ARTICLE: AFRICA DAY – WHO REALLY HAS THE BIGGEST ECONOMY?
Much has recently been made of reports that Egypt has overtaken South Africa as Africa’s second largest economy and that we have now slipped to third place – with Nigeria in first place. All this has added to South Africa’s sense of national decline – after having prided ourselves for so long as being in an unassailable position as the continent’s largest economy. Commentators must now console South Africans with the reassurance that we are still the most “highly industrialised” economy in Africa.
The relative size of economies is generally measured by assessing their Gross Domestic Products on a PPP (Purchasing Power Parity) basis – which irons out kinks caused by the differences between official exchange rates and the actual purchasing power of the currencies involved.