China or the US might be the strongest military in the world because of the number of personnel she possesses, WMD’s, armory, tanks, fighter jet, e.t.c. But what countries in Africa have the highest military strength? This is what this post will seek to address.
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 is the latest ranking of 10 countries with the most powerful military force in Africa in 2021.
Top 10 Most Powerful Militaries in Africa 2021
10. Libya military
Libya has an active military comprising of 76,000 personnel, 400 tanks and 46 aircraft. With a population of 6,244,174, Libya’s defense budget is estimated at $3 billion and ranked 10th strongest military in Africa.
The Libyan National Army comprises of the ground forces, the air force and the navy. It was after the first Libyan civil war in 2011 that these armed bodies were formed.
After defeating the might of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime, the Libyan army Supply depots and bases were damaged during the civil war, this called for rebuilding the country’s damaged military infrastructure.
Yousef Mangoush was appointed the first Chief of Staff and the force was deployed to Kufra to intervene in a tribal conflict among its citizenry. In terms of equipment, we know that they are formidable and have ballistics in their barracks.
9. Angola military
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.
It is said that Angola has one of the largest air forces in Africa and that is why it is ranked the 9th best military in Africa.
The weapons of the Angolan armed forces are mostly Russian, Soviet and ex-Warsaw pact hardware. In fact, a chunk of its equipment were gotten in the 80s and 90s when most African nations were at civil war as there was hostilities with neighboring countries.
Some infantry weapons listed include: Rifles in service with Army include the AK-47, AKM, FN FAL, G3 Assault Rifle, SKS and IMI Tavor, Pistols include the Makarov pistol, Stechkin automatic pistol and the Tokarev TT pistol. Sub-machine guns include the Škorpion vz. 61, Star Z-45, Uzi and the FBP sub-machine gun, Anti-Tank weapons include the RPG-7, 9K111 Fagot (650 ordered in 1987), 40 RM-70 multiple rocket launchers, etc.
8. Tunisia military
With a budget estimated at $550,000,000, Tunisia has 350 tanks and 139 aircraft with an active military personnel of 35,800 which ranked Tunisia, 8th country in Africa with the strongest military.
The Tunisian armed forces had an army of 40,500 personnel dully equipped with close to 84 main battle tanks and 48 light tanks. As for the Air Force, there are about 4,000 personnel, 27 combat aircraft and 43 helicopters.
The navy is slight higher as personnel are numbered to be 4,800 operating a total number of 25 patrol boats and 6 other craft.
7. Morocco armed forces
Morocco has a large land mass with its population pegged at 32,649,130. 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. Morocco is ranked 7th strongest military in Africa 2018.
6. Kenya armed forces
Kenya’s defense budget is estimated at $595 million with about 12, 168, 138 fit for military service out of its population.
Kenya has an active front-line personnel of 24,120 and is ranked 6th strongest military force in Africa.
5. Nigerian armed forces
Nigeria military is ranked 5th position on this list of African countries with the highest military strength this 2021 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 armored vehicles, 360 tanks, and 6,000 logistical vehicles at its disposal.
Nigeria’s air force boasts of nearly 300 aircraft and 25 high-powered naval vessels with defense budget estimated to be $2.33 billion. Nigeria is ranked fifth best military in Africa.
4. South Africa military
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.
The nation also have 62,082 active personnel and a reserve of 17,000. South Africa’s army is ranked 4th most powerful military in Africa 2021.
3. Ethiopian military
Ethiopia military strength is noticeable in her yearly defense budget of $340 million which ranks her third strongest military on the African continent.
With an arsenal that consists of 560 tanks and 81 aircraft, Ethiopia has an active personnel of 138,000 ground forces and a further 3,000 air force personnel.
2. Algerian military
Algerian military has an active front-line personnel of 120,000. They are one of the most equipped military in Africa with about 1,500 armored fighting vehicles at its disposal.
Algeria is among the African countries with the best military power. The nation’s defense budget is estimated at $10.57 billion.
1. Egyptian armed forces
Egypt is the strongest and most powerful nation in Africa. Egyptian military is the strongest among other countries in Africa because of the size of its armed forces.
Egypt 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.
As of 2011, the Egyptian Armed forces have more than 438,500 active personnel, in addition to 800,000 personnel available in reserve and over 400,000 paramilitary personnel making it one of the largest armies in the world. it also has the largest defense budgets in the world estimated at $7.85 billion.
Top 30 African Countries Ranked By Their Military Strength (2021)
According to Global Fire Power, they ranked various African countries using 50 factors to determine how strong and powerful their military might is. The power index score (PwrIndx) provides an avenue for small and more technologically-advanced nations to compete together to know who has the most equipped armed forces.
While we don’t doubt our listings above, we provide GBF ranking of top 30 most powerful African countries with military strength of a world power this 2021.
- Egyptian military PwrIndx: 0.2081
- Algerian military force PwrIndx: 0.4659
- South African Army PwrIndx: 0.5405
- Nigerian military PwrIndx: 0.7007
- Ethiopian Army PwrIndx: 0.7361
- Morocco Airforce PwrIndx: 0.8244
- Angolan Military PwrIndx: 0.8379
- Sudan Forces PwrIndx: 1.0051
- Democratic Republic of the Congo Army PwrIndx: 1.0631
- Zambian Armed Forces PwrIndx: 1.3035
- Tunisian Forces PwrIndx: 1.3322
- Libyan Army PwrIndx: 1.3696
- Zimbabwe Air force PwrIndx: 1.3906
- Kenyan Air force PwrIndx: 1.4177
- Ugandan Navy PwrIndx: 1.5802
- Chad Armed Forces PwrIndx: 1.6041
- Tanzanian Army PwrIndx: 1.7109
- Malian Military PwrIndx: 1.7172
- Cameroon’s Military PwrIndx: 1.8242
- Ivory Coast Armed Forces PwrIndx: 1.8514
- Burkina Faso Military PwrIndx: 1.9009
- Ghanaian Navy PwrIndx: 1.9231
- Mozambique Navy PwrIndx: 1.9287
- Botswana Military PwrIndx: 2.0582
- South Sudan Air Force PwrIndx: 2.1281
- Niger Army PwrIndx: 2.1631
- Republic of the Congo Military PwrIndx: 2.4035
- Madagascar Armed Forces PwrIndx: 2.6168
- Namibian Navy PwrIndx: 2.6519
- Gabon Navy PwrIndx: 2.7173