.2436 and 45,000 estimated military personnel. The nation's defence budget of approximately $934 million.

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14. Zambia

most powerful countries in Africa
Zambia's military helping people load their belongings into the military aircraft. Photo: @The Zambia Air Force
Source: Facebook
  • Power index ranking - 2.1966
  • Estimated defence budget - $251 million

The Republic of Zambia's population estimate is over 19 million, and its nominal GDP per capita is $1558.32. Its power index rating is 2.1966. The country has 15,100 estimated total active military personnel and a defence budget of about $251 million.

13. Chad

most powerful countries in Africa
Cars transporting the Republic of Chad military. Photo: @SuleimanHashiCars transporting the Republic of Chad military. Photo: @SuleimanHashi
Source: Twitter
  • Power index ranking - 1.9638
  • Estimated defence budget - $293 million

The Republic of Chad has an estimated population of about 17 million and nominal GDP per capita of about $635.12. The nation has total active military personnel estimated at 30,500, a power index rating of 1.9638 and a defence budget of approximately $293 million.

12. Kenya

most powerful countries in Africa
The Kenya Defence Forces walking on a footbridge. Photo: @OfficialKDF
Source: Facebook
  • Power index ranking - 1.5252
  • Estimated defence budget - $1,186 million

The Democratic Republic of Kenya is the 29th most populous country in Africa, with about 56 million people and a nominal GDP per capita of $1,475.19. Its capital is among the best cities to visit during your holiday vacations. Kenya's power index rating is 1.5252. It has an estimated total military personnel of 24,000 and a defence of about $1,186 million.

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11. The Democratic Republic of the Congo

most powerful countries in Africa
A military officer standing in front of the national flag of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Photo: @Niyazz
Source: Getty Images
  • Power index ranking - 1.4171
  • Estimated defence budget - $348 million

The DRC is the 15th most populous country globally, with about 96 million people. It has a nominal GDP per capita of $556.8 and roughly 135,000 active military personnel. The nation's defence budget is around $348 million, while its power index rating is 1.4171.

10. Tunisia

most powerful countries in Africa
Tunisia's military officers in uniform. Photo: @Fethi Belaid
Source: Getty Images
  • Power index ranking - 1.3664
  • Estimated defence budget - $1,177 million

The Republic of Tunisia is among the top ten most powerful countries in Africa. It is the only nation in North Africa classified as "Free" by the Freedom House organization. Tunisia has an estimated population of 11.8 million and a nominal GDP per capita of $3983.94. Moreover, it has active military personnel of about 36,000, a power rating index of 1.3664 and a defence budget of approximately $1,177 million.

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9. Sudan

most powerful countries in Africa
The flag of the Republic of Sudan hoisted in the air. Photo: @MoYousif98
Source: Twitter
  • Power index ranking - 1.3382
  • Estimated defence budget - $287 million

The Republic of Sudan is the third-largest country in Africa and the third-largest in the Arab world. Its population is about 45.7 million. The nation also has an estimated total military personnel of 105,000, $1,939.93 nominal GDP per capita, a 1.3382 power index rating, and a $287 million defence budget.

8. Libya

most powerful countries in Africa
Libya's military personnel wearing helmets and walking in front of their military vehicle. Photo: @Mahmud Turkia
Source: Getty Images
  • Power index ranking - 1.3265
  • Estimated defence budget - $3,475 million

The State of Libya is the fourth largest country in Africa and the 16th largest country globally. It has a population of about 6.9 million and a nominal GDP per capita of $4,046.63. The country's power index rating is 1.3265. They have nearly 30,000 active military personnel and a $3,475 million defence budget.

7. Angola

most powerful countries in Africa
Angolan military personnel driving their military vehicle into an aeroplane. Photo: @AFP
Source: Getty Images
  • Power index ranking - 1.0931
  • Estimated defence budget - $1,059 million

The Republic of Angola's estimated population of 33 million makes it the seventh-largest country in Africa. It has a nominal GDP per capita of $3,213.78 and a power index rating of 1.0931. Angola's total active military personnel is 110,000, and its defence budget is $1,059 million

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6. Ethiopia

most powerful countries in Africa
A group of Ethiopian military officers with guns. Photo: @Amanuel Sileshi
Source: Getty Images
  • Power index ranking - 1.0798
  • Estimated defence budget - $538 million

The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia has an approximate population of 120 million and nominal GDP per capita of $826.95. The country's power index rating is 1.0798, with estimated total active military personnel of 162,000 and a defence budget of about $538 million

5. Morocco

most powerful countries in Africa
A Moroccan military airplane flying in the air. Photo: @Fadel Senna
Source: Getty Images
  • Power index ranking - 0.8573
  • Estimated defence budget - $5,439 million

The Kingdom of Morocco is the 5th most powerful country in Africa, with an approximate population of 36.9 million and a nominal GDP per capita of $3,368.473. It has a power index rating of 0.8573, making it fifth on the list of powerful countries in Africa in 2022. The nation has about 310,000 active military personnel and a $5,439 million defence budget.

4. Nigeria

most powerful countries in Africa
Nigeria's military officers standing in two rows. Photo: @Audu Marte
Source: Getty Images
  • Power index ranking - 0.5745
  • Estimated defence budget - $287 million

The Federal Republic of Nigeria's approximated population of 216 million makes it the seventh most populous nation globally. The country's nominal GDP per capita is $2,396.04. Its power index rating is 0.5745. It has an estimated total active military personnel of 120,000 and a defence budget of about $287 million.

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3. Algeria

most powerful countries in Africa
A group of Algeria's military jogging. Photo: @picture alliance
Source: Getty Images
  • Power index ranking - 0.4724
  • Estimated defence budget - $9,700 million

The People's Democratic Republic of Algeria has about 45 million and a nominal GDP per capita of $3,815.25. As of 2021, the country's power index rating is 0.4724, with a defence budget of about $9,700 million and approximate total active military personnel of 130,000.

2. South Africa

most powerful countries in Africa
A South African military vehicle. Photo: @Guillem Sartorio
Source: Getty Images
  • Power index ranking - 0.4276
  • Estimated defence budget - $2,911 million

The Republic of South Africa is one of the wealthiest and most powerful countries in Africa, with 60.14 million people and a $5,121.04 nominal GDP per capita. The nation has a power index rating of 0.4276, estimated total active military personnel of 66,500, and a defence budget of about $2,911 million.

1. Egypt

most powerful countries in Africa
Egypt's military officers pointing their guns in one direction. Photo: @Mohamed El-Shahed
Source: Getty Images
  • Power index ranking - 0.1869
  • Estimated defence budget - $4,357 million

Egypt is officially called the Arab Republic of Egypt. It is Africa's third most populous country and the most populated nation in the Arab world. Egypt has about 105 million inhabitants and a $4,028.42 nominal GDP per capita.

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Its 0.1869 power index rating makes it the strongest country in Africa. It has an estimated 450,000 active military personnel and a defence budget of about $4,357 million.

What are the top 20 strongest militaries in Africa in 2022?

Here are the 20 most powerful countries in Africa based on the strength of their military:

  1. Egypt
  2. South Africa
  3. Algeria
  4. Nigeria
  5. Morocco
  6. Ethiopia
  7. Angola
  8. Lybia
  9. Sudan
  10. Tunisia
  11. Democratic Republic of Congo
  12. Kenya
  13. Chad
  14. Zambia
  15. Uganda
  16. Zimbabwe
  17. Ghana
  18. Mali
  19. South Sudan
  20. Cameroon

Which country in Africa has the strongest army?

Egypt has the strongest army in Africa, considering the size of its armed forces. The country prides itself in 304 helicopters, 91 attack helicopters, 11,000 armoured vehicles, 2,200 towed artilleries, and 1,235 rocket projectors.

Which country is the best in Africa?

One of the best countries on the continent is Morocco. The nation boasts of quiet seaside villages, snowy mountains, and bustling cities. Several delicious Moroccan cuisines will give you the best taste. Also, places like Ait Benhaddou and Djemma al Fna are must-see locations.

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Which country is a superpower in Africa?

Nigeria is projected to be the next superpower in Africa. It has the biggest economy in the continent, with a decent record of regional engagements in West Africa. Its challenges, however, are the weakness of its criminal justice system, insecurity, high rates of unemployment, endemic corruption, disgraceful lack of infrastructure, and non-coherence in foreign policy, among others.

What was the most powerful African country ever?

Ancient Africa was dominated by some of the most influential civilizations in the world. States considered the most powerful were the Kingdom of Kush in North Africa and the middle east, Ghana, Mali and Songhai Empires in West Africa.

These most powerful countries in Africa have the best infrastructures and social amenities. Additionally, technological advancement is also at its peak. As a result, they attract millions of foreign investors and workers.

READ ALSO: 10 best countries in Africa where expats can relocate to and why

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Briefly.co.za published a list of African nations experts can easily relocate to. Their governments have set up measures that promote foreign investors as workers, such as less stringent immigration rules.

These countries are endowed with opportunities that professionals can explore. They also have a great history of economic and political stability for foreigners to thrive.

Source: Briefly News

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