• Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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7 African countries’ trade-to-GDP ratio and their population 

7 African countries trade-to-GDP ratio and its population

Trade is pivotal for economic development, fostering growth, innovation, and global integration. Understanding trade-to-GDP ratios and population dynamics in African nations reveal diverse economic landscapes and growth prospects.

Strategic investments in infrastructure, trade facilitation, and government reforms are essential to unlock trade potential and foster sustainable development continent-wide.

The trade-to-GDP ratio was sourced from the World Bank, while population data was derived from the World Population Review as of March 21.

Here are 7 African countries’ trade-to-GDP ratio and their population


Nigeria’s trade-to-GDP ratio stands at 22.58%, reflecting engagement in international trade. With a population exceeding 227 million and projected to reach 411 million by 2050, Nigeria holds significant potential for economic growth.

Despite challenges like infrastructure deficits, efforts to diversify the economy through sectors like agriculture, manufacturing, and services are underway. Addressing infrastructure gaps presents investment opportunities, particularly through public-private partnerships.


Ethiopia boasts a trade-to-GDP ratio of 27%, indicating active engagement in international trade. With a population exceeding 128 million, the country offers a substantial domestic market and labor force for emerging industries. Strategic investments in infrastructure, industrial parks, and agricultural modernization are driving economic transformation.

Ethiopia focuses on boosting exports in sectors like textiles, leather, and horticulture, with initiatives promoting regional integration such as the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the Djibouti-Addis Ababa Railway. Challenges include infrastructure gaps and diversification, while opportunities lie in agro-processing, tourism, and textile industries.


Egypt, with a trade-to-GDP ratio of 37% and a population exceeding 113 million, leverages its strategic location and diversified economy for trade. Key sectors include agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, and services. The fertile land along the Nile River supports agricultural production, with Egypt serving as a major exporter of fruits. Manufacturing industries like textiles and food processing thrive, boosted by the Suez Canal’s facilitation of global trade.

Egypt’s rich historical heritage attracts tourists, contributing significantly to foreign exchange earnings. The services sector, particularly finance and telecommunications, plays a crucial role, supported by a large domestic market.

Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo)

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) boasts a trade-to-GDP ratio of 95%, with a population exceeding 104 million. Despite abundant natural resources, governance issues, infrastructure deficits, and political instability hinder trade diversification and inclusive growth. Key exports include minerals, coffee, cocoa, and timber. Addressing governance, investing in infrastructure, and fostering peace are crucial for unlocking DR Congo’s trade potential and fostering sustainable development.


Tanzania maintains a trade-to-GDP ratio of 35%, relying on external markets for growth, with a population surpassing 68 million, offering both a domestic market and a labor force. Its economy spans agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and services, with strategic investments in infrastructure to enhance competitiveness.

Embracing digital technologies and regional integration within the East African Community (EAC) are priorities. Challenges include governance, infrastructure deficits, and political stability, while opportunities include leveraging natural resources and promoting intra-regional trade to attract foreign investment.

South Africa

South Africa boasts a trade-to-GDP ratio of 65%, signaling strong global market integration, with a population exceeding 60 million providing both a domestic market and skilled workforce. Key sectors include mining, manufacturing, and finance/services centered in Johannesburg. Challenges include income inequality and policy uncertainty, but South Africa remains resilient.


Kenya, with a trade-to-GDP ratio of 34%, serves as East Africa’s economic hub. Its population of nearly 56 million fuels a dynamic economy driven by innovation, entrepreneurship, and strategic investments. Kenya’s diversified sectors, including agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, and services, present opportunities for trade expansion and economic growth.