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Most Developed Countries in Africa – Comprehensive Ranking for 2018

We look at the holistic progress various nations of Africa have made as measured by the HDI

Africa sure has come a long way; but we have so much farther to go in the great scheme of things.

To look at how far we’ve come, we’ve put together this list that highlights the most developed countries in Africa; they are the beacon of hope and a foreshadowing of what is hopefully ahead.

Nevertheless, let us not fool ourselves, many of these rich and developed nations still have too many problems and still much to work on.

But we can still be proud of the progress thus far, can’t we!?

What is the Human Development Index?

The United Nations defines the Human Development Index (HDI) as an economic tool that measures indicators of achievement in key areas of human development: longevity, literacy and income distribution.

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A disadvantage of this economic tool is that it only represents a small part of human development. It does not give a clear picture of income distribution, levels of poverty, human security and empowerment within a country.

10 Most Developed African Nations

These are the nations leading the way in Africa, ranked according to the Human Development Index Metrics Published in 2018. Let us examine each one in greater detail, shall we?

#10 – Cape Verde

Cape Verde is an archipelago of islands located 570 km off the coast of West Africa. Cape Verde’s backdrop of mountains, rugged seaside villages, undulating landscape and beautiful beaches make it attractive to tourists and by extension foreign investors who contribute to the GDP of the country.

In 2015, Cape Verde had a Human Development Index value of 0.648. This value ranked it at 122 out of 188 countries and placed it in the medium development category. Citizens of Cape Verde are expected to live until they are 74 years old. The average person will go through 13.5 years of schooling and the GNP per capita is US$6,049.

Related: Fun facts about Cape Verde

#9 – South Africa

South Africa is a country located at the southernmost tip of Africa. Its economy which is said to the second largest in Africa after Nigeria is supported by the agricultural sector, industry sector and tertiary services sector, the latter being the main contributor.

Like Cape Verde, South Africa’s Human Development Index of 0.666 placed it in the medium development category and positioned it three spaces in front of Cape Verde (119) on the list of developed nations. The average South African should go through 13 years of schooling and is expected to die at 53.4 years of age. The GNP per capita is US$9,594.

Related: Fun facts about South Africa

#8 – Egypt

Did you know that it is possible to be in two places at once? Egypt is the country that is located on two continents: Africa and Asia. The economy of Egypt depends on media, agriculture, natural gas, and tourism.

At the end of 2015, Egypt had a Human Development Index value of 0.691. This value allowed it to jump several spaces on the list of most developed nations to end up in the 111th position out of 188 countries and territories.

Categorized as a medium developed country, Egyptians are expected to live until they are 71.3 years old and to undergone 13.1 years of schooling. The average Egyptian is supposed to be earning US$10,061 annually.

Related: Fun facts about Egypt

#7 – Gabon

Gabon is an African nation located in Central Africa. In Gabon oil is king and is a major contributor to the country’s GDP. The economic forecast of Gabon is not a rosy one as oil production is on a decline and reserves are expected to run out by 2025.

Gabon is classified as a medium developed country with a Human Development Index value of 0.697. It is ranked 109th out of 188 countries and territories. The average Gabonese is expected to live until he is 64.9 years old and to spend 12.6 years in school. A Gabonese’s annual income is supposed to be US$19,044.

Related: Fun facts about Gabon

#6 – Botswana

Botswana, a landlocked country, is located in Southern Africa. It is said to be one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world with a population of just over 2 million people. The economy of Botswana relies on mining, cattle, and tourism.

Botswana has one of the fastest growth rates in per capita in the world and with sound fiscal policies, economists predict even more growth in the future. Which is right since this country has the largest diamond mine in the world.

Botswana has a Human Development Index value of 0.698 which classifies it as a medium developed country and gives it a 108th ranking out of 188 on the list of most developed nations in the world. The average Motswana is expected to live until he is 64.5 years old and to go through 12.6 years of schooling. Batswana are expected to earn US$14,663 annually.

Related: Fun facts about Botswana

#5 – Libya

Libya is located in North Africa. The main contributor to the economy of Libya is oil production. Libya is home to the largest oil reserves in Africa. Libya is one of eight African countries to be classified as having an ‘Upper Middle Income Economy by the World Bank.’

At the end of 2015, Libya had a Human Development Index value of 0.716 which placed it in the High human development category and a ranking of 102 out of 108 countries and territories. Libyans are expected to live until they are 71.8 years of age and to undergo 3.4 years of schooling. Annually, a Libyan is supposed to be earning US$14,303.

Related: Fun facts about Libya

#4 – Tunisia

Tunisia is a country located in North Africa. The economy of Tunisia depends on the manufacturing, services, tourism and mining sector with the services sector contributing the most to the GDP. The World Economic Forum ranked Tunisia as the most competitive country in Africa in 2009.

At the end of 2015, Tunisia had a Human Development Index value of 0.725. This value placed it in the high human development category and a ranking of 97 out of 108 countries and territories. The average Tunisian is expected to live until he is 75 years old and to undergo 14.6 years of schooling. At the end of the year, a Tunisian is supposed to be US$10,249 richer.

Related: Must see places when visiting Tunisia

#3 Algeria

Algeria, the largest country in Africa, is also located in the north and happens to share borders with Tunisia. Algeria is another country whose economy is dominated by oil but it is working towards diversifying the economy in order to reduce youth unemployment.

Algeria has a Human Development Index value of 0.745 which places it in the high human development category and the 83rd position of 188 countries and territories. Algerians are expected to live until they are 75 years old and to undergo 14.4 years of schooling. The GNP per capita is US$ 13,533.

Related: Fun facts about Algeria

#2 – Mauritius

Known for its white, sandy beaches, blue, crystal clear waters, breathtaking waterfalls and lush flora and fauna, Mauritius is an island nation off the southern coast of Africa. The economy of Mauritius is boosted by its agricultural, tourism, and service sectors. The economy of Mauritius is fertile ground for local and foreign investors.

Mauritius’ Human Development Index value is 0.781. This value places it in the high development category and gives it a ranking of 64th out 188 countries and territories. The average Mauritian is expected to live to see his 75th birthday and to spend 15.2 years in the education system. The average Mauritian is supposed to take home US$17,948 annually.

Related: Fun facts about Mauritius

#1 – Seychelles

Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 countries that lies 1,500 km off the coast of Eastern Africa. The economy of Seychelles largely depends on tourism, agriculture, and fishing with tourism industry employing most of the labor force. Although it is the African country with the highest GDP, Seychelles is plagued by income equality and low wealth distribution which results in poverty of some its citizens.

Seychelles’ has a Human Development Index value of 0.782 making the most developed nation in Africa. It is ranked at 63 out of 188 countries and territories. The average Seychellois is expected to live until he is 73.3 years old and to spend 14.1 years in the education system. The GNP per capita is $US 23, 886.

Related: Fun facts about Seychelles

Comprehensive Ranking of the Development of African Nations

African RankingRank Worldwide2017 Published EstimatesHDI Metric
163 Seychelles0.782
264 Mauritius0.781
383 Algeria0.745
494 Tunisia0.725
596 Libya0.716
6106 Botswana0.698
7108 Gabon0.697
8110 Egypt0.691
9116 South Africa0.666
10122 Cape Verde0.648
11123 Morocco0.647
12125 Namibia0.640
13136 Republic of the Congo0.592
13135 Equatorial Guinea0.592
15139 Ghana0.579
15139 Zambia0.579
17142 São Tomé and Príncipe0.574
18146 Kenya0.555
19149 Swaziland0.541
20150 Angola0.533
21151 Tanzania0.531
22152 Nigeria0.527
23153 Cameroon0.518
24154 Zimbabwe0.516
25155 Mauritania0.513
26156 Madagascar0.512
27159 Rwanda0.498
28161 Lesotho0.497
28162 Comoros0.497
30163 Senegal0.494
31163 Uganda0.493
32166 Sudan0.490
33167 Togo0.487
34168 Benin0.485
35169 Malawi0.476
36170 Ivory Coast0.474
37172 Djibouti0.473
38173 Gambia0.452
39174 Ethiopia0.448
40175 Mali0.442
41176 Democratic Republic of the Congo0.435
42177 Liberia0.427
43178 Guinea-Bissau0.424
44179 Eritrea0.420
45180 Sierra Leone0.420
46181 Mozambique0.418
46182 South Sudan0.418
48183 Guinea0.414
49184 Burundi0.404
50185 Burkina Faso0.402
51186 Chad0.396
52187 Niger0.353
53188 Central African Republic0.352

What to read next: What is the largest country in Africa? Comprehensive Ranking

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Written by Toni-Ann

Toni-Ann is currently a university student who dabbles in Economics during
the day and unleashes her creative writing skills during the night. Her
dream is to see the seven wonders of the world. But due to the
unavailability of several resources, she travels through the pages of the
books she consumes on a daily basis.

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