The African economy, comprising 54 economies, in 2021 is projected around US$2.6 trillion in nominal terms, $252 billion more than 2020, calculated by taking figures from the IMF. This is $300 bn less than France's GDP, the 7th largest economy in the world. Africa accounts for 2.78% of the world GDP in nominal terms. Africa is the 2nd smallest continental economy in the world after Oceania. In ppp methods, It is 3rd smallest continental economy after Oceania and South America, accounting and 4.88% of global wealth.

The Western Africa region has the highest economy ($800 bn) on the continent, closely followed by Northern Africa ($774 bn). These two regions together share about 61% of the African economy. 16.49% of the African gdp distributed in Eastern Africa, 14.06% in Southern Africa, and 8.16% in Middle Africa. In ppp methods, Northern Africa is the largest subregion by GDP.

As per the UN, Africa's share of the world economy was maximum (4.93%) in 1980 and was minimum (1.88%) in 1995. In constant 2015 prices, which gives a better idea about expansion over the years, the African economy has expanded from $506 bn in 1970 to $2.6 tn in 2019 or 5x.

The Highest increment in African wealth was seen in 2012 when it has grown by $157 bn approx at constant 2015 prices, while the highest reduction of $13 bn was in 2011. The figure moved in the downward direction in four years. At current prices, the maximum increment was in the year 2010 of $283 bn, while the biggest decline was in 2015 ($243 bn). The figure moved in the downward direction in thirteen years.

Grouping of continents and subregions are as per United Nations Statistics Division.

  • GDP
  • Share (%)

African subregions by gdp (IMF)

Subregion GDP (Nominal) (billions of $) Share (%) GDP (PPP) (billions of Int. $) Share (%)
20202021Net changeAfricaWorld 20202021Net changeAfricaWorld
Southern Africa334.605366.32031.71514.060.39796.508837.67341.16512.090.59
Eastern Africa410.578429.83419.25616.490.461,096.3041,160.74364.43916.750.82
Northern Africa715.409774.10558.69629.700.822,396.9532,557.623160.67036.911.80
Western Africa694.299811.402117.10331.140.861,738.1421,831.19493.05226.431.29
Middle Africa189.937212.59222.6558.160.23497.649515.89118.2427.440.36
Africa 2,354.352 2,605.979 251.627 2.78 6,550.571 6,929.609 379.038 4.88

African subregions by gdp (UN)

Subregion GDP (billions of $) Share (%) in Africa Share (%) in World
197020002019 197020002019197020002019
Southern Africa19.56150.62389.1916.8022.9915.820.570.450.45
Eastern Africa19.5179.69407.9716.7612.1616.580.570.240.47
Northern Africa24.74262.29714.5121.2540.0329.040.720.780.82
Western Africa41.35118.86723.5235.5118.1429.401.210.350.83
Middle Africa11.2843.75225.419.696.689.160.330.130.26
Africa 116 655 2,461 3.41 1.95 2.81

Estimates by UN

Year GDP (billions of $) Share (%)
CurrentConstant (2015)
1970116.430505.8903.41
1971129.430527.9803.44
1972148.150555.3703.42
1973179.570578.3203.41
1974242.800623.5304.07
1975278.350637.1604.17
1976311.870681.2904.32
1977359.640712.7404.43
1978411.900725.4304.28
1979482.070749.0204.35
1980610.570773.4204.93
1981579.050768.4904.59
1982568.130776.7704.53
1983574.000773.3904.47
1984559.260793.2804.23
1985551.330822.3304.06
1986484.490826.3403.10
1987463.330834.2502.62
1988494.090873.9102.50
1989496.790902.5002.40
1990554.680933.0402.41
1991556.470954.6502.30
1992574.150959.6602.22
1993566.870950.3602.16
1994542.300968.3701.93
1995586.930993.6901.88
1996616.0901,044.2601.94
1997637.2201,080.3002.01
1998629.3401,110.4902.00
1999638.4801,140.9601.95
2000655.2101,182.4801.95
2001642.4301,231.6101.92
2002660.5901,298.3201.90
2003784.8501,367.3002.01
2004953.9301,447.7002.17
20051,128.0701,537.4902.37
20061,308.6101,628.4002.54
20071,523.6801,728.6502.62
20081,795.3601,834.5102.81
20091,686.6301,904.3902.79
20101,969.8102,012.5702.97
20112,201.5001,999.5302.99
20122,391.6802,156.0603.18
20132,452.6302,181.5903.17
20142,558.0902,251.4503.22
20152,314.9002,314.9003.09
20162,163.4202,355.7202.84
20172,244.9802,434.6202.77
20182,368.4702,515.1002.75
20192,460.6002,591.4102.81