Comparing South Africa and Nigeria

12 April 2014 at 16:49 | 17838 views

By Mekki Elmograbi, Sudan.

It is widely well known that the economy of South Africa is the strongest among African economies but some economists say that Nigeria, "not South Africa", is the strongest. The third opinion is to prefer SA in one way and Nigeria in the other.

An American writer from "The Atlantic" presented his opinion on the issue in an article under the title: "How Nigeria Became Africa’s Largest Economy Overnight?", he started with the question: "Does the continent’s most-populous country deserve its new title."?

The writer, Uri Friedman, is the senior associate editor at the Atlantic, where he oversees the Global Channel. He presented good figures and numbers to prove his idea but he didn’t discuss the other side that gave SA its advanced position.

Uri Friedman based his article on a fresh statistics that appeared "suddenly!" to cover the gap of 24 years, he said: "It was, in fact, a miracle borne of statistics: It had been 24 years since Nigerian authorities last updated their approach to calculating gross domestic product (GDP), a process known as "rebasing" that wealthy countries typically carry out every five years. When the Nigerian government finally did it this week, the country’s GDP—the market value of all finished goods and services produced in a country—soared to $510 billion."

According to my point of view, if the economy of South Africa is the first African economy or the second largest in Africa behind Nigeria, it is not a big deal, but, for sure, South Africa has a comparative advantage in the production of agricultural, mining and manufactured products relating to these sectors. The diversified economy of SA includes also fisheries, vehicle manufacturing and assembly, telecommunication, energy, financial and business services, real estate, tourism, transportation, and wholesale and retail trade.

Uri Friedman presented the other opinion but he didn’t elaborate on it, "South Africa’s GDP numbers are three times larger than Nigeria’s on a per capita basis. South Africa has a diverse, modern economy, while Nigeria remains heavily dependent on oil", Uri wrote at the end of his article.