The Giant of Africa: which country holds the title and why?

Nigeria is indeed the Giant of Africa. However, the reasons why the country is referred to as the Giant of Africa have sparked much debate in the African continent. Some people argue that Nigeria currently is not living up to the title.

giant of Africa
A man holding the Nigerian national flag. Photo:, @emmages
Source: UGC

Nigeria has earned the title Giant of Africa since it has excelled in various sectors compared to other countries. In this article, nine proven facts confirm that the nation deserves to be the continent’s leader.

Who is the Giant of Africa?

The country is referred to as the Giant of Africa; it holds the title due to its huge population size of over 200 million and its robust economy. In terms of population size, it is also the most populous black nation in the world, ranking seventh overall.

The Nigerian economy is the biggest in Africa, and Nigeria is the 26th largest country in purchasing power parity (PPP) and the 31st largest in the world by nominal GDP. The World Bank classifies the nation as an emerging market.

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Why is Nigeria referred to as the Giant of Africa?

When other African countries refer to Nigeria as the Giant of Africa, it is because they find it more significant, powerful, and enormous when compared to the rest of the African countries.

The nation was awarded the nickname Giant of Africa primarily due to its vast population. But this comparison need not be limited to the general populace. Nigeria’s status as Africa’s giant can be attributed to several vital facts.

There are various reasons why Nigeria is regarded as the Giant of Africa; below are some of them.

1. Population

Research shows that it is the most populous nation in the continent and has the largest population globally. According to Worldometer, Nigeria’s current population is over 219 million as of January 2023.

2. Popularity

The country is well known for certain things, such as its academics and the Nollywood film industry, which is the second-largest film producer in the world.

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3. Peacekeeping

The nation is highly distinguished since it has taken various African leadership positions. This country is viewed as a father figure, mainly in Africa, since it offers financial support and assists in peacekeeping missions when required.

Who is currently the giant of Africa?
A man in a black and white long sleeve holding a flag. Photo:, @emmages
Source: UGC

An excellent example is the country helping the UN maintain peace in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.

4. Military strength

Every nation strives to have military strength for their nation’s security and safety. The military must defend the country’s internal borders on land, air, or sea.

In the African continent, it is ranked fourth behind countries such as Algeria, South Africa, and Egypt. It has a tremendous and strong military force, and it falls at number 41 globally. It has around 180,000 troops in the field and about 20,000 as a backup.

5. Rich natural resources

Nigeria is endowed with natural resources. Whenever a country is richly blessed with natural resources, this increases the country’s potential for economic growth regionally and globally.

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Natural resource abundance is essential since it can significantly benefit people due to current technological and economic conditions. It is an oil-rich country.

It ranks eighth in the world for exports and is the 2nd largest producer of crude oil in Africa. According to Worldometer, Nigeria ranks ninth in the world for gas reserves at 180 trillion cubic feet, behind Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the US, Russia, and the UAE.

6. Big urban centres

After Tokyo, Mumbai, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, and New York City, Lagos, the capital of Nigeria, is the sixth-largest city in the world by population.

7. Sports

Many Nigerians can take pride in this great field of sports. This is because of the numerous successes that the nation has had there over the years, especially in football. Some of the few football superstars that this great nation of Nigeria has produced include; Samuel Peters, Austin Okocha, and Blessing Okagbare, among others.

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8. Entertainment and arts

In the entertainment and arts field, Nigeria is in the lead in the African continent. With highly respected intellectual figures like Wole Soyinka, the first African to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, and Chinua Achebe, the author of Things Fall Apart, the best-selling book in Africa.

Nigeria has also produced award-winning artists such as Burna Boy, Don Jazzy, and Davido, flying the Nigerian flag high internationally.

Which country is the Giant of Africa?
People holding flag on the street. Photo: @topeasokere
Source: UGC

Nigeria is, without a doubt, the giant of Africa. However, it has been challenging for this populous country to own this title. According to World Population Review, as of 2023, the nation is the 24th most corrupt country worldwide.

Nigeria continues to live up to this great title. When a country boasts of a vast population, factors such as military strength and great labour sources are thought of coming either presently or in the near future.

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According to the points listed above, Nigeria continues to thrive economically, politically and in many other areas in the African continent. It is evident that Nigeria still holds the title of the Giant of Africa.

READ ALSO: What are the 10 economic problems that Nigeria is facing? recently published an article outlining Nigeria’s top ten economic issues. The list of problems in Nigeria is lengthy, as it is in many other developing countries. Education, health, infrastructure, and social well-being issues have consistently hampered Nigeria’s development.

The nation’s economic development challenges today are diverse. They include issues concerning the government, social problems, and issues arising from individual behaviour.


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