8 April 2014
South Africa has welcomed the announcement that Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, is now the continent’s biggest economy, following a rebasing of the West African country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
The World Bank, International Monetary Fund and African Development Bank have endorsed Nigeria’s rebased 2013 GDP figure of approximately US$509.9-billion.
The figure, released by Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics on Sunday, makes South Africa the second-largest economy in Africa, with a 2013 rebased figure of US$370-billion.
It also makes Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil producer, the 26th largest economy in the world.
South Africa’s National Treasury welcomed the announcement, saying it resonated with the country’s consistent call for more African economies to grow to their full potential, and gave “concrete expression to the fact that Africa is indeed rising”.
“South Africa has been and will continue to benefit from faster economic growth in the rest of the continent,” the Treasury said in a statement on Monday, adding that the South African government and private sector “continue to play no small a part in the growth and development of the continent.
“In Nigeria’s case, the wholesale and retail and the telecommunications sectors, the two largest components of the services sector, have big participation by South African firms who have played a big role in the growth and development of the two sectors.
“This is a positive story of African countries contributing to re-shaping each other’s economies through increased investment.”