Charles Robertson: 40 African countries have a smaller GDP than US state of Vermont

The US state of Vermont has a gross domestic product (GDP) bigger than those of 40 African countries. reports HowwemadeitinAfrica

A recent note by Charles Robertson, chief economist at Renaissance Capital, shows that with a GDP of US$30bn, Vermont has a larger economy than countries such as Côte d’Ivoire, Zambia and Mozambique. Vermont has a population of about 600,000 and is the US state with the smallest GDP.

However, Robertson says he is confident that an improvement in education and positive demographics will help countries such as Uganda and Mozambique overtake Vermont in the coming years.

GDP of Vermont and 42 African countries (40 smaller than Vermont, two larger), $bn

More African countries are also expected to rebase their GDP calculations like Nigeria did earlier this year. In April Nigeria officially overtook South Africa as the largest economy on the continent, after it changed the base year for calculating its GDP.

“We expect more countries to publish GDP revisions like those that have seen an uprating of 60% in Ghana and 85% in Nigeria. Kenya is expected to deliver at least a 25% uplift when it announces its revised figures. There are only six countries, including Somalia and the Central African Republic, with a combined population of around 60m, that we expect to remain mired in poverty for the next generation due to a lack of secondary school education,” says Robertson.

Robertson’s note further shows that if the entire Africa was one country, it would be the seventh biggest economy in the world, just behind the UK and ahead of Brazil.

Top 40 economies in 2013 - GDP in 2013, capped at $5,000bn, $bn