Saturday, June 3, 2023
Saturday, June 3, 2023

Here are the top 500 companies in Africa

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After analyzing the results of more than 1,200 companies, Jeune Afrique unveils its exclusive ranking of the 500 most important companies in Africa.

Hit by the Covid pandemic and then by the repercussions of the war in Ukraine, companies on the continent have to deal with an ever-uncertain business environment, synonymous with both pitfalls and opportunities. In fact, some players have succeeded in getting out of the game thanks in particular to the innovation strategies deployed to adapt to the multiplication of exogenous shocks.

Jeune Afrique draws up a ranking, of the 500 companies on the continent that have best-taken advantage of opportunities in the 2021 financial year. A ranking that reaches the third-highest level of overall turnover since the launch of this type of investigation.


The resilience of companies in the face of Covid-19 and the turbulence that has hit the continent since 2015 (oil crash, raw materials, etc.) is therefore real. In essence, these good results are driven in particular by companies in the mining and hydrocarbons sector.

The Algerian company Sonatrach dominates this ranking with a turnover reaching 34 billion dollars and a net result of more than 5.5 billion dollars. The Algerian giant sees its export activity in dollars increase by 75%.

The Angolan oil company Sonangol (12th), despite a drop in production of around 10% in 2021, is back in favor with the Top 15 and gains eight places, boosted by rising prices.

The continent’s GDP has surged


On the countryside, South Africa dominates the ranking with eight companies present in the Top 10 and nearly 50% of the revenues of the Top 500. But this trend tends to decrease year after year. Behind South Africa, Egyptian, Nigerian, Moroccan, and Algerian companies share between 6.5% and 9% of total revenues.

Four new entrants are positioned in the Top 100. They are Airtel Africa (Nigeria), ENI Angola (Angola), Société Marocaine de Distribution (Morocco) and Sodiam (Angola).

In terms of growth, according to the African Development Bank (AfDB), after a fall of 2.1% in 2020, the continent’s GDP jumped 2021, by 4.8%, including 4.5% for Sub-Saharan Africa.

Positive growth

Apart from South Sudan and Equatorial Guinea, all countries on the continent had positive growth in 2021, some even posting rates among the best in the world, such as Rwanda ( + 10.9%), Morocco (+ 7 .9%), Côte d’Ivoire (+ 7.4%), Kenya (+ 7.5%) or the DRC (+ 6.2%).

The continent’s three largest economies saw more subdued levels, at 3.6% for Nigeria, 3.3% for Egypt, and 4.9% for South Africa.

These 2021 performances erase the successive crises of the middle of the 2010 decade. and to a lesser extent South Africa.


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