Over the years, South Africa, Ethiopia, Egypt, Kenya, and Nigeria have consistently remained the top 5 most influential countries in Africa.
However, there has been a recent trend where other developing African countries have caught up and found their place within this exclusive group.
The concept of influence is not limited to individuals but also extends to countries. An influential country should possess distinguishable political characteristics, social and cultural identifying factors that set it apart from other countries.
Similarly, an influential person must possess character traits that distinguish them from others.
To remain influential, both individuals and countries must continue to exhibit these unique traits that set them apart.
According to naijaquest, an online source, here are a list of 10 most influential countries in Africa
- South Africa
1. South Africa
South Africa holds a significant position in Africa due to its stable and rapidly developing economy.
It is considered top on the list of most influential countries in Africa, attracting people from different parts of Africa to study and work there.
This level of attraction is not seen in any other country on the continent, highlighting South Africa’s status as a hub for education and employment opportunities.
In addition, South Africa’s influence extends beyond the African continent to the global stage.
South Africans are known to control the gold trade, dictating prices in Brussels and Antwerp from their mansions in Johannesburg.
Johannesburg is also a major center for the fashion industry, which boosts other sectors such as finance, hospitality, and entertainment.
Overall, South Africa’s significant economic and social contributions position it as a prominent influencer in Africa and beyond.
Its stability and strong economic growth potential make it a hub for attracting investment and talent, which only strengthens its influence in various sectors.
Egypt holds a prominent position in North Africa, having been a center for learning, discovery, and culture on the continent in the 70s and 80s.
Its influence stems from being one of the most developed countries in Africa, which other nations look up to as an example of what can be achieved.
Egypt’s influence was evident during the Arab Spring of 2011 when thousands of Egyptians took to the streets of Cairo, culminating in a wave of change that spread throughout most of North Africa and the Middle East.
Globally, Egypt is also a significant player in various sectors such as tourism, trade, manufacturing, and sports.
Its rich history, culture, and landmarks make it a top destination for tourists, while its strategic location at the crossroads of Europe, Africa, and Asia makes it an important trade hub.
Egypt’s manufacturing sector is also growing, with industries such as textiles, food processing, and electronics among the most prominent.
In the sports industry, Egypt has produced world-renowned athletes, particularly in football, making it a significant contributor to the global sporting community.
Overall, Egypt’s influence and significance go beyond its borders, with its economic, political, and cultural contributions being felt across the world.
Ethiopia is an ancient civilization that has existed since the same period as Egypt. Despite being an African country, it has remained prominent in the region and is recognized as a center of culture, history, and African greatness.
Ethiopia has a rich and unique history, having defeated European colonialists several times, which cemented its place as a symbol of African strength and resilience.
One of the most notable aspects of Ethiopia is its version of Christianity, which has never been influenced or enforced by Europeans.
This has made the country a pilgrimage site for Christians worldwide, who come to pray at revered sites, listen to sermons, and read ancient texts.
Ethiopia’s direct translation of many biblical texts from ancient texts is sought after by Christian scholars from all over the world.
Apart from its cultural and religious significance, Ethiopia is also a well-developed country, with various sectors developed to international standards.
Its financial system, politics, education, and tourism sectors are among the most developed in Africa. As a result, Ethiopia is an attractive destination for investment, education, and tourism.
Overall, Ethiopia’s rich history, culture, and development position it as a significant influencer in Africa and beyond.
Its unique version of Christianity and notable achievements in defeating European colonialists have made it an emblem of African strength, while its development potential attracts investments and talent from various regions.
Nigeria, with an estimated population of 200 million, is the most populous black nation in the world.
It holds significant influence over other countries in the West African sub-region, thanks to its political, economic, and cultural prowess.
Nigeria has long been involved in the political and military affairs of the region, leading peacekeeping missions in Liberia and Sierra Leone, and diplomatic interventions in Togo.
Economically, the country has the biggest market on the continent, attracting manufacturers from all over the world seeking to tap into its vast consumer base.
Nigerian financial institutions and communication companies have a strong foothold in most West African countries, further consolidating Nigeria’s dominance in the region.
Additionally, the Nigerian movie and music industries, popularly known as Nollywood and the Nigerian Music Industry, have far-reaching influence on the continent and beyond, showcasing Nigeria’s cultural and artistic significance.
Overall, Nigeria’s significant population, economic clout, and cultural influence make it a major influencer not just in West Africa but across the entire continent.
Its position as the biggest market in Africa and the robustness of its financial and communication sectors have made it a hub for investment and innovation, cementing its place as one of Africa’s most influential countries.
Despite the portrayal of Zimbabwe in the media as a nation plagued by famine and economic troubles, it holds great influence in the ideology of Pan-Africanism.
Zimbabwe is recognized for advocating for the autonomy and self-reliance of African countries, particularly for indigenous African peoples.
It has been at the forefront of promoting the idea of Africa’s economic independence from Europe, calling on African states to increase intra-continental trade for self-sufficiency.
Zimbabwe’s stance on these issues has made it a leading voice in discussions about the viability of Africa without foreign aid.
Also read: Top 10 Happiest Countries in Africa in 2022
Kenya, the largest economy in East Africa, has made significant strides towards economic growth despite the issue of poverty still being prevalent.
The country boasts a diversified economy that encompasses various sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture, trade, and tourism.
Major cities like Nairobi and Mombasa are centers of commercial activity, with well-developed transportation systems, real estate, and entertainment industries.
Morocco is a country of great influence in North Africa and the Arab World, having once been the center of a vast empire.
Culturally, Morocco remains an important country that attracts visitors from all over the world.
With one of the strongest economies on the continent, Morocco is known for its stability and friendly people.
This has helped to establish Morocco as an attractive destination for tourism, with its unique North African architecture, cuisine and culture.
Morocco’s economy is diversified, and includes a strong hotel industry, good infrastructure, and competitive commercial centers.
As part of its strategy to increase its influence, Morocco is forging political alliances with West Africa, with an eye towards creating more economic opportunities.
The country is poised to continue to be a major player on the continent for years to come.
Over the past few years, Tanzania has been gaining more influence due to its significant economic growth.
The country has also implemented noteworthy social reforms, which have provided a clear sense of direction for the government.
For instance, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tanzanian government took several actions to support its citizens, including suspending taxes, providing aid to farmers, and distributing hygiene and food supplies.
These measures have made Tanzania a case study for those interested in seeing how a government can work for the benefit of its people.
Uganda’s influence is mainly military in nature, and it is regarded as the dominant military force in East Africa.
In 1993, Uganda was among the few countries that sent a military force to intervene in the Rwandan Genocide, and the presence of the Ugandan troops helped to prevent the situation from escalating further.
Today, Uganda has a thriving Rwandan community that regularly commemorates the anniversary of the genocide.
More recently, Uganda played a key role in de-escalating tensions in neighboring Kenya. As a result, Uganda is an important contributor to peace and stability in the East African region.
A decade ago, Libya was top on the list of the most influential countries in Africa, but a civil war has led to a social breakdown.
However, the country is experiencing economic growth and is recovering in commerce, finance, and industry.
Libya is located near Spain and Italy, and because of its strategic location, it has become a gateway for illegal immigration to Europe.
Therefore, Libya’s policies on this matter are very important as they will affect the continent.