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Top 20 Poorest Country in Africa 

Top 20 Poorest Country in Africa 

Do you want to know the poorest africa country? This article on the poorest country in Africa has a list of the top 20 countries with a high rate of poverty in africa.

Africa is a continent filled with culture, history, greenery and abundant opportunities. However, some of its countries are highly disadvantaged when compared to other countries in the world. 

Twenty Three out of the Fifty Four richest and poorest countries in africa face poverty as a result of manmade challenges like political instability, corruption, tribal conflicts, and acts of terrorism.

In this post, we'll be discussing the most poor countries in Africa ranked by their GDP Per Capita.

GDP is the Gross Domestic Product and GDP per capita measures the country's yearly production and services and dividing it by the total population.

We'll focus on the top ten poorest countries in Africa, as of 2024, using the GDP provided by Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations.

 

20 Poorest Country in Africa

  1. Malawi

  2. Niger

  3. Burundi

  4. DR Congo

  5. Liberia 

  6. Central African Republic 

  7. Madagascar

  8. Somalia 

  9. Chad

  10. Madagascar

  11. Mozambique 

  12. Sierra Leone

  13. Burkina Faso

  14. Guinea Bissau

  15. South Sudan

  16. Eritrea

  17. Algeria

  18. Benin

  19. Burundi 

  20. The Gambia

 

Table Showing the 20 Poorest Countries in Africa and their 2024 GDP per Capita

Country 

GDP Per Capita 

Malawi

$480.73

Niger

$613.59

Burundi

$277.12

DR Congo

$565.81

Liberia 

$854.85

Central African Republic 

$371.98

Madagascar

$474.28

Somalia 

$527.88

Chad

$612.15

Mozambique 

$622.84

Sierra Leone

$655.11

Burkina Faso

$763.34

Guinea Bissau

$652.94

South Sudan

$421.86

Eritrea

$754.96

Rwanda

$822

Benin 

$822

The Gambia

$1336.00

Yemen 

$1996

 

The 20 Poorest countries in Africa

Here are the top 20 poorest country in africa.

  1. Malawi

Malawi is one of the least developed countries in Africa, with a GNI per capita of $489. The country is located in the Southeastern region of Africa, and shares its west borders with Zambia, its north and northeast with Tanzania and its east, south and southwest border with Mozambique.

Malawi's economy is highly dependent on Agriculture and its main products are sugarcane, cotton, corn, tea, tobacco and potatoes.

It faces major challenges in education, market economy, healthcare, healthcare and infrastructure. AIDS is also widespread in the country which affects its population, leading to high infant mortality and reduced workforce.

For many years, the country has depended on the World Bank, the IMF and other countries to help stabilise its economy.

In 2015, Malawi faced a major economic setback after the southern region was flooded, leading to the loss of properties, lands, crops and cattles.

GDP per Capita: $480.727

Population: 20.41 million approx.

 

  1. Niger

Niger or Republic of Niger is one of the poorest country in west Africa that faces extreme poverty in Africa. The country is located in Sahel and has a population of almost 2 million people. Its people are predominantly muslims and it is one of the poorest countries in africa wikipedia.

Niger is bordered by Libya, Chad, Nigeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali and Algeria.

The economy's biggest challenges come from its political instability, low literacy, high fertility rate, inadequate security and climate crisis. The country's over-dependence on Agriculture for its GDP has negative effects on its economy. 

In the early 2000's, Niger became a part of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries under the International Monetary Funds Program.

According to the world bank, by 2026, the extreme poverty rate in Niger is expected to reduce by 2% points to 50%. Even with this decrease, there will still be an increasing number of poor people in the country because of the rapidly growing population.

GDP per Capita: $613.59

Population: 26.61 million approx.

 

  1. Burundi

Burundi is a small African country located between the African Great lakes region and East Africa. It is one of the poorest African countries that has faced extreme civil war since its independence from Belgium in 1962.

It has a population of over 13 million people. More than half of its population live in poverty which is why it is ranked among the top ten poorest countries in africa 2024. Its ethnic conflicts are one of the biggest reasons for poverty in the country. 

The country also has a rapidly growing population with inadequate resources to go around. Also, because of the country's small size, farmer's face major environmental issues like soil degradation, flooding and droughts which negatively impacts its Agricultural sector. These problems affect the economy in the worst possible way, further contributing to the increasing poverty rate across the country.

GDP per Capita: $277.12

Population: 12.8 million approx.

 

  1. DR Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo is among the poorest nation in africa struggling with lots of challenges that have contributed to its high poverty rate. The country is one of the largest in Africa with a population of over 100 million people. You would not find the country on the list of richest to poorest country in west africa.

DR Congo is bordered by South Sudan, Uganda, Republic of Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia, Angola, and the South Atlantic Ocean.

According to the world bank, about 74% of its population lived on less than $2 a day in 2023. The country is plagued with a long list of challenges including high birth rates, hunger, maltrunition, flooding, and diseases.

The country is rich in precious metals which are used in the manufacturing of phones, jewelry, and computers. DR Congo's instability can be traced down to the civil war in the 90's and the war over the country's raw mineral ore which ended the lives of many civillians.

The aftermath of the war still affects the economy till date. 

GDP per Capita: $565.81

Population: 99 million approx.

 

  1. Liberia 

Liberia is a country in the west African coast that is bordered by Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Cote d’voire.

It is one of the poorest country in Africa 2024 with an estimated 4 million people living in poverty.

The two civil wars in the last 30 years is a central cause of poverty in the country. Although the war ended in 2003, and there have been minor improvements to the country's economic situation, its citizens still suffer from extreme rates of poverty. 

Other challenges in the country include food insecurity, and diseases like HIV and tuberculosis.

There's also a low literacy rate and youth unemployment spread across the country. 

GDP per Capita: $854.85

Population: 5.3 million approx.

 

  1. Central African Republic 

Central African Republic is a landlocked country located in Central Africa. It is bordered by Chad, Sudan, Cameroon and Congo and has the 5th highest rate of poverty according to the world bank. 

It has a population of above 5 million people with about 70% living below the poverty line. CAR has been at the center of a civil war since 2012 till date.

The country's economy is solely dependent on agriculture which provides their means to feed and earn money. Their major agricultural products used for sale include cassava, peanuts, maize, sorghum, millet, sesame, and plantain. 

However, due to challenges like conflicts, political unrests, and diseases, the agricultural produce is not enough to develop the economy.

GDP per Capita: $371.98

Population: 5.5 million approx.

 

  1. Madagascar

Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world. It is located in the Southeastern coast of Africa.

An estimated 69% of its population live below the national poverty line.  The current GDP per capita is $474.28. 

Because of the country's small size and lack of economic growth, it has caused a decline in jobs which in turn leads to high poverty levels in the country.

GDP per Capita: $474.28

Population: 29.61 million approx.

 

  1. Somalia 

Somalia is currently one of the africa poorest countries in the world. The country has faced some of the worst hunger crises in Africa. Years of  frequent droughts, locust infestations and harsh climate have affected the country's agricultural development for the worst.

The most recent hunger crisis cost over 7 million people in Somalia their livelihood, leaving them unable to feed properly.

In fact, it is recorded that nearly 70% of the population live below the international poverty line with thousands of malnourished children.

Political instability, conflicts and high levels of unemployment are also leading causes of poverty in Somalia.

GDP per Capita: $527.88

Population: $17.6 million approx.

 

  1. Chad

Chad is a landlocked country located between North and Central Africa. It is one of the most diverse countries in the world with a out 200 ethnic groups that speak over 90 languages.

It is divided into the rural and urban areas. The rural area is one of the most poor cities in africa and lives below the international poverty line.

The country has been plagued with flood, insecurity and high food inflation that resulted in high rates of poverty. Chad faces conflicts both within and outside its borders.

GDP per Capita: $612.15

Population: 17.72 million approx.

 

  1. Mozambique 

Mozambique is a beautiful country located along the long Indian Ocean Coastline. It is one of the best african destinations to go on holiday and it borders Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Eswatini and South Africa.

Although the country has experienced better economic development, the people living in the rural areas still suffer from bad electricity, low employment rates, and natural disasters like Cyclone Idai.

It's agricultural sector is also affected by the harsh climates and natural disasters.

GDP per Capita: $622.84

Population: $32.97 million

 

  1. Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone is a tropical country located in West Africa known for its beautiful beaches. It is one of the poverty countries in africa.

A large part of its population lives below $1 per day. The country also faces insecurity, poor access to education, healthcare and unemployment.

The GDP per Capita as of 2023 is $655, one of the lowest in the world.

GDP per Capita: $655.11

Population: 8.6 million approx.

 

  1. Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso is a country in West Africa that covers an area of over 200,00km². It is bordered by Mali, Benin, Togo, Ivory Coast and Ghana.

The country's economy is dependent its agricultural produce and gold mining. According to the World Bank, more than 40% of Burkina Faso's population lives below the international poverty line.

Security unrest in the country affects its gold production and agricultural sectors.

GDP per Capita: $763.34

Population: 2.1 million approx.

 

  1. Guinea Bissau

Guinea Bissau is a West African country situated along the Atlantic coast. The country has a population of over 2 million people and a land area of 36,125 sq km.

Over 50% of the country's population lives below the international poverty line. The country is greatly affected by challenges such as harsh climate changes, high infant and maternal mortality and malnutrition.

The Ukrainian war also caused price vitality of most of its agricultural produce which resulted in major economic setbacks for the country.

GDP per Capita: $652.94

Population: 2.1 million 

 

  1. South Sudan

South Sudan is a low-income country in Eastern Central Africa. It is bordered by Sudan, Ethiopia, Central African Republic, Uganda, DR Congo, and Kenya.

In 2019, more than 8 million people were recorded to be living below the international poverty rate.

Despite its economic opportunities, the country faces significant poverty caused by past civil war, floods, and the 2019 COVID-19 outbreak.

Natural disasters such as droughts are also major causes of poverty and every developmental effort to curb the problem has not yielded any good results 

GDP per Capita: $421.86

Population: 10.91 million approx.

 

  1. Eritrea

Eritrea is a county in Northeast Africa which borders with Ethiopia, Sudan and Djibouti.

The country is recorded as one of the poorest countries in Africa with nearly 38% of the population living below the poverty line.

The country faces negative economic effects from the past wars, famines and drought.

Although the government tries to mitigats the effects by effecting some poverty alleviation schemes, the programmes have proven ineffective due to poor implementation and low literacy.

GDP per Capita: $754.96

Population: 3.6 million approx.

 

  1. Rwanda 

Rwanda is among the most poor countries in africa that has over 20% of its population living in poverty. The country is located in the Great Rift Valley of Central Africa.

It borders the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Uganda, and Burundi.

The war between 1990 - 1994 completely devastated the country's economy and till today, they still struggle to keep the economy afloat.

GDP per Capita: $822

Population: $13.78 million approx.

 

  1. Benin

Benin is an African country with a population of nearly 15 million people. It is the official capital of Porto norvo and it covers a land area of 114,763 km2.

The country’s poverty rate is almost 44% in the rural areas. Food insecurity and unemployment are currently one of its biggest economic issues.

Benin also has one of the highest fertility rates in the world as well as a high mortality rate.

GDP per Capita: $1336.00

Population: 13.35 million approx.

 

  1. The Gambia

The Gambia is one of the poor places in Africa. The national poverty rate is estimated to be around 44%, similar to the poorest poverty in nigeria.

The country has a high number of poor people africa living in the rural areas. In 2015, the poverty levels declined but after the covid19 struck, the economy regressed even further and caused the agricultural sector to become more volatile than ever.

GDP per Capita: $808.28

Population: 2.7 million approx.

 

  1. Yemen

Yemen is a subtropical country located with a population of about 35 million people.. According to reports, about 8.7% of its population are living in poverty. It is one of the poorest african nations.

Yemen has faced many economical challenges for many years. Corruption, Unemployment and Poor infrastructure have been at an all time high. Healthcare facilities are also very poor. 

The constant power struggle and war in the country has led to a massive decline in the country economy, causing a large portion of its population to live in extreme poverty.

GDP per Capita: $1996

Population: approx. 35 million

 

  1.  Solomon Islands 

Solomon Island is located in the southwest pacific Ocean with a population estimated to be around 800,000 people. It is one of the poorest countries in west africa. The country's main source of revenue is agriculture. It exports minerals, fish, timbers, cocia and palm oil. Over 70% of its population lives in poverty. 

Although the country makes great revenue from agricultural trade, it still faces a lot of challenges that hinders its economic growth.

It's major challenges include corruption, and poor infrastructure.

GDP per Capita: $2713

Population: approx. 800,000

 

Conclusion 

The list of the poorest area in Africa can vary from year to year, depending on their GDP per capita which we used to rank them in this article.

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