South Africa regains the title of Africa’s largest economy, more than two years after losing it to Nigeria. The International Monetary Fund ranks the countries according to the size of their gross domestic product (GDP).
South Africa is back on top mainly due to a recalculation using current exchange rates. The rand lately gained against the dollar, while Nigeria’s currency has fallen sharply.
Nigeria has also been affected by the drop in oil prices, while South Africa’s economy is more diverse.
Although South Africa and Nigeria are the top-ranked African countries, there isn’t much to cheer. Both economies are on the brink of recession, with Nigeria’s economy dwindling by 0.4%, while South Africa’s GDP contracted by 0.2%, in the first quarter.
Nigeria’s economy overtook South Africa’s in 2014 when the West African nation’s GDP data was overhauled for the first time in two decades.