Each year, the Global Firepower specialist site draws up its global ranking of conventional armies, which does not take into account the stockpiles of nuclear weapons. In its 2017 military strength ranking, seven African countries are in the top 55.
These are Egypt, Algeria, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Africa, Angola and Morocco.
As usual, the list is topped by the United States, which largely dominates the classification based on some forty criteria. With a budget of $587 billion, the US military is largely outpacing its closest competitors, such as Russia ($44 billion) and China ($161 billion). India, which has a population of 1.2 billion, is followed by France, which is supplanting the United Kingdom and is the leading military power on the European continent.
In Africa, Egypt holds the top spot (10th place in the world), with more than 1,000 aircraft and 4,000 tanks. Far ahead of Algeria, which ranks 25th in the ranking, with some 500 aircraft and 2,400 tanks. The country has the largest military budget in the southern Mediterranean, estimated at about $10 billion.
Other African military powers are Ethiopia (41st), which spends “only” 340 million dollars for its army, Nigeria (43rd), South Africa (46th), Angola (51st) and Morocco (54th). The ranking has been showing a relatively stable configuration for several years, except for the eviction of Libya immersed in unspeakable chaos since 2011.
For several years, the African continent has also distinguished itself by its appetite for the purchase of weapons from the United States, Russia and France. According to data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Algeria, Egypt and Morocco spent more than $11,000 million between 2012 and 2016.