South Africa has welcomed the announcement that Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, is now the biggest economy in sub-Saharan Africa after it rebased its gross domestic product (GDP).
The World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and African Development Bank (AfDB) have endorsed Nigeria’s new gross domestic product (GDP) of approximately US $509.9 billion released on Sunday, making the West African country the biggest economy in Africa.
According to figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics after a rebasing, Nigeria surpassed South Africa with a 2013 rebased figure of US $370 billion.
The new figures show that the biggest oil producer in Africa climbed to the 26th largest economy in the world.
“The announcement gives concrete expression to the fact that Africa is indeed rising. The announcement resonates with South Africa’s consistent message since 1994 that we want to see more African economies grow and live up to their potential, just as we continue striving to do so in with our own economy.
“South Africa has been and will continue to benefit from faster economic growth in the rest of the continent. Furthermore, the South African government and the private sector continue to play no small a part in the growth and development of the continent,” said the Ministry of Finance.
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. South Africa will continue to nurture mutually beneficial trade and investment ties with Nigeria and other African countries,” said the ministry.