Nigeria is set to be the first African country with an economy larger than $1 trillion, according to the latest projections from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Africa’s most populous nation, which recently held peaceful elections, revamped its gross domestic product data in 2014 and pulled ahead of South Africa to become the continent’s largest economy with a GDP of $469 billion. Between now and 2030, experts predict annual growth rates as high as 7.92% resulting in a GDP of $1.05 trillion.
“A lot of Nigeria’s growth will come from agriculture and services are huge in Nigeria,” says Charles Robertson, global chief economist at Renaissance Capital. He adds that he actually expects the country’s GDP to reach $1 trillion before 2030. “Banking, retail, telecoms and Nollywood has been an explosive growth story in past couple of years.”
As a source of employment for 70% of Nigeria’s population in 2013, the country’s $56 billion agriculture sector currently accounts for 24% of GDP and the country’s minister of agriculture, Akinwumi Adesina, has said “the new millionaires of Nigeria will be in agriculture.”
These are huge numbers by Nigerian and African standards – however, they look less impressive next to others from around the world.
By 2030, the U.S. economy is expected to reach $24.8 trillion, China’s GDP will approach $22.2 trillion and Indian output will be at the $6.6 trillion mark.
Closest behind Nigeria, when it