Most Powerful Military in Africa 2020: Nigeria’s Military Strength vs the Rest of Africa

Military website Global Firepower has released its strength rankings for 2020 – showing how the world’s largest armies compare to one another.

The ranking is based on over 50 individual factors with categories ranging from military might and financials to logistical capability and geography.

However, the ranking does not simply rely on the total number of weapons available to any one country but rather focuses on weapon diversity within the number totals to provide a better balance of firepower available.

In addition, nuclear weapons are not recognised directly (but receive an indirect score bonus), while geographical factors, logistical flexibility, natural resources and military budget influence the rankings.

Egypt was ranked as having the strongest military in Africa in 2020 with 440,000 active personnel, 1,504 aircraft, 4,295 tanks and a budget of $11.2 billion.

Algeria was ranked second strongest military in Africa in 2020 with just over 130,000 active personnel, 551 aircraft, 880 tanks and a budget of $13 billion. South Africa, Nigeria and Angola round up the top 5 strongest military in Africa in 2020 top five.

Country Active Personnel Air Craft Tanks Budget
Egypt 440,000 1,504 4,295 $11.2 billion
Algeria 130,000 551 880 $13 billion
South Africa 66,300 226 195 $4.3 billion
Nigeria 120,000 129 253 $2.2 billion
Angola 107,000 295 379 $7 billion
Morocco 310,000 214 1443 $10 billion
Ethiopia 162,000 86 400 $350 million
DR Congo 134,000 53 174 $100 million
Sudan 104,000 190 690 $2.4 billion
Libya 30,000 114 250 $3 billion

According to the Global Firepower ranking, Nigeria has 120,000 active personnel and 0 reserve personnel.

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It also estimates that the country has around 43,180,760 citizens who would be fit-for-service should the country decide to enforce conscription laws.

Air power

Nigeria has a total aircraft strength of 129 assets. This includes:

8 fighter aircraft
21 transport aircraft
13 dedicated attack
47 trainer aircraft
5 special-mission aircraft
44 helicopters
15 attack helicopters

Army/Land power

Nigeria’s total land strength is made up of the following:

253 tanks
1789 armoured fighting vehicles
25 self-propelled artillery
339 towed artillery
39 rocket projectors

Naval Power

Nigeria’s total land strength is made up of the following:

75 total asset
100 patrol craft
2 mine warfare vessels

Uzonna Anele

Anele is a web developer and a Pan-Africanist who believes bad leadership is the only thing keeping Africa from taking its rightful place in the modern world.

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Uzonna Anele