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South Africa Regains Position as Largest Economy in Africa



Bloomberg Nigeria South Africa EconomyNigeria has been knocked out of her position as the largest economy in Africa in Dollar terms by South Africa. This comes two years after Nigeria took the position as the biggest economy in the African continent from South Africa.

Based on gross domestic product at the end of 2015 published by the International Monetary Fund, the size of South Africa’s economy is $301 billion at the rand’s current exchange rate, while Nigeria’s GDP is $296 billion.

This was attributed to the appreciation of the Rand, South Africa’s currency, and the devaluation of the Nigerian Naira following the introduction of a flexible foreign exchange regime.

The Rand gained more than 16% against the dollar since the start of 2016, and Nigeria’s Naira lost more than a third of its value after the central bank removed a currency peg in June.

According to Bloomberg:

Both nations face the risk of a recession after contracting in the first quarter of the year. The Nigerian economy shrank by 0.4 percent in the three months through March from a year earlier amid low oil prices and output and shortage of foreign currency. That curbed imports, including fuel. In South Africa, GDP contracted by 0.2 percent from a year earlier as farming and mining output declined.

‘More than the growth outlook, in the short term the ranking of these economies is likely to be determined by exchange rate movements,’ Alan Cameron, an economist at Exotix Partners LLP, said in e-mailed responses to questions on August 2. Although Nigeria is unlikely to be unseated as Africa’s largest economy in the long run, “the momentum that took it there in the first place is now long gone,” Alan added.

Infographic: Bloomberg | IMF


  1. keke driver

    August 11, 2016 at 10:34 am

    Welcome to Nigeria, The “GIANT” of Africa….Lmfaoooooooooooo

    • Oversabi

      August 11, 2016 at 12:56 pm

      Sorry bloomberg. You guys are outdated. This is the change we wanted. Leave us alone. What’s wrong with a contacting economy? It was too big anyway for our simple life ideas. All we need is a few cows to each man and life is good.

    • Ola

      August 12, 2016 at 6:07 pm

      Hahaha…. Abi ooo. All we need is cow. Lol

  2. Lagos Girl

    August 11, 2016 at 10:35 am

    Nigeria was topping before? thats strange!

    • Oversabi

      August 11, 2016 at 12:59 pm

      Where have you been? You clearly did not hear of MINT, which i believe triggered the wests campaign against Jonathan. Go and read it up. We were about to join the league of wealthy nations before we voted against the notion of a prosperous niger delta and independent power house of Africa. Yeah, that is what we voted for that we did not really know we were voting for.

    • Grace

      August 11, 2016 at 2:52 pm

      My dear, you are correct. I suspect the west so much that once they root for a candidate, I believe he won’t do well. Imagine BBC Hausa getting to almost every northern village so Hausas can listen to themselves. I just suspect they have done everything since 1960 to ensure the north retain power but I don’t blame them. I blame the Yorubas and their tribalism, jealousy and hatred for the Igbos. Now they’re forming we thought GMB would have been better. A tribe that took back their economic power less than 50 years after loosing a well, successful in legitimate and illegitimate business tell you someone is a bad economic decision and you think you are smarte than they are. It is well. Yorubas see where your tribalism has led us. GMB will never be impeached or die in office coz Osibanjo can never be president as the Yorubas planned. Yoruba people, Kaare o

  3. Me

    August 11, 2016 at 11:05 am

    Yes Nigeria overtook them about 3 years ago, and now APC will blame PDP again. What I don’t understand is why the house is not moving to impeach Buhari. You can chase corruption all you want, but you also have to grow the economy. Obama didn’t spend his first two years blaming Bush, he spent it doing the most important thing, “building the American economy”

    • addizy

      August 11, 2016 at 11:16 am

      abeg help me tell them. Cause what this means to investors is that hmmm…SA is a good place to do business, economy is booming.. Oya lets go to SA and build my business, we make money, SA makes money.

    • Oversabi

      August 11, 2016 at 1:02 pm

      How will you impeach buhari when he has placed all the cattle rearers in charge of the courts, military, police, and all other law enforcement agencies? You are at risk my dear. Only the people can do this.

  4. addizy

    August 11, 2016 at 11:10 am

    Thanks to this clueless administration. There is something called multitasking that in your fight to remove corruption you are also to manage the economy so it does drop. I trust my dual citizens, no time. Nigeria is gradually becoming a country ruled by dictators. Bye!

  5. addizy

    August 11, 2016 at 11:11 am

    i mean to say doesn’t drop*

  6. Prince

    August 11, 2016 at 11:19 am

    This is no news to me. Was anyone expecting something different

  7. addizy

    August 11, 2016 at 11:21 am

    Truth is that corruption will never and i repeat never end in Nigeria but it can be mitigated and controlled. Oh i love America, despite the issue with racism, they have a system that works!!!!. God bless Anambra, No time o, as we have commercialized rice and tomatoes and ugu more is coming.

    • Grace

      August 11, 2016 at 2:58 pm

      As in eh, Anambra shows clearly the diffs between Igbos and Yorubas. The state is being hailed by the UN but willie obiano is quietly achieving, Fashola didn’t even do half of what Chime did in Enugu and everyone was hailing him. Sycophants and lazy buffoons. I yaff vex finish

  8. Judith

    August 11, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    This is rather worrying. Why is the nation’s economy on a steady nosedive? Will Nigeria’s economy ever recover from this free fall? ahhh…

    • Oversabi

      August 11, 2016 at 1:07 pm

      Why do you need a vibrant economy that includes you? What is wrong with buying everything you need from dangote at any price he determines? What you need is a welfare, excuse me, alms state in which you receive a token for your existence from the feet of a few elite. If you don’t get this principle consider checking your religion. You must be practicing the wrong one.

  9. angry bird

    August 11, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    Dear Buhari,

    Thank you very much..

  10. GeeGee

    August 11, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    It’s not even just the fact that the GDP dropped that worries me… look how far down that is abeg…. and some crazy people will still be telling you that Buhari will still be better than Jonathan…. this is funny because a “PRESIDENT” that knows what he is doing would have balanced by now and stabilized the economic situation. Just so sad.

  11. ogeAdiro

    August 11, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    Looks like they need to bring back Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

  12. NG

    August 11, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    Oh, and we were helpless…so helpless in the face of evident blind, headlong dash to self-destruction. Now we are all ‘in it’ together. The worst aspect is the clear self-denial that will only lead to more woes. Was this not the same route Ghana took to ‘Ghana Must Go’ history?

    In the midst of it all, a new generation is made aware of the treachery in the Nigerian house, self-serving regional politics that in the end, will leave all of us less than we should be, because crumbs from the master’s table is good enough for some, so long as the ‘enemy’ does not fare better than them in the scheme of things.

    A golden opportunity to turn this country around is being lost by the politics of treachery by the leaders of SW Nigeria. Another generation is awakening to the existence of this treachery and the opportunity to heal, unite and fast-track growth is again being lost-you cant thrive on injustice!
    Shame to all who brought us here, including the rogues of yore and the ‘saints’ of now who also held sway yesterday in roguery but now metamorphosed to ‘saints’ by ‘saintly’ association. Shame!!!!!!

  13. molarah

    August 12, 2016 at 6:01 pm

    Me I can’t even get past the chart design – it’s horrible. Why would the recent figures be to the left, and the older ones to the right? And it’s a comparison among countries, so it should be South Africa – Nigeria (2015), South Africa – Nigeria (2016). Bloomberg haba, why?

    The news in itself is not surprising: someone has been actively trying to grow their economy while someone else has been sleeping on their oil. What else do we expect? Of course all the comments have focused on what Buhari has been doing or not doing (typical blame game), and not on why we have not been holding our leaders accountable upon all their talk of diversification (which started sometime in 1970, ha!). Nigerians, keep the blame game cycle up, when your economy is fighting for position with that of Togo, maybe you will all learn sense then.

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