Africa Military Ranking: Top 20 Strongest Military in Africa (2024)

Africa is home to many powerful militaries, with countries such as Egypt, South Africa, and Ethiopia often being considered among the top contenders. These countries have invested heavily in modernizing and expanding their armed forces, and have the capability to project power both within their borders and beyond. In this ranking, we will take a look at the top 10 most strongest military froces in Africa based on factors such as personnel, equipment, and overall military strength.

As ranked by Global Fire Power, below are the 20 most powerful militaries in Africa and the weapons they have in their arsenal.

***Each country was Ranked by Their Current military capabilities and available firepower

GFP Power Index rating (0.0000 being perfect)

africa military ranking 2022

The ranking is based on over 50 individual factors with categories ranging from military might and financials to logistical capability and geography.

However, the ranking does not simply rely on the total number of weapons available to any one country but rather focuses on weapon diversity within the number totals to provide a better balance of firepower available.

In addition, nuclear weapons are not recognised directly (but receive an indirect score bonus), while geographical factors, logistical flexibility, natural resources and military budget influence the rankings.

Egypt was ranked as having the strongest military in Africa in 2024 with 450,000 active personnel, 1,500 aircraft strength, 3735 tanks and a budget of $10 billion while Algeria was ranked second strongest with just over 130,000 active personnel, 551 aircraft, 2024 tanks and a budget of $13.94 billion. South Africa, Nigeria and Algeria round up the top 5 strongest military in Africa in 2024.

Top 20 Most Powerful Militaries In Africa (2024)

1. Egypt (Power Index Rating: 0.1869)

Egypt has the Most Powerful Military In Africa (2022)
Egypt has the most powerful military in Africa and 13th out of 140 in the world. It holds a PwrIndx* score of 0.1869 (a score of 0.0000 is considered ‘perfect’).

Manpower
Active Personnel: 450,000
Active Reserve Personnel: 480,000
Available firepower
Tanks: 3735
Armoured Fighting Vehicles: 11,000
Self-Propelled Guns: 1,165
Rocket Projectors: 1,235.

The country also has a total of 1,013 aircraft strength, a naval total asset of 316, and a Defense Budget of $10,000,000,000.

2. South Africa GFP (Power Index rating: 0.4276)

Top 10 Most Powerful Militaries In Africa (2022)
South Africa has the 3rd most powerful military in Africa, and 32nd most powerful military in the world. The country holds a PwrIndx* score of 0.4276.

Manpower
Active Personnel: 66,500
Active Reserve Personnel: 15,000
Firepower
Tanks: 195
Armored Fighting Vehicles: 3,000
Self-Propelled Guns: 43
Towed-Artillery: 72
Rocket Project: 50

Other info
Total Naval Asset: 30
Total Aircraft: 221
Defense Budget: $3,597,000,000.

3. Algeria (Power Index Rating 0.4724)

Algeria has the second Most Powerful Military In Africa (2022) Algeria has the second most powerful military in Africa, and the second most powerful military in the North Africa. It holds a PwrIndx* score of 0.4724.

Manpower
Active Personnel: 130,000
Active Reserve Personnel: 150,000
Firepower
Tanks: 2024
Armored Vehicles: 7,000
Self-Propelled Guns: 324
Towed-Artillery: 396
Rocket Projectore: 300

There’s also a total of 551 aircraft owned by the military, a total naval strength of 69 and a defence budget $13,904,000,000.

4. Nigeria (Power Index Rating 0.5745)

Nigeria has the most Powerful Military In West Africa (2022))Ranked the 4th the most powerful military in Africa, and most powerful military in West Africa, Nigeria holds a PwrIndx* score of 0.5745.

Manpower
Active Personnel: 120,000
Active Reserve Personnel: 0
Firepower
Tanks: 355
Armored Fighting Vehicles: 2,000
Self-Propelled Guns: 65
Towed-Artillery: 339
Rocket Propeller: 59

Nigeria’s millitary also has a total of 125 aircraft strength, total naval asset of 75 and a Defense Budget of $2,100,000,000.

5. Morocco (Power Index rating: 0.8573)

Top 10 Most Powerful Militaries In Africa (2021)

Morocco has the 5th most powerful military in Africa, and the 53rd most powerful in the world. The country holds a PwrIndx* score of 0.8573.

Manpower
Active Personnel: 310,000
Active Reserve Personnel: 150,000
Firepower
Tanks: 3,033
Armored Fighting Vehicles: 8,000
Self-Propelled Guns: 510
Towed-Artillery: 156
Rocket projectors: 144

Other info
Total Naval Asset: 121
Total Aircraft Strength: 249
Defense Budget: $6,000,000,000.

6. Ethiopia (Power Index Rating 1.0798)

Top 10 Most Powerful Militaries In Africa (2021)

The country’s millitary is the 6th most powerful military in Africa and the most powerful military in East Africa. It holds a PwrIndx* score of 1.0798.

Manpower
Active Personnel: 162,000
Active reserve personnel: 0
Firepower
Tanks: 365
Armored Fighting Vehicles: 130
Self-Propelled Guns: 65
Towed-Artillery: 480
Rocket projectors: 180

The country also has a total aircraft strength of 92 aircrafts, and a Defense Budget of $520,000,000.

7. Angola (Power Index rating: 1.0931)

Egypt has the Most Powerful Military In Africa (2021)

Angola is the 7th most powerful military in Africa, and the 65th most powerful military in the world. It holds a PwrIndx* score of 1.0931.

Manpower
Active Personnel: 110,000
Active Reserve Personnel: 0
Firepower
Tanks: 379
Armored Fighting Vehicles: 600
Self-Propelled Guns: 28
Towed-Artillery: 350
Rocket projectors: 115

The country also has a total aircraft strength of about 300, total naval strength of 57 and a Defense Budget of $7,650,000,000.

8. Libya (Power Index rating: 1.3265)

Most Powerful Militaries In Africa (2022)The country’s military is the 8th most powerful military in Africa and the 70th most powerful in the world. It holds a PwrIndx* score of 1.3265.

Manpower
Active Personnel: 30,000
Active Reserve Personnel: 0
Firepower
Tanks: 200
Armored Fighting Vehicles: 4550
Self-Propelled Guns: 365
Towed-Artillery: 250
Rocket projectors: 900

Other info
Total Aircrafts strength: 118
Total Naval Strength: 5
Defense Budget: $4,900,000,000.

9. Sudan (Power Index Rating: 1.3382)

Top 10 Most Powerful Militaries In Africa (2022)For 2021, Sudan is ranked 77 of 140 out of the countries considered for the annual GFP review. The country is the 9th most powerful country in Africa and the fifth most powerful military in North Africa. Sudan holds a PwrIndx* score of 1.3382.

Manpower
Active Personnel: 105,000
Active Reserve Personnel: 85,000
Firepower
Tanks: 830
Armored Fighting Vehicles: 450
Self-Propelled Guns: 10
Towed-Artillery: 0
Multiple-Launch Rocket Systems: 0

Sudan’s military also possess a Total Aircraf strength of 190, a total naval strength of 18, and a Defense Budget of $4,000,000,000.

10. Tunisia (Power Index rating: 1.3664)

Tunisia Most Powerful Militaries In AfricaFor 2022, Tunisia is ranked 73 of 140 out of the countries considered for the annual GFP review. It holds a PwrIndx* score of 1.3664.

Manpower
Active Personnel: 36,000
Active Reserve Personnel: 0
Firepower
Tanks: 170
Armored Fighting Vehicles: 1200
Self-Propelled Guns: 67
Towed-Artillery: 162
Multiple-Launch Rocket Systems: 0

Other info
Total Naval Strength: 50
Total Aircraft Strength: 156
Defense Budget: $810,000,000

11. DRC (Power Index rating: 1.4171)

Democratic Republic of the Congo has the eleventh most powerful military in Africa and is ranked 76 of 142 out of the countries considered for the annual GFP review. It holds a PwrIndx* score of 1.4171.

Manpower
Active Personnel: 100,000
Active Reserve Personnel: 0
Firepower
Tanks: 212
Armored Fighting Vehicles: 201
Self-Propelled Guns: 16
Towed-Artillery: 125
Rocket Projectors: 55

South Sudan’s military also possess a Total Aircraft strength of 46, a total of 8 attack helicopters, and a Defense Budget of $299,220,000.

12. Kenya (Power Index rating: 1.5252)

Kenya is ranked 81 of 142 out of the countries considered for the annual GFP review. The country has the second most powerful military in East Africa and holds a PwrIndx* score of 1.5252.

Manpower
Active Personnel: 24,000
Active Reserve Personnel: 0
Firepower
Tanks: 109
Armored Fighting Vehicles: 959
Self-Propelled Guns: 30
Towed-Artillery: 50
Rocket Projectors: 5

Kenya’s military also possess a Total Aircraft strength of 151, a total of 87 helicopters, 2 attack helicopters, and a Defense Budget of $1,186,080,000.

13. Chad (Power Index rating: 1.9638)

Manpower
Active Personnel: 30,000
Active Reserve Personnel: 0
Firepower
Tanks: 90
Armored Fighting Vehicles: 691
Self-Propelled Guns: 10
Towed-Artillery: 15
Rocket projectors: 16

Chad’s military also possess a Total Aircraft strength of 35, a total of 16 helicopters, 3 attack helicopters, and a Defense Budget of $292,610,000.

Most Powerful Militaries In Africa 2022

14. Zambia (Power Index rating: 2.1966)

Manpower
Active Personnel: 16,500
Active Reserve Personnel: 0
Firepower
Tanks: 75
Armored Fighting Vehicles: 226
Self-Propelled Guns: 0
Towed-Artillery: 42
Rocket Projectors: 50

Zambia’s military also possess a Total Aircraft strength of 97, a total of 27 helicopters, and a Defense Budget of $251,160,000.

15. Uganda (Power Index rating: 2.2436)

Manpower
Active Personnel: 47,000
Active Reserve Personnel: 10,000
Firepower
Tanks: 237
Armored Fighting Vehicles: 1056
Self-Propelled Guns: 6
Towed-Artillery: 35
Rocket Projectors: 26

South Sudan’s military also possess a Total Aircraft strength of 49, a total of 5 attack helicopters, and a Defense Budget of $934,250,000.

16. Zimbabwe (Power Index rating: 2.2498)

Manpower
Active Personnel: 30,000
Active Reserve Personnel: 0
Firepower
Tanks: 50
Armored Fighting Vehicles: 318
Self-Propelled Guns: 0
Towed-Artillery: 60
Rocket Projectors: 23

Zimbabwe’s military also possess a Total Aircraft strength of 90, a total of 6 attack helicopters, and a Defense Budget of $117,390,000.

17. Ghana (Power Index rating: 2.3098)

Manpower
Active Personnel: 14,000
Active Reserve Personnel: 0
Firepower
Tanks: 0
Armored Fighting Vehicles: 343
Self-Propelled Guns: 0
Towed-Artillery: 30
Rocket Projectors: 6

Ghana’s military also possess a Total Aircraft strength of 20, a total of 11 helicopters, and a Defense Budget of $289,400,000.

List of Most powerful militaries in africa

18. Mali (Power Index rating: 2.3829)

Manpower
Active Personnel: 18,000
Active Reserve Personnel: 0
Firepower
Tanks: 80
Armored Fighting Vehicles: 264
Self-Propelled Guns: 0
Towed-Artillery: 50
Multiple-Launch Rocket Systems: 32

Mali’s military also possess a Total Aircraft strength of 29, a total of 7 attack helicopters, and a Defense Budget of $591,260,000.

19. South Sudan (Power Index rating: 2.5072)

Manpower
Active Personnel: 175,000
Active Reserve Personnel: 0
Firepower
Tanks: 55
Armored Fighting Vehicles: 150
Self-Propelled Guns: 12
Towed-Artillery: 0
Multiple-Launch Rocket Systems: 7

South Sudan’s military also possess a Total Aircraft strength of 18, a total of 6 attack helicopters, and a Defense Budget of $276,000,000.

20. Cameroon (Power Index rating: 2.5571)

Manpower
Active Personnel: 40,000
Active Reserve Personnel: 0
Firepower
Tanks: 0
Armored Fighting Vehicles: 253
Self-Propelled Guns: 0
Towed-Artillery: 77
Multiple-Launch Rocket Systems: 0

Cameroon’s military also possess a Total Aircraft strength of 31, a total of 60 naval assets, and a Defense Budget of $398,000,000.

Methodology

The finalized Global Firepower ranking above utilizes over 50 individual factors to determine a given nation’s PowerIndex (‘PwrIndx’) score with categories ranging from military might and financials to logistical capability and geography.

Uzonna Anele
Uzonna Anele
Anele is a web developer and a Pan-Africanist who believes bad leadership is the only thing keeping Africa from taking its rightful place in the modern world.

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