Most Important Countries In Africa (Top 20)

People are important because of what they bring to the table. The same principle applies to nations; hence the most important countries in Africa are those that have the most to offer the rest of the continent, and the world in general.

Important considerations include Food Production, Technological Advancement, Economic Stability, Education, and Defence. These core tenets are some of the most vital for any society to survive in the present, and to survive whatever uncertainty that the future may bring.

Ranking countries also need to have well developed societies, which will show that they have evolved, and are capable of standing as examples for others. These countries have shown that, and as a result they have naturally attracted friends from within and outside the continent.

Most Important Countries In Africa

1. South Africa

There is no doubt anywhere in the world that South Africa is the most important country in Africa. It has the most technology; nuclear science, aviation, medical science, and telecommunication. South Africa has more Nobel Prize winners than any other African country, and was the first to design its own satellite.

South Africa is also the best in economy; it has the biggest banks, and the best known brands doing business across the continent and beyond. South Africa also has a well-developed food production sector; large scale farms produce food in abundance, even exporting their produce as far as china.

Such a country naturally has influence on its neighbours; Namibia, Mozambique, Botswana, and Zimbabwe all tow whatever line South Africa goes. The country’s influence has even spread to West Africa in recent times, showing just how important this country is.

Russia was the first to note just how important this country is; it sought close ties with South Africa before other European countries took note.

2. Tunisia

Tunisia’s importance is underlined by its well established society; one that emphasizes the need to work hard, and to shun corruption. This country is quite progressive; it is quick to embrace technology, and education is prioritized as well. Tunisia has managed to be a peaceful country in a turbulent region; and that means it has been able to avoid the cycle of building and destroying, which has characterized many African countries.

Food security is good in Tunisia; in fact this country can provide food for many African countries- further underlining its importance. Tunisia has arable land between the Atlas Mountains and the Sahara Desert, but even that land towards the desert is being made arable through the use of technology; and computer based irrigation systems.

That means Tunisia is producing more food than ever before, and is set to play a leading role in assuring food security on the continent. Some of Tunisia’s agricultural exports include olive oil, citrus, and dates. The country also exports fish products.

Tunisia is also an important energy and oil producer; it is also a hub for tourism. All the factors highlighted together, added to the fact that the country has a strong army, all show that Tunisia ranks high among the countries that can change the fortunes of the continent.

3. Morocco

Morocco is another North African country with a solid societal structure. This country has a very good agricultural sector, growing interest in technology, and a stable economy which is boosted by manufacturing.

Morocco is quite well placed in a position of advantage; it is exposed to the Atlantic Ocean, and also to the Mediterranean Sea. As a result, fishing is a big business in fact; morocco is the world’s largest producer of canned sardines.

Other important exports in the country include; orange, tomatoes, potatoes, olives, and olive oil. Morocco is therefore one of the countries taking the lead in ensuring that food security becomes realized in Africa.

Morocco has also but the necessary structures in place to become a global hub for the development of technology; the country is emphasizing development in future tech especially as it concerned solar, wind, and thermal energy; as well as nutrition, environment and health.

4. Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast is the most important French speaking country in sub Saharan Africa. It has everything it needs to be a great country; a large population, good land, and access to the sea.  This West African country has a population of around 30 million people speaking 80 different languages.

Ivory Coast has a well-diversified economy; it is the world’s biggest producer of coco beans in the world, and as such it plays an important role in the availability of chocolate. This country also produces crude oil, gold, rubber, cotton, and palm oil.

Ivory Coast is also a hub for international trade; goods coming into other countries of French speaking West Africa often first land in this country for forwarding to their various destinations.

Ivory Coast is working to expand its agricultural sector, as well as food processing industry so that it can better empower its people, and also produce more food, which the world desperately needs.

5. Egypt

Egypt is one of Africa’s largest countries, and it also has one of the strongest armies on the continent. This North African country has a population of 100 million people, and is also has some territory in Asia; near the famous Gaza Strip.

Egypt is an important oil producer; refined petroleum, raw crude, and natural has are some of its largest exports. The country also exports citrus, fertilizers, cotton and clothing, and so many other things.

However, whenever Egypt is mentioned, the first thing that comes to mind is the Pyramids of Giza; this is because Egypt is one of the major hubs for tourism in Africa, it has a rich history; more history than any other country in the world.

6. Ghana

Ghana has overtaken Nigeria as the most important country in West Africa; despite being so small, it has become a powerhouse in all things development. For one thing, Ghana has a lot less corruption than Nigeria. What other way has this country bettered Nigeria?

Ghana has become the main hub for manufacturing in West Africa. It achieved that by building its infrastructure such as electricity and roads, and the result was that many manufacturing companies from Nigeria relocated there.

Ghana is a hub for agriculture; some of its main agricultural exports include; cocoa, palm oil, maize, rice and cassava. Most of the country’s agricultural exports are important food items eaten in sub Saharan Africa.

Ghana has also invested heavily in the research and development of alternative medicine; herbal treatment of common ailments. Other countries are learning from Ghana in this sector.

Ghana is also an important producer of gold and oil; perhaps these are some of the reasons why the United States has chosen to build closer ties with this country.

7. Nigeria

Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa, and is closely followed by Egypt highlighted above. This is a country located in West Africa, and with a population of around 200 million, it is the largest country in Africa, and the largest Black Country in the world.

Nigeria is a major oil producer; crude oil is the main export of the country. Nigeria also has plenty of access to the Atlantic Ocean; which gives it potential in both fishing and international trade. There is plenty of land for agriculture, and the country also has forests.

Nigeria has long been a champion of peace in West Africa; it has often spearheaded diplomatic and military actions to maintain peace.

Nigeria has a lot of potential in both the development of technology and manufacturing. Local vehicle production has begun, and there is also local production of clothing, shoes, and other fashion items.

8. Kenya

Kenya may struggle with corruption, but it is still one of the most prominent countries in East Africa. This country is big; it has a population that is edging closer to the 50 million mark. The country has good land, and is also exposed to the Indian Ocean.

Kenya’s main agricultural exports include tea, cut flowers, and vegetables. Kenya also has a vibrant dairy production sector; most of it is processed and packaged into export quality milk and crème.

Tourism also plays an important role in this country’ economy; people come in from every corner of the world to see Kenyan Wildlife, climb Mount Kenya, and enjoy the beaches.

Kenya is one of the largest economies in Africa; and its cultural and political influence radiates through east Africa. The country has plenty of potential for agriculture, tourism, and manufacturing.

9. Libya

Libya is a country in North Africa that is an important link between Europe and Africa; it is one of the narrowest points of the Mediterranean, and a major transit point for Africans trying to reach Europe.

Libya’s economy runs on oil; it is the country’s biggest export. Despite the fact that the country is sustained by a single resource; the proceeds have been put to good use; therefore allowing the government to provide jobs, to provide essential services, and to build infrastructure.

Libya has built extensive infrastructure to help it grow; the Great Man Made River (GMMR) is a monumental irrigation system that aims to counter the effects of the dessert, and increase agricultural output.

10. Algeria

Algeria is a North African country; known to be peaceful, liberal, and progressive. It has the largest land area in Africa, and also the tenth largest in the world. Algeria is a place with an interesting culture, and it is often seen as the most welcoming place in Africa for Europeans to live- many French nationals retire to this country.

Algeria’s economy also runs on oil; crude, refined petroleum and natural gas are its highest exports. Food security is a long term goal which the country hopes to achieve in the coming decades.

Algeria is mostly situated in the desert, but it has started to realize that it can expand the scope of its agriculture through irrigation. Some of the country’s main agricultural products include potatoes, tomatoes, wheat, watermelon, citrus, and onions.

However, the country is also developing its manufacturing sector; especially through Turkish investments.

The following is a list of African countries according to their importance, as well as their exact locations.

Rank Country Location
1 South Africa Southern Africa
2 Tunisia North Africa
3 Morocco North Africa
4 Ivory Coast West Africa
5 Egypt North Africa
6 Ghana West Africa
7 Nigeria West Africa
8 Kenya East Africa
9 Libya North Africa
10 Algeria North Africa
11 Angola Central Africa
12 Zambia Southern Africa
13 Zimbabwe Southern Africa
14 Namibia Southern Africa
15 Uganda East Africa
16 Chad Central Africa
17 Mali West Africa
18 Ethiopia East Africa
19 Senegal West Africa
20 Gabon Central Africa

Further Reading:


This article has highlighted some of the most important countries in Africa, and has also highlighted what African countries need to do to become important to the rest of the world. The goal is not just to generate revenue which can easily be stolen by powerful figures, but rather to provide the needs of the people of each country, the continent, and the world in general.

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