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Africa’s 10 Most Influential Countries (Big 5 and the Newcomers)

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By Africa Cradle

1. South Africa

South Africa is the only African country that is a member of the G20 and BRICS (the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa grouping), and the only African country of the EU’s 10 global strategic partners. This is mainly because South Africa is the EU’s largest trading partner in Africa but it certainly gives the country a global clout that Nigeria currently lacks. Nelson Mandela’s profile and the international activism of his successor, Thabo Mbeki, saw the former apartheid pariah state significantly increase its leverage in Africa and globally after 1994, and it simultaneously benefited from several years of healthy economic growth.

2. Ethiopia

Name of Ethiopia is written 44 times in the bible. It is not only a matter wealth. It is also a matter of history, independence, military, politics, diplomacy etc… In all perspective you could not find any country which is more influential like ETHIOPIA in Africa.

Ethiopia defeated Italian colonials at Adwa, then Africans realized a black man is capable of saying No! to Europeans. Ethiopia (along with Russia) is the only sovereign nation that hasn’t been ruled by a foreign power, (A privilege even US, UK never enjoyed) Africans knew that it’s possible to be still be Black and yet mighty over history. Ethiopia drew its calendar from the beginning (commemorated new millennium just 5 yrs ago -) writes with its own alphabet system , it’s own version of Christianity not dictated by European guns, Then Africans learned it’s possible to draw Black-man’s version of lifestyle.

The first black African who won Olympic gold Abebe Bikila in 1950s bare-footed on the streets of Rome, that Ethiopia defeated twice within 40 years of colonial agression – he said he run bare foot because he “… wanted to show that my country, Ethiopia has always defeated with courage and commitment.”

3. Egypt

More Arab than African and with a recorded civilisation going back centuries, Egypt is one of the first nation states in the world. It regained its independence (from Britain) in 1953 – earlier than Algeria, Nigeria or South Africa.

Egyptian architecture and the low-perspective, hieratic styles of Egyptian art have undergone several revivals in the Western world.

The “Cleopatra’s Needles” that stand in London, Paris, and New York City are examples of these transported obelisks. Egyptian architectural motifs appear in the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, and Athanasius Kircher’s Oedipus Aegyptiacus contains a fanciful attempt to translate Egyptian hieroglyphics.

4. Kenya

Kenya is a powerhouse in human resource capital. With the most educated population on the continent its also the fastest growing ICT hub in the continent. Its infrustructural development is fast catching up with south Africa and other Arab African countries. Its main strength is o its human capital where its professional traverse the globe.

It was recently voted as the one of the best places to live in the world

plan of building an ICT park in Kenya like the one in California Kenya is showing great potential.

5. Morocco

Morocco is undeniably becoming a strategic platform to address the African continent. An increasing number of global companies choose to step in, first in Morocco, to then gain a faster access to other African markets. Its geographic proximity to Europe, its political stability and its competitive workforce constitute a powerful advantage.

Morocco has avoided the carnage and instead furthered its appeal as one of Africa’s top business destinations.

6. Nigeria

Nigeria, the country with the largest economic and power potential on the continent, faces different challenges from the other countries of the Big Five – although it shares a common history with Ethiopia, Egypt and Algeria, having experienced 33 years of military rule since independence in 1960. The Nigerian economy is dominated by its hydrocarbon sector, which suppresses the development of other economic sectors, manufacturing in particular, by increasing the relative value of its currency, the naira.

90% of Nigeria’s export revenue still comes from oil.

In terms of economic potential, no African country can compete with Nigeria. According to the IFs model used in this paper, Nigeria’s GDP is forecast to grow from slightly over $525 billion in 2014 to slightly over $4.2 trillion by 2040. By 2040 the IFs Base Case forecast is that Nigeria will constitute slightly less than 2% of the global economy, up from 0.7% in 2014. To a large extent, the increase in Africa’s role globally will therefore be driven by the future weight of Nigeria – a country that by 2040 will have the fourth largest population in the world after India, China and the US.

7. Uganda

Ugandan army may not be the most advanced in Africa but it has show that it is the most courageous and it has proved its self better than most force from the rest of Africa from 1993 when participated in stopping the Rwanda genocide,protected the Kenyans in 2008, fought the Rwandan rebel in Congo up to date, when its keeping peace in southern Sudan and largely in Somalia which was abandoned by most Africans great powers like the south Africa and the African Arab countries.

Uganda was among the first sub-Saharan African countries to embrace market reforms in the late 1980s and graduated as a mature reformer in 2006 with sound economic fundamentals and much improved governance. Real GDP growth accelerated from an average of 6.5 per cent year-on-year in the 1990s to over 7 per cent during the 10 years leading up to 2009-10. Not surprisingly, Uganda qualifies as one of the few durable African success stories.

8. Rwanda

The unmistakable sense of national pride that Rwandans display is truly impressive and the powerful leadership and commitment to peace and development shown by President Kagame and his government is the engine that moves this country forward. Every citizen of Rwanda can be immensely proud of their country as one of the greatest development success stories in the world today, indisputably against all conceivable odds.

And how is this even possible? Because Rwandans chose love over fear, hope over despair, forgiveness and reconciliation over revenge and violence, and progress and development over corruption and futility.

Military Prowess: Rwanda’s armed forces is quite efficient. It is known for its impressive light infantry operations and anti-guerrilla warfare.

 The UN itself recognises their skills, especially in the area of civil-military operations, after their deployment in different UN missions.

9. Zimbabwe

God fearing nation…..with lots of potential..Take away sanctions, zimbabwe is a lion with a stone heart. They told y0u on BBC that their people starve because they don’t know how to farm but tell me who is feeding them today. Take away the American and European sanctions and the nation will rise from the ashes like the phoenix.

The only country that has not followed conventional development strategies as directed by the western countries.

Mugabe regime have resulted in economic backsliding, however he was also the reason of its rise. The fortunes of the country will become better as new structures start a new and forward thrust.

These economic adavntages coupled with the hard-working nature of general Zimbabweans, high literacy and a highly capable and disciplined military favour zimbabwe to emerge as the nucleus of african economic and military power.

10. Algeria

Much like Egypt, Algeria is trapped in stasis. And similar to Egypt and Nigeria, the Algerian military has played a major role in domestic politics since independence in 1962 – gained after a brutal war with France that lasted eight years and traumatised both countries. Its ailing and elderly president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, has won four consecutive elections since 1999.

Unlike Egypt, Algeria was narrowly able to avoid much of the impact from the Arab Spring, which started in neighbouring Tunisia at the end of 2010.

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