There are about 40 different ranking tools and parameters used in measuring the strength of African militaries. These include
active front-line and reserve personnel, number of tanks and armoured fighting vehicles, aircraft like fighters/ interceptors and helicopters, naval strength amongst others. These criteria are used in such an approach that a smaller country with good military intelligence competes favourably well with a highly populated country with lots of great foot soldiers while landlocked countries are not penalized for lack of an active navy. It is important to note that the military strength of a country is not only determined by the size of her ammunition.

Which African country has the strongest military?

The Global Fire Power ranking (GFP) measures countries’ military might each year and gives a power index number when comparing them to other countries. Below are the latest ranking of 10 countries with the strongest military force in Africa in 2019.

Top 10 Africa’s Strongest Military 2019

10. Libya

Libya is considered one of the African countries that spend massively on the military. Out of Libya’s overall population of 6,244,174 people, about 76,000 people make up the country’s active military personnel. With regard to weaponry, Libya is reinforced with 46 aircraft alongside 400 tanks. Its defense budget is estimated at $3 billion and ranked 10th strongest military in Africa in 2019. The Libyan National Army comprises of the ground forces, the air force and the navy. The 2011 Libya revolution brought about the formation of the Armed Forces.

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9. Angola

Angola has an active military comprising of 107,000 active front-line personnel, 140 tanks and 270 aircraft and 3,039,089 people that are fit for service. The country’s naval strength is boosted with 30 coastal defence crafts and 2 mine warfare and with a defence budget of over $4 billion, Angola is sure to continue to see a strong military growth.

8. Tunisia

Tunisia is one of the countries located in the Northern region of Africa. It is ranked as the eighth strongest African country in terms of military. There are almost 5 million people who are fit for service out of the 5.7 million available manpower. With a budget estimated at $550,000,000, Tunisia has 350 tanks and 139 aircraft with an active military personnel of 35,800.

7. Morocco

Morocco claims the seventh spot on the list of Africa’s strongest military forces. The overall population of Morocco is estimated at 32,649,130 people and from this estimate, a fair number of personnel make up the country’s military. Its active personnel in the military is 195,800 with a defense budget of $3.4 billion. Morocco has 1,348 tanks and 323 aircraft in its arsenal.

6. Kenya

With a total of 24,120 personnel who make up its active front-line military, Kenya claims the sixth spot on the list of Africa’s strongest military forces. When it comes to military strength and fire power, Kenya is a force to reckon with. The country has enough military strength to afford to always send some on a peace keeping mission in other African countries. Kenya’s defense budget is estimated at $595 million with about 12,168,138 fit for military service out of its population.

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5. Nigeria

Located at the shores of West Africa is the country that is home to a staggering 170 million people. With the available manpower of over 72 million people, there are more than 40 million people who are fit for service with 3.5 million people reaching the military service year every year. Nigeria military is ranked 5th on this list of African countries with the highest military strength this 2019 but due to political instability, corruption and lack of latest equipment for its military, it still ranked 5th strongest country in Africa with military strength of 1,400 armoured vehicles, 360 tanks, and 6,000 logistical vehicles at its disposal. As regards its air force, Nigeria is strengthened with 25 sophisticated naval vessels alongside 300 aircraft. Furthermore, the Nigerian government sets aside a total of $2.33 billion as the country’s defense budget.

4. South Africa

South Africa possesses the 4th strongest military in Africa. The country has a total of 62,082 active personnel and a modernized military technology reinforced with effective naval vessels and aircraft. South Africa’s defense budget is estimated at $4.96 billion. South Africa has 191 tanks, 213 aircraft, and a total naval strength of 30. Its aircraft and naval vessels are well-equipped with the latest technology.

3. Ethiopia

Ethiopia military strength is noticeable in her yearly defense budget of $340 million which ranks her third strongest military on the African continent. In the aspect of military armaments, the country’s military sector is buttressed with 81 aircraft coupled with 560 tanks. Ethiopia has an active personnel of 138,000 ground forces and a further 3,000 air force personnel.

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2. Algeria

Algerian military has an active frontline personnel of 120,000. Algeria possesses a massive total of 1,500 armored vehicles and this makes it one of the African countries with the most sophisticated armed forces. Algeria is equipped with more than a thousand tanks, 1800 armoured fighting vehicles, over 400 air crafts, 188 helicopters, 6 submarines. With a defense budget of over $10.5 bn, Algeria will continue to be among the African countries with the best military strength.

1. Egypt

In terms of military strength, Egypt is regarded as Africa’s strongest nation. In accordance with several estimates about Africa’s military, it has been observed that Egypt dominates Africa with its tremendous military strength which makes up the largest armed force in Africa. It has 4,767 tanks and 1,100 aircraft. Its total naval strength is 237. Egyptian soldiers are well-equipped and well-trained, but are inferior to Israeli soldiers in terms of weaponry and training. Besides being Africa’s major military powerhouse, Egypt is undoubtedly one of the world’s strongest producers of military personnel. This estimate stems from the fact that Egypt has a reserve of 800,000 personnel coupled with a total of 438,500 active personnel. Egypt has a voluminous paramilitary which occupies 400,000 personnel. It also has the largest defense budgets in the world estimated at $7.85 billion.

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