Economic Transformation South Africa surpasses Nigeria as largest economy

Nigeria held onto the top spot for two years after rebasing its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2014.

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South Africa has surpassed Nigeria, the continent's largest oil producer, to become the largest economy.

Nigeria held onto the top spot for two years after rebasing its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2014.

Based on the GDP data from the International Monetary Fund, the size of South Africa’s economy is $301 billion at the rand’s current exchange rate, while Nigeria’s GDP is $296 billion.

Based on the calculation, South Africa beat Nigeria by just $5 billion.

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The South African rand has gained more than 16% against the dollar since 2016, while the the Nigerian naira has lost a third of its value this year.

Essentially, the change is due to the depreciation of the naira after the country's central bank removed a currency peg in June.

Despite the development, both countries risk going into recession after contracting in the first quarter of the year.

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