Ethiopian Business Review

Top 10 African Countries with High External Reserves 2017

In 2017, the reserves of many African countries showed increases due to better commodity prices. In particular, increased oil and export earnings helped reverse the downward trend in Africa’s reserve position in 2016. Africa’s external reserves declined by 9.4Pct in 2016 to USD396.63 billion, while in 2017 it showed a 6.3Pct increase reaching USD421.53 billion. 

Algeria, Libya and South Africa became the top three African countries in terms of external reserves in 2017, while countries like Sudan, South Sudan, Togo and Gambia held the lowest places. Ethiopia’s external reserves, on the other hand, remained around USD3.01 in 2017. Although it is better than some of its neighboring countries, Ethiopia’s external reserves were not enough to cover its import bill. In fact, the scarcity of foreign currency affects every activity in Ethiopia, including foreign investment and business operations. It also leads to an increase in illegal ways and means for accessing hard currencies.

Rank

Country

Reserve (in USD Billions)
1

Algeria

97.60

2

Libya

74.71

3

South Africa

50.72

4

Nigeria

38.77

5

Egypt

35.89

6

Morocco

27.12

7

Angola

17.21

8

Ghana

7.56

9

Botswana

7.49

10

Kenya

7.35

Source: African Trade Report, 2018.


7th Year • Dec.16 - Jan.15 2019 • No. 69


 

 

 

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