SA is the richest nation in Africa

2014-01-12 14:00

On paper, South Africans are the wealthiest people in Africa, with $11?310 (R121?941) in wealth per person, while Ethiopians are the poorest, with only $260 per person.

This is according to a survey released this week by research consultancy New World Wealth.

Oil-rich Libya came in second, with a wealth per capita of $11?040, while Namibia rounded out the top three with a wealth per capita of $10?500.

Wealth per capita is a snapshot of the net asset value of individuals, such as cash and other holdings, distributed among its population.

Two of South Africa’s neighbours made it into the poorest five of the list – Zimbabwe had a wealth per capita of $570, while Mozambique had $430.

Zimbabwe showed a 10% contraction in wealth per capita since 2000.

In South Africa, wealth per capita has grown 169% from $4?200 since 2000 to a current $11?310. But it has not grown as fast as many of our African neighbours.

Angola showed the fastest growth in that period – from $620 in 2000 to $3?890 in 2013?–?a growth of 527%.

Over the past 13 years, people in Namibia, Nigeria, Zambia, Ethiopia, Ghana and Botswana have all been getting richer quicker than South Africans.

When it comes to economic growth in Africa, Angola showed the most growth between 2000 and 2012.

According to the income per capita measure, which takes the total income of a country and divides it by its population, Angola grew from $656 in 2000 to $5?485 in 2012.

The income per capita measurement does not take into account the equality of the distribution of income.

Zimbabwe had the worst performing income per capita record on the list – from $535 in 2000 to $788 in 2013.

Zimbabwe’s controversial indigenisation plans expect private companies in certain strategic sectors to hand over a stake of their entities to the state.

The country’s indigenisation plans are expected to bring income per capita down to below $700 for 2013.

Wealth in Africa

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