Top 10 Most Influential Countries In Africa (2021)

In Africa, South Africa, Ethiopia, Egypt, Kenya, and Nigeria have remained the 5 most influential countries in Africa year after year. But currently, some other developing African countries have struggled and found their rhythm within the exclusive group of Africa’s most influential countries.

Broadly speaking, the culture of Africa expresses the richness of the black people while Africa’s history depicts how the black continent was brought under colonialism by mostly European forces. Therefore, all African countries, other than Ethiopia, encountered their own woes of colonial dominance which prevented them from exercising any rights of self-government.

This very article centres on the most influential African countries and the actual reasons which substantiate their impacts on the African continent. Are you an African? If yes! Read on to discover whether your country is listed or not.

Top 10 Most Influential Countries In Africa

  • 1. South Africa

In the entirety of Africa, South Africa happens to be the only country with membership in the duo of BRICS (an influential group that combines Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) and the renowned G20. Likewise, South Africa is a member of the EU’s 10 strategic partners from across the world. Meanwhile, South Africa is the only African country in this partnership. Notably, South Africa’s presence among EU’s 10 strategic partners results from the certainty that it is the African country with the largest trading relationship with the European Union.

Though Nigeria is regarded as Africa’s largest economy –at the expense of second-place South Africa and all other African countries –South Africa arguably claims a more influential status than Nigeria due to its significant relationships with global powers such as China and Russia.

Under the leadership of late Nelson Mandela, South Africa gradually advanced from apartheid into a harmonious nation. Having succeeded Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki gave South Africa a tremendous outlook especially in the aspect of economic growth. Through his significant transformation of the country, South Africa has reaped great benefits and this makes it one of the most influential global countries as well as the second-largest economy in Africa.

  • 2. Ethiopia

Ethiopia is not only a giant East African country but also one of the second most influential countries in the whole of Africa. Besides its historic significance, Ethiopia is regarded with a great influence on being the only African country yet to experience any form of colonialism.

For over 2000 years, Ethiopia has maintained its autonomy and neither has any colonial power encroached its terrain. Historically, Ethiopia commands great reverence as the word “Ethiopia’’ can be found in 44 biblical references. This, together with some other factors, is clear proof that Ethiopia is a dominant country as regards diplomacy, autonomy, politics, and history.

In terms of war, Ethiopia commands historic prestige especially through the victory it claimed over Italian colonial forces at Adwa. As a matter of fact, this occurrence is the point behind the cognizance that Africans have the might to defy European colonialists.

In the world, Russia and Ethiopia are the only two nations that have never been brought under any colonial influence. For innumerable years, these two countries have maintained their sovereignty without any foreign interference.

If there is any Black nation to be revered for having maintained its indigenous language, writing, and culture without any European dominance, Ethiopia is certainly the only African country that merits such reverence.

  • 3. Egypt

In Africa, Egypt claims the third spot among the most influential countries. However, in North Africa, Egypt is the most influential country and has remained so for an immense time. In reality and as a North African country, Egypt has majorly considered an Arab territory that could have belonged to another continent if Africa hadn’t covered its territory.

Within and beyond Africa, Egypt is considered one of an influential group of countries that have long been civilized. Likewise, it has a remarkable place among the first group of nation-states across the globe. Impressively, Egypt became a sovereign state even before any of several other influential countries (such as South Africa, Nigeria, and Algeria) could attain independence. In this regard, Egypt became an independent territory in the early 50’s –precisely 1953.

In the Western world, Egyptian art (together with architecture) has been brought back to people’s memories through several practices. Over the years, Egyptian art has been appreciated across various European regions. A good instance is the “Cleopatra’s Needles’’ which is found in New York City, Paris, and London.

  • 4. Kenya

Kenya is arguably Africa’s mainstay of human resource capital. Across the entire African continent, Kenya has the highest number of educated persons and besides this, the country is Africa’s most efficient centre for ICT. Although South Africa and African Arab nations are known for the fastest infrastructural advancement, Kenya is gathering significant efforts to be in a parallel stance with these countries. Meanwhile, the mainstay of Kenya’s national development is its human capital sector where it churns out sophisticated people who are spread across the world.

Kenya is determined to establish an incredible ICT park very typical of the American ICT centre (precisely based in California) and this clarifies the fact that the East African country is brimming with intense potential.

In recent times, Kenya bagged a prestigious vote where it is regarded as one of the best global countries to live in.

  • 5. Nigeria

Although Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy and the most populous country on the African continent, it isn’t really a big shock that it sits in the fifth position among the most influential countries in Africa 2017. While Nigeria takes the fifth spot on this list, the country’s many crises are attributed to political instability.

Nigeria was liberated from the colonial influence of Britain in 1960. Just like some other African countries such as Algeria, Egypt, and Ethiopia, Nigeria was still hemmed in by military rule under which it spent 33 years.

Nigeria is dominant for being the largest African country in terms of national production. Its manufacturing sector contributes massively to its increasing level of national growth. Despite its voluminous level of production, Nigeria is yet to experience any sustainable standard of economic development. By reason of this, the country is afflicted with unfavourable standards of living across many of its States.

Although there are various sources through which the government of Nigeria generates revenue, Nigeria depends largely on the exportation of crude oil and the returns generated from this occupies about 90% of the country’s overall export revenue.

Despite the various national challenges Nigeria faces, the country remains Africa’s largest economy. Based on the forecast conducted on the GDPs of African countries, records have shown that by the year 2040, Nigeria’s GDP –which symbolizes the national volume of production –may have risen in excess of $4.2 trillion. For years, the GDP of Nigeria has been on a rapid increase and by 2040, Nigeria’s GDP will have accounted for nearly 2% of the global volume of production.

Significantly, it has been foreseen that Nigeria’s standard of development will have a great impact on Africa’s global stance in future moments. If Nigeria can attain substantial future advancement, then Africa will increase in global impact. Likewise, it’s been forecast that Nigeria’s population –currently regarded as the largest in Africa –will emerge as the fourth largest global population by the year 2040.

  • 6. Morocco

Besides being a giant North African nation, Morocco is considered one of the most influential countries in Africa 2017/2018. Currently, Morocco has attained an impressive standard of development which clarifies that it could be a strategic avenue through which Africa may be discussed or approached. Significantly, Morocco has benefitted massively from the decision of many global organizations to first establish their business empires in it, in the hope that this will encourage quick access by other African territories.

Morocco has been favoured by several important factors that continually increase the number of foreign investors. Among these factors are the competitive nature of the workforce, the certainty of political stability, and the geographic nearness to European countries. Morocco is not involved in frequent cases of insurgency, massacre, and other devastating activities as observed in many other African countries. With regard to this, the country has become the top priority of many European investors who are in search of business locations in Africa.

  • 7. Uganda

Uganda is one of the most influential African countries especially in terms of military intervention. With respect to this, the country’s military has been acclaimed for its past efforts in restoring peace to some disorderly African countries such as Kenya and Rwanda.

By way of recalling events from the past, Ugandan military safeguarded Kenyans while they were in chaos (in 2008). Besides that, the Ugandan army abolished the genocide which almost wreaked havoc on Rwanda in 1993, went further to battle with the Rwandan insurgents in Congo, and gathered efforts to restore peace to embattled Somalia and devastated Southern Sudan. Meanwhile, many other influential African nations (such as the Arab countries and South Africa) couldn’t prove any bravery by rendering military assistance to either of Somalia and Southern Sudan. But as regards its intense might, the Ugandan army rendered some military assistance to each of Somalia and Southern Sudan.

Despite this significant military intervention and the urge to maintain peace, Uganda is not considered the African country with the best military technology. However, the factual point is that Uganda possesses one of the most fearless military sectors in Africa.

In the late 1980s and around the sub-Saharan region of Africa, Uganda became one of the first countries to welcome the concept of market reforms. In 2006, Uganda transformed impressively into a level-headed reformer with an advanced political system and a strong economic basis. As part of the series of improvements which resulted, Uganda experienced an increase of over 0.5 percent in its real GDP –from 6.5% to more than 7% for a period of ten years lasting in 2010.

  • 8. Rwanda

With the precise definition, Rwandans show intense passion for their country. Without doubts, this constitutes one of the remarkable things about Rwandans. Over and above that, the President of Rwanda (Kagame) has shown readiness to keep on maintaining national peace and order under his laudable leadership.

Rwandans have been favoured by significant improvements under the auspices of President Kagame. As regards current statistics about the growth standards of African countries, Rwanda (which encountered serious economic and political setbacks in the past) ranks among the fairly-developing countries. With all this, Rwandans should definitely brim with intense love and patriotism for their country.
Meanwhile, Rwanda is believed to have reached this remarkable point of development because its citizens remained hopeful in the time of despair, took no vengeance in time of anger, favoured advancement and prosperity above corruption, and decided to stick with love in place of fear.

In terms of military, Rwanda has strengthened its military personnel who are charged with the responsibilities of fighting against guerrillas and carrying out excellent infantry operations. As regards its military improvement, Rwanda has earned acclaim from the United Nations Organization.

  • 9. Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is largely considered an African territory with a god-fearing purpose. The country commands intense might and has remained focused on developing itself without any interference from Western policies. In this regard, Zimbabwe has kicked against the conventional development policies which Western countries practice and have tried to impose on Zimbabwe.

Although President Mugabe’s administration posed some economic downfall to Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwean President yet gathered efforts together and ensured the country’s economy was revived. Meanwhile, it is hoped that Zimbabwe will have its economic progress once again by the time new infrastructural plans are in place.

Zimbabwe now has a series of economic benefits at its disposal and these can be attributed to several factors such as the favourable incidence of literacy, the diligence of the Zimbabwean masses, and the vigorous presence of the sophisticated military. With the help of these beneficial factors, Zimbabwe has emerged as one of the most influential African territories in terms of military and economic success.

  • 10. Algeria

Alongside Egypt and several other sovereign territories, Algeria is one of the leading countries in North Africa –a region that houses African Arabs. The military sector of Algeria (just like that of Nigeria and Egypt) has remained a vibrant contributor to Algerian politics since 1962 –when independence was attained. To recall past events, Algeria went through a deadly war with France before the eventual independence gained in 1962. The deadly war –which wreaked great destruction on Algeria and France –lasted for a period of eight years.

Algeria’s aged President –Abdelaziz Bouteflika –has emerged victorious in four successive elections. Consequently, he has remained on the presidential seat since 1999.

That’s all on the Most Influential Countries in Africa.