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Top 10 Most Developed Countries in Africa



Africa is a diverse continent with abundant human and natural resources. These resources are capable of yielding inclusive growth and wipe out poverty in the region if properly harnessed. The region, still referred as a developing continent, comprises low, low-middle, upper-middle and high-income countries.

Every year, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) releases indices and indicators on key human development in Africa. These indices for development include the Human Development Index, HDI: life expectancy and health, economic growth and standard of living.
According to the data from the UNDP, of the 54 countries that make the African continent, Seychelles is the most developed country with an HDI value of 0.801 and a life expectancy of 73.7 years. Trailing just behind Seychelles is Mauritius, with and HDI value of 0.796 and life expectancy of 74.9 years.

10 Most Developed Countries in Africa

Below are the top most developed countries in Africa according to UNDP:


HDI Value: 0.801
Global ranking: 62
Life expectancy: 73.7 years
Expected years of schooling: 14
Mean years of schooling: 9.5
Gross National income per Capital:26,077

Seychelles is an archipelagic island country in the Indian Ocean. It is the least populated country in Africa, with a population of about 98, 462 (Mid 2020 National semi-annual estimate). With an HDI score exceeding 0.801, it is the only country in Africa with a very high Human Development Index. Seychelles’ economy is majorly driven by tourism.

2. Mauritius

HDI value: 0.796
Global ranking: 66
Life expectancy: 74.9
Expected years of schooling: 15.1
Mean years of schooling: 9.3.                        Gross National income per Capital: 20, 189

Mauritius is an island nation in the Indian Ocean. According to the 2019 estimates, Mauritius is home to 1,265,475 people. Mauritius has greatly improved and stabilized its economy over the years, transiting from a low-income agriculture based economy to a high-income diversified economy. The country is one of the most promising countries in Africa with HDI value of 0.796.


HDI value: 0.759
Global ranking: 82
Life expectancy: 76.3
Expected years of schooling: 14.4
Mean years of schooling: 8.0
Gross National Income per Capita: 13, 802

Algeria is an upper middle income country according to World Bank, with a population of about 43,900,000 (2020 estimate).Within the past 20 years, the country has achieved a remarkable feat by taking 20% of the population out of poverty. There is need for the country to diversify the economy and reduce inequalities amongst region in order to solve its short term and long term economy problem. Algeria has the highest life expectancy in Africa: 76.3 years.

4. Tunisia

HDI value: 0.739
Global ranking: 91
Life expectancy: 75.9
Expected years of schooling: 15.1
Mean years of schooling: 7.2
Gross National income per Capita: 10, 275

With an HDI value of 0.739 and a global ranking of 91, Tunisia is the 4th most developed country in Africa. Tunisia has a diverse economy ranging from agriculture, mining, manufacturing and petroleum products, and has since developed into a more stable economy following a relatively turbulent past.

5. Botswana

HDI value: 0.728
Global ranking: 94
Life expectancy: 67.6 years
Expected years of schooling: 12.1
Mean years of schooling: 9.3
Gross National Income per Capita: 15, 534

When this nation gained independence in 1966, it was largely referred to as one of the poorest countries in the world. Conversely, the country has developed to become one of the fastest growing economies in the world, transforming itself to an upper middle income country with a high level of economic freedom compared to other African countries. The economy is mainly driven by mining, construction and service. Botswana is a high human development country, with an HDI value of 0.728, making it the fifth most developed country in Africa.

6. Libya

HDI: 0.708
Global ranking: 110
Life expectancy: 72.1 years
Expected years of schooling: 13.4
Mean years of schooling: 7.3
Gross National income per Capita: 11,100.

Libya has the 10th highest proven oil reserves in the world and the first in Africa. The major driver of Libya’s economy is oil. The country is an upper middle income economy with substantial revenues from the energy sector and with a small population (6.9 million, 2018 estimate).
Libya has a high HDI value of 0.708, making it a high human development nation.

7. South Africa

HDI value: 0.705
Global ranking: 113
Life expectancy: 63.4 years
Expected years of schooling: 13.3
Mean years of schooling: 10.1
Gross national income per capita: 11,923

This country has the second largest economy in the continent after Nigeria. The country’s economy is driven by tourism, agriculture and service. South Africa is a developing country an ranks 113th on the global HDI and 7th in Africa. The high rate in income inequality in the country has resulted in the relatively high rates of poverty and unemployment.

8. Gabon

HDI value: 0.702
Global ranking: 115
Life expectancy: 66.5 yeara
Expected years of schooling: 12.8
Mean years of schooling: 8.2
Gross National income per Capital: 16, 431

Gabon is an open middle economy country with one of the highest urbanization rates in Africa. The economy is largely driven by oil and manganese. Abundant petroleum and foreign private investments have helped make Gabon one of the most prosperous countries in the region with a high human development index. However, inequality in income distribution is the major reason why a significant proportion of the population remain poor.

9. Egypt

HDI value: 0.700
Global rank – 116
Life expectancy – 71.7
Expected years of schooling – 13.1
Mean years of schooling – 7.2
Gross National Income per Capita – 10,355

Since early 2014, Egypt has been constantly improving its economic activities. Amendments and reforms adopted seem to bear their fruits as the country has seen their GDP grow by 5.3%. Export of goods and services, improvement in foreign exchange reserves and a more dynamic tourism sector have greatly contributed to massive development in Egypt. The coming years will tell if the government manages to cut down the unemployment rate and improve the weak health care system of the country.


HDI value: 0.676
Global rank – 121
Life expectancy – 76.1
Expected years of schooling – 12.4
Mean years of schooling – 5.5
Gross National Income per Capita – 7,340.

Morocco’s economy is solid and versatile. The country has seen unexpected growth in various industries over the past years. Lately, the country is facing an economic slowdown; this has not prevented them from engaging in massive development. Currently, the country is focusing on enhancing its high-value added industries and this has brought about a strong recovery on the European market. The main challenge remains booting the private sector to encourage job creation for the younger generation.


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