West Africa is the region covering the western part of Sub-Saharan Africa. It is made up of a set of countries with the same trends and a common heritage. It is nowadays a community of peoples which tends to reconstitute itself politically through ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States). West Africa consists of Senegal, Mali, Niger, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea -Bissau, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Togo, Nigeria, Mauritania. ECOWAS, on the other hand, is made up of these same states with the exception of Mauritania, which left the community in 2000 to join the Arab Maghreb Union.
The IMF and the World Bank, which are institutions of the United Nations system, aim to raise the standard of living of the countries which are members of it. The two institutions work in collaboration. The International Monetary Fund manages macroeconomic issues, while the World Bank is in charge of long-term economic development and the fight against poverty.
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First place: Nigeria
The estimation of the wealth of all the countries of the world and in this case of the countries of West Africa is generally based on taking into account the Gross Domestic Product alone. According to the International Monetary Fund, Nigeria, which ranks first among the richest countries in Africa, is obviously the richest country in West Africa. It displays for the year 2020, a GDP of 494.83 billion dollars. The oil and natural gas that abound in its subsoil are the country’s main sources of income. Nigeria is therefore the largest producer of black gold in Africa.
Second place: Ghana
Nigeria is followed by Ghana with a GDP of $ 69.76 billion. Its population is estimated at just over thirty million. We observe the increase in the prices of raw materials, a new agricultural and industrial dynamic, and the realization of many large-scale infrastructure projects. We also note the exploitation of new oil areas and the digital advancement. Ghana, which has many economic, social and political assets, and has thus risen to the second place among the richest countries in West Africa. Growth prospects remain positive: primary export commodities will grow and international prices will be stable, and domestic initiatives to increase productivity have been initiated in key primary sectors and value chains.
Third place: Côte d’Ivoire
The Ivory Coast occupies third place in the ranking, although it has presented an average economic growth estimated at around 6% over the last decade. Real GDP growth was 7.4% in 2018 and 2019 and could remain above 7.0% over the period 2020-2021 if climatic conditions (especially rainfall) are favorable. The GDP is estimated by the IMF this year at 48.35 billion dollars. According to the Ivorian authorities, the largest contributions to the GDP come mainly from the commercial and secondary tertiary sectors. For the period 2019-2020, forecasts predicted that the private investment and services sectors would drive economic growth through new activities in transport, commerce and telecoms. Growth in private investment is also expected to support agricultural transformation through 2021.
Fourth position: Senegal
In fourth position, Senegal has an estimated GDP of 25.77 billion dollars. The Senegalese economy is based on mining, construction, tourism, fishing and agriculture, the main sources of employment in rural areas. But it is also very oriented towards Europe and India. The main industrial companies export the phosphates and fertilizers they produce, fishery and agricultural products. According to the macroeconomic outlook made by the IMF, real GDP growth should reach 6.3% in 2020 and 6.8% in 2021 with a low risk of debt distress. The second plan for an emerging Senegal between 2019-2023 provides for the implementation of reforms leading to the stabilization of the macroeconomic environment, the stimulation of private investment, and the acceleration of the structural transformation of the economy.
Fifth place: Mali
This top 5 of the richest countries in West Africa ends with Mali, which in 2020 has a GDP estimated at 19.02 million dollars. Mali is a fairly poor country with no significant mineral resources. However, population growth is strong (in 2017, for example, the fertility rate was six children per woman). The Malian economy is driven by the primary and tertiary sectors, particularly agriculture, mining and commerce. Agriculture in Mali is however weakened because of the vagaries of the climate which also represent a risk for the country’s food security. In terms of extraction, Mali exports oil. It is also the fourth largest gold exporter in the world. However, forecasts say that if China and the European Union experience a limited economic slowdown and if the price of oil drops by 25%, the country’s GDP growth is expected to decline to 4.9% in 2020 compared to the year. 2019 during which the growth was 5.1%.
In which of these countries do you want to invest?