Sub-Saharan Africa
Typology of Countries
IMF Data Mapper®

April 2008

Sub-Saharan Africa organizes 44 countries into four nonoverlapping groups: oil exporters, non-oil-exporting middle-income, low-income, and fragile low-income countries (see table A1).

  • The 7 oil exporters are countries where net oil exports make up 30 percent or more of total exports. Except for Angola and Nigeria, they belong to the Central African Economic and Monetary Community. Oil exporters are classified as such even if they would otherwise qualify for another group.
  • The 11 middle-income countries not classified as oil exporters or fragile countries had average per capita gross national income in the years 2008–10 of more than US$992.7, as calculated by the World Bank using the Atlas method.
  • The 14 low-income countries not classified as oil exporters or fragile countries had average per capita gross national income in the years 2008–10 equal to or lower than US$992.7, and had a score higher than 3.2 on the IDA Resource Allocation Index (IRAI).
  • The 12 countries classified as fragile had a score of 3.2 or less on the IDA Resource Allocation Index (IRAI).

Countries are also grouped as "Resource-intensive countries" and "Non-resource intensive countries" (see table A2).

Table A1. Categorization of Sub-Saharan African Countries1
Low-Income Countries
Oil-Exporting Countries Middle-Income Countries LICs excluding Fragile Countries Fragile Countries
Angola Botswana Benin Burundi
Cameroon Cape Verde Burkina Faso Central African Rep.
Chad Ghana Ethiopia Comoros
Congo,Republic of Lesotho Gambia,The Congo, Dem. Rep. of
Equatorial Guinea Mauritius Kenya Côte d'Ivoire
Gabon Namibia Madagascar Eritrea
Nigeria Senegal Malawi Ginuea
  Seychelles Mali Guinea-Bissau
  South Africa Mozambique Liberia
  Swaziland Niger São Tomé and Príncipe
  Zambia Rwanda Togo
    Sierra Leone Zimbabwe
    Tanzania  
    Uganda  
(1) Zimbabwe is not included in aggregate groupings because of data limitations.



Table A2. Sub-Saharan Africa: Country Groupings 1
Resource-Intensive Non-Resource-Intensive
oil Non-oil Coastal Landlocked

Angola Botswana Benin * Burkina Faso *
Cameroon * Côte d'Ivoire Cape Verde Burundi*
Chad Guinea Comoros Central African Republic*
Congo, Republic of* Namibia Gambia* Congo, Dem. Rep. of*
Equatorial Guinea Sierra Leone * Ghana * Ethiopia *
Gabon Zambia * Guinea-Bissau* Lesotho
Nigeria Kenya Malawi *
    Liberia * Mali *
    Madagascar * Niger *
    Mauritius Rwanda *
    Mozambique * Swaziland
    São Tomé and Príncipe* Uganda*
    Senegal * Zimbabwe
    Seychelles  
    South Africa  
    Tanzania *  
    Togo  

Note: Asterisk (*) marks countries that have reached the completion point under the enhanced HIPC Initiative and have qualified for MDRI relief.
(1) These groupings follow Collier and O'Connell (2006), who show that the effect of being resource-rich is independent of location and thus classify all sub-Saharan African economies by both endowment and location. A country is classified as resource-rich if primary commodity rents exceed 10 percent of GDP (South Africa is not classified as resource-intensive, using this criterion). In terms of location, countries are classified by whether they have ocean access (coastal) or are landlocked.

CFA Franc Zone

West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU)

Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC)

East African Community (EAC-5)

Southern African Development community (SADC)

Southern African Customs Union (SACU)

Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)

Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI) Countries

Fixed Exchange rate Regime countries

Floating Exchange rate Regime countries

Oil-Importing Countries



CFA Franc Zone

Benin
Burkina Faso
Cameroon
Central African Rep.
Chad
Congo, Republic of
Côte d'Ivoire

Equatorial Guinea
Gabon
Guinea-Bissau
Mali
Niger
Senegal
Togo



West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU)

Benin
Burkina Faso
Côte d'Ivoire
Guinea-Bissau

Mali
Niger
Senegal
Togo



Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC)

Cameroon
Central African Rep.
Chad

Congo, Republic of
Equatorial Guinea
Gabon



East African Community (EAC-5)

Burundi
Kenya
Rwanda

Tanzania
Uganda



Southern African Development community (SADC)

Angola
Botswana
Congo, Dem. Rep. of
Lesotho
Madagascar
Malawi
Mauritius
Mozambique

Namibia
Seychelles
South Africa
Swaziland
Tanzania
Zambia
Zimbabwe



Southern African Customs Union (SACU)

Botswana
Lesotho
Namibia

South Africa
Swaziland



Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)

Burundi
Comoros
Congo, Dem. Rep. of
Eritrea
Ethiopia
Kenya
Madagascar
Malawi

Mauritius
Rwanda
Seychelles
Swaziland
Uganda
Zambia
Zimbabwe



Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI) Countries

Benin
Burkina Faso
Cameroon
Ethiopia
Ghana
Madagascar
Mali
Mozambique

Niger
Rwanda
São Tomé & Príncipe
Senegal
Tanzania
Uganda
Zambia



Fixed Exchange rate Regime countries

Benin
Burkina Faso
Cameroon
Central African Republic
Cape Verde
Chad
Comoros
Congo, Republic of
Côte d'Ivoire
Equatorial Guinea
Gabon

Guinea-Bissau
Lesotho
Mali
Namibia
Niger
São Tomé & Príncipe
Senegal
Swaziland
Togo
Zimbabwe



Floating Exchange rate Regime countries

Angola
Botswana
Congo, Dem. Rep. of
Ethiopia
Gambia, The
Ghana
Guinea
Kenya
Liberia
Madagascar
Malawi

Mauritius
Mozambique
Nigeria
Rwanda
São Tomé & Príncipe
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
South Africa
Tanzania
Uganda
Zambia



Oil-Importing Countries

Benin
Botswana
Burkina Faso
Burundi
Cape Verde
Central African Rep.
Comoros
Congo, Dem. Rep. of
Eritrea
Ethiopia
Gambia, The
Ghana
Guinea
Guinea-Bissau
Kenya
Lesotho
Liberia
Madagascar

Malawi
Mali
Mauritius
Mozambique
Namibia
Niger
Rwanda
São Tomé & Príncipe
Senegal
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
South Africa
Swaziland
Tanzania
Togo
Uganda
Zambia
Zimbabwe