How AFRICA’s economy compares to the European Union’s $16 trillion economy

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The European Union has the third-largest economy in the world, accounting for one-sixth of global trade. All together, 27 member countries make up one internal market allowing free movement of goods, services, capital and people.

The EU is an economic and political force to reckon with and its combined gross domestic product (GDP) stood at $16.6 trillion in 2022, after the US. ($26 trillion), and China ($19 trillion.).

AFRICA’s GDP (55 countries) stands at $2.7 trillion.

What you should know about Africa’s economy: The African economy, comprising 55 countries with a population of over 1.4 billion and combined GDP of about $2.7 trillion in 2022, $296 billion more than 2020, calculated on figures from the IMF. This is less than FRANCE’s GDP, the 7th largest economy in the world. Africa accounts for 2.84% of the world GDP in nominal terms. Africa is the 2nd smallest continental economy in the world after Oceania. In ppp methods, It is 3rd smallest continental economy after Oceania and South America, accounting for 4.97% of global wealth.

The Northern Africa region has the highest economy ($792 bn) on the continent, closely followed by Western Africa ($777 bn). These two regions together share about 58% of the African economy. 16.79% of the African gdp distributed in Southern Africa, 16.44% in Eastern Africa, and 8.04% in Central Africa.

As per UN data, Africa’s share of the world economy was at a maximum (4.93%) in 1980 and minimum (1.88%) in 1995. In constant 2015 prices, which gives a better idea about expansion over the years, the African economy has expanded from $506 bn in 1970 to $2.6 tn in 2019 or 5x.

Africa is full of potential, and the African Continental Free Trade Area a GAME CHANGER is an important key to unlock it. Unleashing continental opportunities requires prioritizing issues, channelling interventions in the right direction and removing barriers in vital sectors.

Africa’s footprint in the international market is still small. Africa accounts for just 2.3% of global exports – with an export basket heavy on primary commodities and natural resources. While only 14% of the continent’s exports are destined for other African countries, much of this trade is in semi-processed and processed goods. Strengthening regional trade is therefore crucial to support greater value addition, diversify supply chains, boost resilience to crises and to industrialize – ultimately contributing to job creation) and better livelihoods on the continent.

Credit: Mark-Anthony Johnson