South Africa is set to surpass Nigeria and Egypt as the biggest economy in Africa according to recent projections by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) World Economic Outlook. At current prices, the IMF’s World Economic Outlook anticipates South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) to reach $401 billion by 2024, exceeding Nigeria’s GDP of $395 billion and Egypt’s GDP of $358 billion.
South Africa is the most industrialised nation on the continent and is expected to claim the top position in 2024. The country’s economy is projected to grow by 0.9% this year and 1.8% in 2024, while economic growth in Nigeria is expected to slow to 2.9% in 2023 from 3.3% in the previous year.
The report also projected that Nigeria will assume its number-one spot as South Africa is expected to fall behind Nigeria again and fall to third place behind Egypt in 2026. The IMF estimates that the economy will grow by 3.1 per cent in 2024, attributing the lag in Nigeria’s economy to the effects of high inflation, which currently stands at 26.72%.