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How are the most developed countries in Africa picked

In early 2019, the United Nations Development Programme released its latest report. Every year, the organization releases indices and indicators on key human development. The data reported gives an overview of the state of development across the world and helps in identifying long term trends and improvement areas.

Known as the Human Development Index (HDI), the data collected is used to rate countries according to life expectancy and health, economic growth, standard of living and education. Globally, the overall trend shows positive human development and considerable improvements from many regions; especially on the African continent.

Below are the 10 most developed countries in Africa, based on the Human Development Index.

Top 10 Most Developed Countries in Africa


With approximately 95,500 inhabitants (2018), Seychelles drives most of its economic growth through tourism. This has been gradually moving the country’s position towards upper-middle-income. However, one of the main challenges for Seychelles is to reduce dependence on tourism and encourage investment in other business sectors.

Global rank – 62

Life expectancy – 73.7 years

Expected years of schooling – 14

Mean years of schooling – 9.5

Gross National Income per Capita – 26,077


Since its independence in 1968, Mauritius has made great economic strides. With its 1.3 million multicultural inhabitants, the country is considered as one of the most promising countries in Africa. One of the key challenges of Mauritius is reducing income-based inequality, which has been on the rise as the economy progresses.

Global rank – 66

Life expectancy – 74.9

Expected years of schooling – 15.1

Mean years of schooling – 9.3

Gross National Income per Capita – 20,189


Algeria is a major player in the MENA region and has achieved a remarkable feat by reducing poverty by 20% in the past two decades. The largely positive economic performance of the country has improved development and greatly contributed to socioeconomic stability. Yet, over the past years, Algeria has seen a rapid decline in its currency reserves due to the depressed oil prices worldwide.

Global rank – 85

Life expectancy – 76.3

Expected years of schooling – 14.4

Mean years of schooling – 8.0

Gross National Income per Capita – 13,802


With a relatively turbulent past, Tunisia has gradually been developing into a more stable economy. The country is slowly recovering from the years of conflict and growth is steadily gaining momentum. Tunisia’s economy is mainly supported by tourism, agriculture and electrical and mechanical exports. Poverty remains a major roadblock for the North African country’s ambitions – certain regions show up to 30.8 percent of the population living in dire conditions.

Global rank – 95

Life expectancy – 75.9

Expected years of schooling – 15.1

Mean years of schooling – 7.2

Gross National Income per Capita – 10,275


Botswana was one of the poorest countries in the world when it gained independence in 1966. Yet, it quickly became an example of development success on the African continent; averaging 5% growth per annum over the past decade. The economy is mainly driven by mining, construction and the service sector. Still, much needs to be done to reduce poverty and unemployment.

Global rank – 101

Life expectancy – 67.6

Expected years of schooling – 12.6

Mean years of schooling – 9.3

Gross National Income per Capita – 15,534


In the coming years, Libya could become a very big player in oil exports. Improved political arrangements have seen the country develop considerably over a short period of time. Inflation is expected to slow down as the country progresses further and growth steadies. However, over the past years, cumulative inflation has pushed a good number of Libyan households in poverty, as many lost almost 80 percent of their purchasing power.

Global rank – 108

Life expectancy – 72.1

Expected years of schooling – 13.4

Mean years of schooling – 7.3

Gross National Income per Capita – 11,100


Gabon is the fifth largest oil producer in Africa and has one of the highest urbanization rates on the African continent. The upper-middle-income has known strong development over the past decade, which was mainly driven by its production of oil and manganese. The oil sector accounts for 45% of the country’s GDP and 60% of fiscal revenue on average over the past years. Gabon must however break free from their heavy reliance on the oil sector – the country is facing a decline in its oil reserves.

Global rank – 110

Life expectancy – 66.5

Expected years of schooling – 12.8

Mean years of schooling – 8.2

Gross National Income per Capita – 16,431

8.South Africa

With its highly developed economy and advanced economic infrastructure, South Africa is a major player on the African continent. Being one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of gold and platinum, the country has considerably developed its financial, legal, energy and transport sectors. Lately, progress has been slowing down and South Africa is known to have one of the highest inequality rates in the world.

Global rank – 113

Life expectancy – 63.4

Expected years of schooling – 13.3

Mean years of schooling – 10.1

Gross National Income per Capita – 11,923


Since 2014, Egypt has embarked on a transformational journey of its economy. So far, the various amendments and reforms seem to bear their fruits as the country has seen their GDP grow by 5.3%. Export of goods and services, improvement in foreign exchange reserves and a more dynamic tourism sector have greatly contributed to massive development in Egypt. Still, only time will tell if the Government successfully manages to cut down the unemployment rate and improve the weak health care system of the country.

Global rank – 114

Life expectancy – 71.7

Expected years of schooling – 13.1

Mean years of schooling – 7.2

Gross National Income per Capita – 10,355


Despite an unexpected growth of certain industries, Morocco’s economy can still be improved. Even if the country is facing an economic slowdown, this has not prevented them from engaging in massive development. Currently, the country is focusing on enhancing its high-value added industries and this has brought about a strong recovery on the European market. The main challenge remains booting the private sector to encourage job creation for the younger generation.

Global rank – 123

Life expectancy – 76.1

Expected years of schooling – 12.4

Mean years of schooling – 5.5

Gross National Income per Capita – 7,340

Investing in the most developed countries in Africa

Compared to the most developed countries across the globe, the African continent still has miles of progress ahead. This makes Africa a very good investment opportunity – many companies have seized this occasion to expand their business to the continent. Countless organizations have already taken the leap and are now enjoying the privilege of being onboard at the ‘right time’; before the African continent gets so developed that it becomes outrageously expensive (think of expanding a business to Europe, USA or even Asia).

Still, it is simply not easy to expand on the African continent; governing laws pertaining to business operations, employment, tax compliance, offshore services or even expat immigration will vastly differ depending on where you want to settle down. Worst still – registering an entity and getting the operational licenses can take months, or even years.

The solution to a head-start in Africa

Africa HR Solutions can help you overcome all the hurdles, while saving time and money. We offer a range of services tailored for businesses expanding on the African continent.

  • Simplest and fastest way to hire people without having a registered entity
  • Allows you to focus on your business while we manage the payroll and employment duties
  • Single solution for all your HR requirements in Africa & a central point of contact for all your queries
  • Flexible on-call queries and reports whenever required
  • Full compliance with local legislations – expert across Africa
  • Centralizing of payroll functions
  • Team dedicated to quality and flexibility to meet your requirements
  • Up to date statutory changes through multiple sources
  • Professional indemnity and employer liability

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