Top 10 Poorest Countries in Africa 2019

10. Ethiopia (GDP Per Capita $783)

Ethiopia has a population of about 105 million. It is one of the most populous countries.  According to the World Bank data 2019, it has a per capita income of $783. Regardless of economic activities such as agriculture, construction and manufacturing its real GDP growth is experiencing a downward trend. However, the economy is expected to grow by approximately 9% in the fiscal year ending 2020. 

The finance minister, Ahmed Shide, allocated 13.48 billion dollars towards government spending early last year. By increasing government spending, Ethiopia hopes to see a growth boost in the economy in the future.


9. Mozambique (GDP Per Capita $519)

Over the decades, Mozambique has experienced economic growth. However, the GDP growth rate has been slowing down. The highest GDP per capita ever recorded and the latest is $519. Mozambique has a population of 31.41 million people with 41% of the population thriving in poverty. 

Since the end of the civil war, the country economy has been developing. The economic freedom is high at over 48 making it among the freest economies in 2019 world index. Conditions such as increased government spending, fair trade regulations, and declining tax burden have been some of the factors leading to economic growth.

Mozambique is a poor country

8.  Somalia (GDP Per Capita $478)

 Somalia is located in the Horn of Africa.  The World Bank estimated its population to be 16.62 million in early 2019.  The GDP per capita is $478. The poverty rate in the country stands at 73%.

The country is largely affected by political instability including terror attacks. The youth unemployment rate is 67% with many children living in poverty. Severe drought and bad weather conditions worsen the lives of the poor in Somalia.

Ethiopia is the last on the poorest countries in africa

7. Democratic Republic of Congo (GDP Per Capita $448.7)

The Democratic Republic of Congo is located in middle Africa. It has a population of 81,339,988 with a large portion living below the poverty line. It has a GDP per capita of $448.7 based on the World Economic Outlook

World Bank estimated its poverty rate to be 64% in 2012. However, the country is taking considerable steps to get out of poverty and may overtake countries such as India in the coming years.

6. Madagascar (GDP Per Capita $415.32)

The country’s GDP per capita is about $415.32.  According to the World Bank, the country has experienced substantial economic growth in the past few years.  The GDP continues to grow steadily.

The trade sector is a significant contributor to the country’s economy. A big percentage of the country’s population including children suffers from malnutrition due to poverty.  The country’s poorest individuals have limited access to life basic needs.

5. Malawi (GDP Per Capita $402.400)

Malawi is a landlocked nation located in southeastern Africa.  It is among the most impoverished nations with over 53% of 15 million people living in abject poverty.  In December last year, the GDP was at $402.400.

Economic growth is greatly impacted by agricultural activities in the country. The tobacco sector is also robust in the nation.


4. Niger (GDP Per Capita $400)

Niger is a landlocked country. As of 2019, the country’s GDP stands at $400.  However, the GDP per capita is expected to rise to $425 by 2020. According to the World Bank statistics of 2019, the poverty rate in the country is 44.1%. 

The country is a host of over 300,000 refugees.  It has high population growth rates, food insecurity, political instabilities, and natural crises.

About 40% of economic growth is attributed to the agricultural sector.  Moreover, over 80% of the total population hugely depends on agriculture for daily livelihood. The country has been increasing its public debt since 2011 to expand investments.  Unfortunately, the nation is heavily reliant on foreign debt putting it at risk of further financial distress.


3. Liberia (GDP Per Capita $360)

According to Trading Economics, Liberia’s current GDP per capita is $360. It has 54% poverty rate based on the World Bank Report. It is one of the countries that have been ranked numerous times in the world’s poorest list. 

The country has enjoyed political stability since 2003. However, its leadership has failed to uplift its citizens from poverty. High external borrowing has put the nation at the risk of overreliance on foreign funding. In 2014 to 2016 Ebola crisis hit the nation affecting the aid inflows.  Besides, poor and slow infrastructure development continues to impact negatively on potential foreign investors.

liberia is also a poor country

2. The Central African Republic (GDP Per Capita $335.03)

Central African Republic’s GDP per capita stood at $335.03 in December 2018.  Over three-quarters of the population live below $1.90 per day. The economy has suffered sociopolitical crises affecting its growth. 

The main sectors that contribute to the growth of the economy are agriculture and mining. Inflation rate in 2018 was 3.9%. CAR has an economic freedom score of 49.1 and hence number 161 worldwide in the 2019 index.

The Central African Republic is one of the poorest countries in Africa

1. Burundi (GDP Per Capita $309.870)

The Republic of Burundi has a population of 11.58 million people.  It is among the poorest countries in Africa and globally with an economic growth percentage of 3.21%. 

The GDP per capita is $309.870. In Burundi, the rate of poverty is 65% with one in every three Burundians in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. The country is widely affected by the AIDs pandemic.

The list includes the top ten African nations that are living in absolute poverty.  High levels of corruption, bad leadership, insecurity, and overreliance on debt financing due to poor managerial decisions are among the factors that have disadvantaged most African countries’ economies.

However, the African continent is one of the most endowed with natural resources. With proper leadership, many countries will be out of poverty in the coming decade.

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