Richest Countries in East Africa (2024)

Richest Countries in East Africa: East Africa is home to several countries with diverse economies, but some of the wealthiest nations in the region include Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. These countries have experienced significant economic growth in recent years, driven by factors such as foreign investment, tourism, and 4he development of natural resources. Despite this progress, however, many of the countries in East Africa still face significant challenges in terms of poverty and inequality.

The list below compiles the top 7 richest countries in East Africa according to their nominal GDP per capita.

**GDP per capita is a measure of a country’s economic output that accounts for population. It divides the country’s gross domestic product by its total population. That makes it the best measurement of a country’s standard of living. It tells you how prosperous a country feels to each of its citizens.

These are the Richest Countries in East Africa (2024)

Top 10 Richest Countries in East Africa

1. Djibouti

Djibouti is the richest country in East Africa and the eleventh-richest country in Africa with a Nominal GDP per capita of $3,425. Despite its small size, this nation’s strategic location as a Red Sea transit point and its free trade policies have contributed significantly to its status as the region’s economic powerhouse. Djibouti’s thriving logistics and port sectors attract substantial foreign investment, further solidifying its position as the wealthiest nation in East Africa.

Djibouti is the Richest Country In East Africa

2. Kenya

Coming in second as the richest country in East Africa, Kenya holds a GDP per capita of $1,802. With a diversified economy and steady economic growth, Kenya has witnessed remarkable progress over the years. Political stability and a favorable business climate have been pivotal in attracting both local and foreign investments, propelling Kenya closer to its ambitious Vision 2030 development strategy.

Kenya is also the 20th richest country in Africa.

Kenya is the second richest Country in East Africa

3. Tanzania

Ranked as the third richest country in East Africa, Tanzania boasts a nominal GDP per capita of $1,017. This nation’s economy is driven by sectors like agriculture, mining, and tourism. Political stability, abundant natural resources, and a favorable geographic location have paved the way for Tanzania’s transition from a low-income to a lower-middle-income country, reinforcing its position among the wealthiest in the region.

4. Ethiopia

Ethiopia is the fourth-richest country in East Africa with a GDP per capita of $800 and the largest economy in Africa with a GDP of $126.78 billion. Ethiopia is also the largest and most populous nation in East Africa.

Rich countries in East Africa

5. Rwanda

Ranked as the sixth richest country in East Africa with a GDP per capita of $760, Rwanda has risen from a challenging past to achieve impressive economic development. By emphasizing foreign investments and promoting knowledge-based industries, Rwanda has managed to attract attention on the international stage. Despite its economy’s foundation in subsistence agriculture, the country’s steady growth and improved living standards continue to reinforce its position among East Africa’s most prosperous nations.

These are the richest Countries in Africa

6. Uganda

East Africa’s sixth richest country, Uganda, possesses a GDP per capita of $964. While endowed with significant natural resources, Uganda faces challenges related to political instability and erratic economic management. The country’s economy heavily relies on agriculture, with a large portion of the workforce engaged in this sector. However, efforts are underway to diversify the economy, improve infrastructure, and attract more private investment to spur economic growth. Despite facing developmental obstacles, Uganda’s potential remains substantial, making it an important player in the region’s economic landscape.

7. Malawi

With a GDP per capita of $645, Malawi stands as the seventh richest country in East Africa. While facing economic challenges, the nation’s economy primarily relies on agriculture, which plays a crucial role in its growth and employment. Approximately one-third of the economy is linked to agriculture, employing over 60% of the workforce. To address development issues, Malawi continues to work towards improving economic conditions and fostering sustainable growth. Efforts to enhance infrastructure and promote economic diversification are ongoing, with the ultimate aim of uplifting the living standards of its population.

Richest Countries in East Africa, 2024

Rank Country Name GDP Per Capita (International Dollar)
1 Djibouti $3,136.1
2 Kenya $2,099.3
3 Tanzania $1,192.4
4 Ethiopia $1,027.6
5 Rwanda $966.3
6 Uganda $964.2
7 Malawi $645.2

Top 20 Richest Countries In Africa (2024)

Rank Country GDP (per capita)
1 Seychelles $15,874.5
2 Mauritius $10,216.3
3 Gabon $8,820.3
4 Botswana $7,737.7
5 Equatorial Guinea $7,053.5
6 South Africa $6,776.5
7 Libya $6,716.1
8 Namibia $4,911.3
9 Egypt $4,295.4
10 Algeria $4,273.9
11 Eswatini $4,039.5
12 Cabo Verde $3,902.6
13 Tunisia $3,776.7
14 Morocco $3,527.9
15 Djibouti $3,136.1
16 Cote d’Ivoire $2,486.4
17 Sao Tome & Principe $2,404.3
18 Nigeria $2,184.4
19 Ghana $2,175.9
20 Kenya $2,099.3

Top 5 Largest Economies In East Africa, 2024

Ethiopia tops the list of largest economies in East Africa with a GDP of $126.78 billion. Agriculture accounts for almost half of Ethiopia’s total GDP. The primary industries include mining and petroleum, Agriculture and more.

Kenya ranks as the second-largest economy in East Africa, with an economy that relies mainly on tourism, financial intermediation, agriculture and construction.

1. Ethiopia – $126.78 billion

Top 10 Largest Economies in East Africa, 2022

With a GDP of $126.78 billion, Ethiopia stands as one of the fastest growing economies in the world and is the largest economy in East Africa. Its economic growth has been mainly driven by the services and agriculture sectors. Ethiopia’s strategic location and government’s focus on industrialization and infrastructure development have made it an attractive destination for foreign investment and trade. The country’s youthful population, improving business environment, and expanding telecommunications sector further contribute to its economic dynamism.

2. Kenya – $113.42 billion

Kenya has the second Largest Economy in East Africa

Boasting a GDP of $113.42 billion, Kenya holds the second-largest economy in East Africa and the 7th  largest economy in Africa. Nairobi serves as a major regional commercial hub, and the country’s economic growth is fueled by tourism, financial intermediation, agriculture, and construction. Kenya’s strong performance in tourism, higher education, and telecommunications has contributed to its steady economic expansion. Additionally, Kenya’s ambitious Vision 2030 development plan aims to transform the country into a newly industrialized, middle-income nation by 2030.

3. Tanzania – $75.71 billion

Tanzania has the third Largest Economy in East Africa

With a GDP of $75.71 billion, Tanzania ranks as the third-largest economy in East Africa and the eleventh largest in Africa overall. The country’s economy heavily relies on agriculture, which employs about half of its workforce. Tourism, mining, and natural gas exploration are also significant contributors to Tanzania’s economic landscape. Tanzania’s efforts to improve infrastructure, attract foreign investment, and develop strategic sectors have contributed to its steady economic growth.

4. Sudan – $51.66 billion

Largest economies in East Africa

Sudan’s GDP of $51.66 billion places it as a prominent economy in East Africa. Its economic growth is driven primarily by mining and agriculture, as well as income from oil transit fees and a transitional financial arrangement with South Sudan. Sudan’s economy has witnessed transformation amid political changes and efforts to attract foreign investment. However, it also faces challenges related to fiscal management, diversification, and post-conflict recovery.

5. Uganda – $45.56 billion

Uganda has the fourth Largest Economy in East AfricaWith a GDP of $45.56 billion, Uganda is the fourth-largest economy in East Africa. The country has experienced accelerated economic growth, supported by the services sector, mining output, and steady agricultural growth. Uganda’s ample natural resources, including fertile land and mineral deposits, play a crucial role in driving its economic progress. However, Uganda also faces challenges related to infrastructure development, education, and governance.

Source: World Bank World Bank National Accounts Database.

Mr Madu
Mr Madu
Mr Madu is a freelance writer, a lover of Africa and a frequent hiker who loves long, vigorous walks, usually on hills or mountains.


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