Top 20 most powerful countries in Africa in 2024: strongest and weakest military

Top 20 most powerful countries in Africa in 2024: strongest and weakest military

The most powerful country in Africa has the strongest military. The Global Firepower score 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 countries in Africa
Top 20 most powerful countries in Africa. Photo: @setu.asif.7, @Rawpixel, @Derek Brumby (modified by author)
Source: UGC

TABLE OF CONTENTS

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.

Which 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 most powerful countries in Africa according to the Global Fire Power Index report.

20. Ghana - 2.1741

most powerful countries in Africa
People waving the national flag of Ghana. Photo: istockphoto.com, @Rawpixel
Source: UGC
  • Power index score - 2.1741
  • Estimated defence budget - $289,400,000
  • Active personnel - 14,000

Read also

Pilot salary in South Africa (2024): Is it a good career?

Ghana's estimated population of over 30 million makes it the second-most populous West African country after Nigeria. Its power index rating of 2.1741 makes it one of the most powerful African countries.

19. Ivory Coast - 2.0881

most powerful countries in Africa
The national flag of Ivory Coast hoisted in the air. Photo: @setu.asif.7
Source: Facebook
  • Power index score - 2.0881
  • Estimated defence budget - $510,000,000
  • Active personnel - 25,000

The Republic of Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) is a West African country with a French-colonial legacy. The country's major urban center, Abidjan, is on the Atlantic coast. Ivory Coast has a population size of 26 million people.

18. Tanzania - 2.0387

most powerful countries in Africa
The flag of Tanzania waving against the wind. Photo: @tasha.mnisi.1
Source: Facebook
  • Power index score - 2.0387
  • Estimated defence budget - $748,920,000
  • Active personnel - 26,000

The United Republic of Tanzania is known for its vast wilderness areas. The country is on the eastern coast of Africa and has an Indian Ocean coastline. Its neighbours are Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique. Tanzania has a population of over 64 million people and approximately 26,000 active military personnel. Its estimated defence budget is $748,920,000.

Read also

South African national cricket team players and salary list (2024)

17. Cameroon - 2.0296

most powerful countries in Africa
The national flag of Cameroon raised on a metallic pole. Photo: @antroyce_snsd
Source: Instagram
  • Power index score - 2.0296
  • Estimated defence budget - $398,000,000
  • Active personnel - 40,000

Cameroon has a population of over 28 million and is known for its varied terrain and wildlife. Cameroon is triangular and bordered by Nigeria, Chad, the Central African Republic, the Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, and the Atlantic Ocean. Sources estimate the Republic of Cameroon has active military personnel of about 40,000.

16. Zimbabwe - 1.9787

most powerful countries in Africa
The flag of Zimbabwe hoisted on a metallic pole. Photo: istockphoto.com, @Oleksii Liskonih
Source: UGC
  • Power index score - 1.9787
  • Estimated defence budget - $117,390,000
  • Active personnel - 30,000

Zimbabwe's estimated population is over 15 million. The country has a dramatic landscape and diverse wildlife within parks, reserves, and safari areas. The nation's active military personnel is about 30,000.

15. Chad - 1.9751

most powerful countries in Africa
The national flag of Chad on a metallic pole. Photo: istockphoto.com, @sezer ozger
Source: UGC
  • Power index score - 1.9751
  • Estimated defence budget - $292,610,000
  • Active personnel - 35,000

Read also

Top 20 list of worst companies to work for as voted by you

The Republic of Chad has an estimated population of about 17 million. It is a landlocked country at the crossroads of North and Central Africa. Chad borders Libya, Sudan, the Central African Republic, Cameroon, Nigeria, and Niger.

14. Zambia - 1.7896

most powerful countries in Africa
The national flag of Zambia waving against the wind. Photo: istockphoto.com, @sezer ozger
Source: UGC
  • Power index score - 1.7896
  • Estimated defence budget - $251,160,000
  • Active personnel - 16,500

Zambia's population estimate is over 19 million. Its power index rating is 1.7896. The Republic of Zambia has about 16,500 active military personnel and a defence budget of over $251 million.

13. Kenya - 1.7701

most powerful countries in Africa
The flag of Kenya. Photo: istockphoto.com, @shaadjutt
Source: UGC
  • Power index score - 1.7701
  • Estimated defence budget - $1,186,080,000
  • Active personnel - 35,000

The Democratic Republic of Kenya is among Africa's most populous countries, with about 57 million people.

Kenya's main naval base is in Mtongwe base in Mombasa (it covers Shimoni, Malindi, Msambweni, and Kilifi), and another is in Manda, Lamu. The air force headquarters is at Moi Air Base in Eastleigh, Nairobi.

Read also

10+ list of recruitment agencies in Cape Town in 2024

12. Uganda - 1.6264

most powerful countries in Africa
The flag of Uganda on a metallic pole. Photo: istockphoto.com, @sezer ozger
Source: UGC
  • Power index score - 1.6264
  • Estimated defence budget - $934,250,000
  • Active personnel - 47,000

The Republic of Uganda is the 12th most powerful country in Africa. This East African landlocked country has a power index rate of 1.6264 and a defence budget of approximately $934,250,000.

11. Libya - 1.4718

most powerful countries in Africa
The national flag of Libya. Photo: @learn2discover
Source: Facebook
  • Power index score - 1.4718
  • Estimated defence budget - $3,570,000,000
  • Active personnel - 100,000

The State of Libya is the fourth largest country in Africa and the 16th largest country globally. It has a population of about 7 million. The country's defence budget is over $3 billion, and its oil reserves produce 48.36 billion barrels.

The land forces have 450 armored vehicles, 250 tanks, 100 towed artillery, 50 self-propelled artillery, and 55 rocket projectors. Libya's air force has 114 carriers, two specialized attack jets, 17 fighter aircraft, four transport jets, 26 helicopters, 62 training jets, and seven assault helicopters.

Read also

List of courier companies in Pretoria and their contact details

10. Sudan - 1.4079

powerful countries in Africa
The flag of the Republic of Sudan hoisted in the air. Photo: @MoYousif98
Source: Twitter
  • Power index score - 1.4079
  • Estimated defence budget - $2.47 Billion
  • Active personnel - 100,000

Sudan is the third-largest country in Africa and the third-largest in the Arab world. Its population is about 46 million.

The defence budget of the Republic of Sudan is around $287,210,000. The country’s oil reserves produce almost 5 billion barrels of oil. Their air force has 11 trainer jets, 190 aircraft carriers, 38 specialized attack jets, 46 fighter fighters, 73 helicopters, 22 transport jets, and 43 assault helicopters.

The Sudanese naval forces have 18 assets, including 12 patrol boats. The land forces have 400 armored vehicles, 690 tanks, and ten self-propelled artilleries.

9. Tunisia - 1.3243

most powerful countries in Africa
The national flag of Tunisia hoisted on a pole. Photo: istockphoto.com, @Gim42
Source: UGC
  • Power index score - 1.3243
  • Estimated defence budget - $1,177,200,000
  • Active personnel - 90,000

The Republic of Tunisia is among the top 10 most powerful African countries. Tunisia has an estimated population of 12 million.

Read also

The top 10 largest parks in the world ranked by size

8. Democratic Republic of Congo - 1.3055

most powerful countries in Africa
The national flag of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Photo: @flagofcom
Source: Facebook
  • Power index score - 1.3055
  • Estimated defence budget - $299,220,000
  • Active personnel - 140,000

The DRC is the 15th most populous country globally, with about 97 million people.

The air force of the Democratic Republic of Congo has 34 helicopters, 53 aircraft carriers, four specialized attack jets, two fighter planes, 13 transport jets, and eight assault helicopters.

The naval forces have 20 assets and one patrol boat. The land forces have 175 tanks, 16 self-propelled artillery, 100 armored vehicles, 120 towed artillery, and 57 rocket projectors. DRC's oil reserves have roughly 180,000,000 barrels.

7. Morocco - 1.0524

most powerful countries in Africa
Five Moroccan flags waving on their poles. Photo: istockphoto.com, @Gwengoat
Source: UGC
  • Power index score - 1.0524
  • Estimated defence budget - $1,039,108,400
  • Active personnel - 200,000

The Kingdom of Morocco is also among the most powerful countries in Africa, with an approximate population of 38 million.

Read also

Top 25 safest and most dangerous countries in Africa ranked in 2024

Morocco has one of Africa’s best-trained armies. Its ground forces have 1,443 tanks, 505 self-propelled artillery, 2,901 armored vehicles, 200 towed artillery, and 144 rocket projectors.

The air force of the Kingdom of Morocco has 31 transport jets, 214 aircraft carriers, 46 fighter fighters, 64 helicopters, 67 training jets, and four special-purpose jets. The country's naval force has four corvettes, three frigates, and 105 patrol boats.

6. Angola - 0.8732

most powerful countries in Africa
The national flag of the Republic of Angola. Photo: istockphoto.com, @Oleg Prolat
Source: UGC
  • Power index score - 0.8732
  • Estimated defence budget - $1,059,270,000
  • Active personnel - 107,000

The Republic of Angola's estimated population is 35 million. It is the seventh-largest country on the continent, and its military is one of Africa's strongest.

The air force of the Republic of Angola has 295 aircraft carriers, 18 specialized attack jets, 72 fighter fighters, 30 transport jets, two special mission jets, 47 trainer jets, 126 helicopters, and 15 attack helicopters. Its land forces have 379 tanks, 28 self-propelled artillery, 595 armored vehicles, 357 towed artillery, and 115 rocket projectors.

Read also

Asian markets up after China ends travel quarantine

5. Ethiopia - 0.7979

most powerful countries in Africa
The flag of Ethiopia. Photo: istockphoto.com, @Anastasiia_M
Source: UGC
  • Power index score - 0.7979
  • Estimated defence budget - $538,000,000
  • Active personnel - 150,000

The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia has an approximate population of 122 million. The country has one of the most powerful military forces in Africa, even though it does not have reserve personnel.

The land forces have 400 tanks, 67 self-propelled artillery, 114 armored vehicles, 650 towed artillery, and 183 rocket projectors.

The air force has 86 aircraft carriers, 20 trainer jets, 24 fighter planes, 33 helicopters, and 8 attack helicopters.

4. Nigeria - 0.5587

most powerful countries in Africa
The flag of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Photo: istockphoto.com, @Derek Brumby
Source: UGC
  • Power index score - 0.5587
  • Estimated defence budget - $3,484,633,740
  • Active personnel - 135,000

The Federal Republic of Nigeria has the strongest military in West Africa. Its approximate population of 220 million makes it the seventh most populous nation globally.

Read also

Asian stocks start week positively

The air force has 129 aircraft carriers, thirteen dedicated attack jets, eight fighter fighters, 47 training jets, twenty-one transport jets, five special-purpose jets, 44 helicopters, and 15 attack helicopters.

Nigeria's naval forces have 100 patrol boats, 75 assets, and two mine warfare ships. Its land forces have 253 tanks, 25 self-propelled artillery, 1,789 armored vehicles, 339 towed artillery, and 36 rocket launchers. Their oil reserves produce 37.06 Billion barrels of oil.

3. South Africa - 0.4885

most powerful countries in Africa
People waving the national flag of South Africa. Photo: istockphoto.com, @Rawpixel
Source: UGC
  • Power index score - 0.4885
  • Estimated defence budget - $2,814,016,919
  • Active personnel - 40, 200

The Republic of South Africa has the third strongest army in Africa. It is also among the wealthiest countries in Africa.

The naval force has over 30 assets, including three submarines, four frigates, 31 patrol boats, and two mine warfare ships. Its oil reserves release around 15,000,000 barrels.

Read also

Top 30 highest paying jobs and professions in South Africa 2024

The air force has even special purpose jets, 226 aircraft carriers, 23 transport jets, 17 fighter planes, 88 trainer jets, 91 helicopters, and 12 attack helicopters. South Africa’s land forces have 195 tanks, 43 self-propelled artillery, 2000 armored vehicles, 72 towed artillery, and 50 rocket propellers.

2. Algeria - 0.3911

most powerful countries in Africa
The national flag of Algeria waving in the air. Photo: istockphoto.com, @Derek Brumby
Source: UGC
  • Power index score - 0.3911
  • Estimated defence budget - $9,979,200,000
  • Active personnel - 130,000

The People's Democratic Republic of Algeria has about 46 million people.

The Algerian ground forces have 880 tanks, 320 self-propelled artillery, 7,361 armored vehicles, 240 towed artillery, and 316 rocket projectors. The air force has 551 aircraft, 257 helicopters, 22 attack jets, 103 fighter planes, 87 trainer jets, 59 transport jets, nine special mission jets, and 45 assault helicopters.

The naval forces have 201 assets, including three corvettes, five frigates, six submarines, and 25 patrol boats. Algeria has enough oil to power its military machines. The country produces 12.2 Billion barrels from its oil reserves.

Read also

Top SA celebrity booking fees 2023: highest-paid musical artists

1. Egypt - 0.2224

most powerful countries in Africa
The national flag of Egypt waving on a boat. Photo: @ssptravel
Source: Instagram
  • Power index score - 0.2224
  • Estimated defence budget - $4,357,200,000
  • Active personnel - 440,000

The Arab Republic of Egypt is the most powerful country in Africa by military size and assets.

Egypt has about 107 million inhabitants. Its military population is approximately 920,000 (440,000 active military members, and the rest are reserves). The air force has 1,054 fighter planes, 59 transport jets, 88 specialized attack jets, 387 training jets, 294 helicopters, 11 special purpose jets, and 81 assault helicopters.

Egypt’s navy has over 316 resources, including seven frigates, two military aircraft, seven corvettes, 48 patrols, eight submarines, and 31 mine warfare ships.

What are the strongest militaries in Africa in 2024?

Most powerful countries in Africa
Photo: canva.com (modified by author)
Source: UGC

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

CountryGlobal Firepower's PowerIndex score
Egypt0.2224
Algeria0.3911
South Africa0.4885
Nigeria0.5587
Ethiopia0.7979
Angola0.8732
Morocco1.0524
Democratic Republic of Congo 1.3055
Tunisia1.3243
Sudan1.4079
Libya1.4718
Uganda1.6264
Kenya1.7701
Zambia1.7896
Chad1.9751
Zimbabwe1.9787
Cameroon2.0296
Tanzania2.0387
Ivory Coast2.0881
Ghana2.1741

Read also

Top 20 interesting facts about South Africa you ought to know | Details for travellers

Which country has the most powerful army in Africa?

Egypt is the powerful country in Africa by military size and assets.

Which country has the most powerful military in Africa?

According to the Global Fire Power Index report, Egypt, Algeria, South Africa, Nigeria, and Ethiopia are the top 5 powerful African countries.

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, Ghana, Mali, and Songhai Empires in West Africa.

The most powerful countries in Africa have lots of oil and other minerals. They also have some of the best infrastructures and social amenities. The internet and technological advancement are at their peak in these countries.

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.

Read also

Full list of building material prices in South Africa (updated price list)

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

Online view pixel