Africa is home to vast and abundant reserves of natural resources, with resources ranging from black gold popularly known as oil to large reserves of cobalt, found all across the mineral-rich lands of the Congo.
Africa is home to nearly all valuable minerals that are essential to generating wealth, producing commodities, and advancing technology. Several African nations have prospered because of their mineral resources, some more so than others.
Africa is home to approximately 30% of the world’s entire mineral reserves. While some countries rely on oil, some are rich in diamonds, and others in gold, copper, cobalt, coal, iron ore, uranium, and others. According to a research report conducted by the research and analysis division of The Economist Group, the sister company to The Economist newspaper, Economist Intelligence Unit, South Africa, Nigeria, Algeria, Angola, and Libya produce more than two-thirds of Africa’s mineral wealth, owing to their large oil reserves, with the exception of South Africa, which has an abundance of gold and other precious materials.
The report also indicates that high prices for copper, oil, iron ore, aluminum, and gas will encourage investment and all are contributing to reducing external imbalances, stabilizing currencies, and boosting economic development. Commodity prices are driving an export boom across the continent.
This is despite the fact that Africa is expected to be faced with increased risks brought on by rapid increases in commodity prices and inflationary pressures. Regardless, the continent will continue to be a key exporter of a number of commodities.
Below are the top 10 countries in Africa that exported the largest volumes of natural resources in 2022 and as such, generated the most wealth from its abundant reserves.
|Rank||Country||Predominant resources||Annual mineral production|
|1.||South Africa||Gold, Manganese, Platinium, others||$124.96 billion|
|2.||Nigeria||Oil, Iron Ore, Columbite, others||$52.69 billion|
|4.||Angola||Diamond, Gold, Oil, others||$32.04 billion|
|5.||Libya||Oil, Clay, Cement, Salt, others||$27.03 billion|
|6.||Egypt||Gold, Copper, Silver, others||$23.22 billion|
|7.||Ghana||Gold, Limestone, Iron Ore, others||$14.97 billion|
|8.||Democratic Republic of Congo||Gold, Copper, Cobalt, others||$13.69 billion|
|9.||Gabon||Manganese, Iron Ore, Uranium, others||$10.92 billion|
|10.||Zimbabwe||Platinum, Chrome, Coal, Gold, others||$9.77 billion|