Population: n/a million
GNI: n/a million
Debt: n/a million


Population: 39.93 mn. million
GDP: $227.80 bn. million
Debt: $5.23 bn. million

After 76-year-old Abdelaziz Bouteflika's stroke in 2013, all eyes are on April's presidential elections when he intends to stand for a fourth term. Constitutional changes may introduce a vice-president to share his work load. The failure to provide jobs and services will lead to regular protests all over Algeria.

Population: 22.14 mn. million
GDP: 131.40 bn. million
Debt: 24 bn. million

President José Eduardo dos Santos is under pressure to name a successor. Vice-President Manuel Vicente seems best placed but 2014 will test his mettle and show whether he can build a solid support base.

Population: 10.60 mn. million
GDP: 9.23 bn. million
Debt: 2.36 bn. million

After serving two terms, President Thomas Yayi Boni will possibly seek a third at the 2016 elections. Levels of corruption remain high and the cotton sector is still crying out for investment to stabilise and increase production.

Population: 2.03 mn. million
GDP: 16.30 bn. million
Debt: 2.43 bn. million

President Ian Khama, 61, was sworn in for a second term of office on 28 October after his Botswana Democratic Party, in power since Independence in 1966, won the general elections, taking 37 seats but with a reduced majority. The new goverment faces the challenges of high unemployment and tackling the ongoing HIV/Aids crisis.

Burkina Faso
Population: 17.42 mn. million
GDP: 13.38 bn. million
Debt: 2.56 bn. million

After protestors ended President Blaise Compaoré's 27-year rule in October 2014, the former number two in the Presidential Guard, Lieutenant Colonel Yacouba Isaac Zida, is now Interim Prime Minister. Michel Kafando, the former Ambassador to the United Nations and briefly a foreign affairs minister in the early 1980s, is President until the elections scheduled for November 2015.

Population: 10.48 mn. million
GDP: 3.037 bn. million
Debt: 0.638 bn. million

President Pierre Nkurunziza's still aims to win a third term in office in June 2015, despite the defeat last year of his plan to extend constitutional term limits. Following his visit to Burundi last June, UN Assistant Secretary General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonovic expressed deep concern about 'violence linked to the electoral process' and general restrictions on political freedom in the country.

Population: 22.82 mn. million
GDP: 32.16 bn. million
Debt: 4.9 bn. million

President Paul Biya, 81, refuses to allow the opposition to operate on a level playing field or to countenance debate over the succession. The greatest threats to regional security could come from Nigeria's Boko Haram and any spillover from conflict in Central African Republic.

Cape Verde
Population: 0.54 mn. million
GDP: 1.97 bn. million
Debt: 1.48 bn. million

Cape Verde's tourism industry shows signs of revival. The governing Partido Africano de Independência de Cabo Verde (PAICV) is looking for a new leader to replace Prime Minster José Maria Neves when he steps down in 2016.

Central African Republic
Population: 4.709 mn. million
GDP: 1.73 bn. million
Debt: 0.574 bn. million

Catherine Samba-Panza, who took over as interim President in January, will remain in post until elections can be held in which she will not stand. The European Union has agreed to send a small peacekeeping contingent to help the French and African Union forces restore order.

Population: 13.21 mn. million
GDP: 15.84 bn. million
Debt: 2.21 bn. million

President Idriss Déby Itno has to negotiate debt relief as his oil-producing economy is showing the strain. His government will continue to use the threat of coups - real or imagined - to crack down on opponents.

Population: 0.752 mn. million
GDP: 0.722 bn. million
Debt: 0.146 bn. million

President Ikililou Dhoinine's governing team is subject to the usual plots that have made the country's island-rotating government unstable since the 1970s. Funds from the Gulf states may help the economy.

Population: 4.559 mn. million
GDP: 14.11 bn. million
Debt: 3.45 bn. million

Government hopes rest on new deep offshore oil fields to boost production. French investigations into the Biens Mal Acquis dossier and the Beach Affair will bring more negative publicity for President Denis Sassou-Nguesso.

Population: 69.36 mn. million
GDP: 32.66 bn. million
Debt: 6.08 bn. million

President Joseph Kabila's constitutional term ends in 2016. Reports say the Mouvement du 23 Mars is regrouping in the east while rebels in Katanga will also prove to be a challenge for the national armed forces.

Côte d'Ivoire
Population: 20.81 mn. million
GDP: 33.96 bn. million
Debt: 11.28 bn. million

While former President Laurent Gbagbo will be tried at the International Criminal Court in the Hague, his wife Simone will be tried at home. President Alassane Dramane Ouattara is pushing infrastructure development and agriculture reform as his main policy objectives but security is still an issue.

Population: 0.886 mn. million
GDP: 1.58 bn. million
Debt: 833 mn. million

President Ismail Omar Guelleh has promised to step down in 2016, so barons in the governing Union pour la majorité présidentielle are already jockeying for position. Port improvements and the construction of a railway line to Ethiopia are the centrepieces of the plan to make Djibouti a logistical hub.

East Africa
Population: n/a million
GNI: n/a million
Debt: n/a million

East Africa

Population: 83.39 mn. million
GDP: 284.86 bn. million
Debt: 44.43 bn. million

The economy is growing again and, following his first meeting with United States President Barack Obama in September, President Abdel Fatah el Sisi is expecting a big increase in investment. He also wants a radical change in attitudes to religion.

Equatorial Guinea
Population: 0.778 mn. million
GDP: 15.39 bn. million
Debt: n/a million

President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo's Partido Democrático de Guinea Ecuatorial government is ratcheting up its rhetoric about diversifying the economy away from oil but worries about the business climate are deterring investment in planned refineries and chemical projects. The succession will continue to be an issue.

Population: 6.536 mn. million
GDP: 3.87 bn. million
Debt: 0.94 bn. million

Eritreans continue to flee abroad to avoid conscription and divisions within the military are growing. Conditions for ordinary citizens are also worsening, an issue that President Issayas Aferworki has yet to address.

Population: 96.51 mn. million
GDP: 49.85 bn. million
Debt: 12.55 bn. million

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and his ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front will be pushing major infrastructure projects including the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and the railway linking Addis Ababa to Djibouti.

Population: 1.711 mn. million
GDP: 19.3 bn. million
Debt: 2.8 bn. million

President Ali Ben Bongo Ondimba and the governing Parti Democratique Gabonais are struggling to deliver on promises such as the construction of 5,000 houses a year. They hope the oil companies awarded licences in 2013 will rush to drill in Gabon's pre-salt acreage.

Population: 1.909 mn. million
GDP: 0.9 bn. million
Debt: 0.5 bn. million

Opposition problems with forming a united front against the increasingly eccentric, despotic President Yahya Jammeh will persist while he pursues his ruthless campaign against domestic enemies. Jammeh is even more isolated now after quitting the Commonwealth and cutting ties with Taiwan.

Population: 26.44 mn. million
GDP: 42.7 bn. million
Debt: 11.2 bn. million

Cutting state spending, tackling worsening corruption and pushing ahead with oil and gas development will dominate President John Dramani Mahama's year. The opposition New Patriotic Party will pick its presidential candidate and Nana Akufo-Addo is odds-on favourite.

Population: 12.04 mn. million
GDP: 6.2 bn. million
Debt: 3.1 bn. million

After last year's elections, politics moves from the streets to the People's Palace. So far President Alpha Condé, who will seek re-election in 2015, has made no move to reconcile with the opposition. The Simandou iron-ore court case drags on but Rio Tinto and its Chinese partners may make progress on their part.

Guinea Bissau
Population: 1.746 mn. million
GDP: 0.9 bn. million
Debt: 0.28 bn. million

The troubled transitional government postponed national elections until March 2014, but even these are in doubt unless donors finance the polls. Security sector reform and fighting international drugs trade remain off the agenda.

Population: 45.55 mn. million
GDP: 46.4 bn. million
Debt: 10.2 bn. million

The International Criminal Court's cases against President Uhuru Kenyatta and Vice-President William Ruto will test their alliance. The government aims to reform the security services and rejuvenate the economy but, after Westgate, the terrorist threat still looms.

Population: 2.098 mn. million
GDP: 2.6 bn. million
Debt: 0.7 bn. million

Tom Thabane’s coalition government, which came to power at the 2012 elections, has proved remarkably stable but the unpredictability of receipts from the Southern African Customs Union is hampering development plans.

Population: 4.397 mn. million
GDP: 1.9 bn. million
Debt: 0.4 bn. million

Corruption and security concerns are weighing down President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf's government as the United Nations' mission contemplates its exit. China Union's iron-ore mine is set to export its first production but other investments face significant delays.

Population: 6.253 mn. million
GDP: 96.3 bn. million
Debt: n/a million

Local forces are weakening the legitimacy of the transitional government and rebel groups have greatly reduced Libya's oil output. The government has made little progress on drafting a new constitution, so its mandate will need to be renewed in early 2014.

Population: 23.57 mn. million
GDP: 10.7 bn. million
Debt: 2.7 bn. million

A low election turnout signals a tough year ahead for new President Hery Rajaonarimampianina; the poll was supposed to end five years of political deadlock. The country remains divided but at least the donor money will now return. Investment expectations are high for oil and minerals.

Population: 16.83 mn. million
GDP: 3.8 bn. million
Debt: 1.2 bn. million

President Joyce Banda and her People's Party face elections in May. Banda's handling of the corruption crisis, which brought the suspension of foreign aid, could determine her chances at the ballot box.

Population: 15.77 mn. million
GDP: 11.4 bn. million
Debt: 2.9 bn. million

President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta's government talks about reconciliation and decentralisation but the conflict in the north remains unsettled. Donors have pledged US$4.4 billion to help restart the economy.

Population: 3.984 mn. million
GDP: 4.5 bn. million
Debt: 2.7 bn. million

Opposition forces are threatening to boycott the July 2014 presidential polls if President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz's government rejects demands for transparency. He will co-opt the minor parties and keep Mauritania out of he anti-Islamist military campaign.

Population: 1.300 mn. million
GDP: 12.1 bn. million
Debt: 1.4 bn. million

Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam and the governing Labour Party are renegotiating the controversial tax treaty with India to make it more difficult for companies to exploit its terms. Electoral reform is also up for debate before parliamentary election are held in 2015.

Population: 33.49 mn. million
GDP: 107.1 bn. million
Debt: 29.0 bn. million

King Mohammed VI has set several tasks for the Islamist-led government under Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane, including fuel subsidy reform. Rabat will continue to side-track the United Nations on the issue of independence for Western Sahara.

Population: 26.47 mn. million
GDP: 15.7 bn. million
Debt: 4.0 bn. million


Population: 2.348 mn. million
GDP: 12.8 bn. million
Debt: n/a million

Hage Geingob will represent the governing party in this year's general elections as he continues to fight off threats from SWAPO's conservative wing. With schisms in the opposition Rally for Democracy and Progress, Geingob is assured an easy victory.

Population: 18.54 mn. million
GDP: 7.3 bn. million
Debt: 1.4 bn. million

Security remains a central concern of President Mahamadou Issoufou's government after the terrorist attacks in May 2013. The government is in talks with France's Areva to renegotiate uranium mining deals and wants to attract more oil exploration.

Population: 178.5 mn. million
GDP: 283.7 bn. million
Debt: 13.1 bn. million

Nigeria is predicted to be Africa's biggest economy by the end of the year. Much criticised President Goodluck Jonathan is struggling after defections from his People's Democratic Party, which are likely to continue. Boko Haram's Islamist insurgency in the north-east, communal violence in the Middle Belt, sabotage and piracy in the Niger Delta all indicate poor prospects for peaceful elections in 2015.

Population: 12.10 mn. million
GDP: 7.7bn million
Debt: 1.1 bn. million

President Paul Kagame, who is due to step down in 2017, must deal with claims by United Nations' investigators that Rwanda supports the Mouvement du 23 Mars rebels in Congo-Kinshasa and also the widespread suspicion that his government is behind the wave of recent assassinations of opponents of his regime.

São Tomé & Príncipe
Population: 0.198 mn. million
GDP: 0.3 bn. million
Debt: 0.2 bn. million

Instability in governance could continue as the 2014 elections are likely to deliver a hung parliament or rocky legislative alliance. The list of companies that have given up on exploration for oil and gas continues to grow as excitement about the archipelago's prospects dims.

Population: 14.55 mn. million
GDP: 14.3 bn. million
Debt: 4.3 bn. million

June's local elections will test President Macky Sall's popularity. Much criticism followed the weak response to the power and water supply crises but Sall has grand plans to pull the economy out of stagnation; the government is looking for investors for the Falémé iron mine that it took back from ArcelorMittal.

Population: 0.092 mn. million
GDP: 1.1 bn. million
Debt: 1.7 bn. million

President James Michel's government plans an offshore financial centre to complement the flourishing tourism sector, which is now attracting more interest from Asia. The Seychelles National Party is calling for electoral reforms that would benefit smaller political parties.

Sierra Leone
Population: 6.205 mn. million
GDP: 4.5 bn. million
Debt: 1.0 bn. million

The opposition claims that Ernest Bai Koroma intends to remain President beyond 2017, the official end of his term. Investment in the mining sector has slowed, while corruption, youth unemployment and the lack of infrastructure present major challenges for the All People's Congress government.

Population: 10.81 mn. million
GDP: n/a million
Debt: 3.0 bn. million

Al Shabaab's attacks will continue as President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud's government struggles to establish its legitimacy. Ethiopia's troops are set to join the African Union Mission in Somalia.

South Africa
Population: 52.52 mn. million
GDP: 375.9 bn. million
Debt: 113.5 bn. million

After winning the May elections, the pressure is mounting on the government to deliver on its promises. The unions and a slate of new opposition parties will seek to exploit a rising wave of dissatisfaction with the governing African National Congress.

South Sudan
Population: 11.74 mn. million
GDP: 13.5 bn. million
Debt: n/a million

President Salva Kiir Mayardit may have to adapt his authoritarian style if he is still in power after the bloody conflict between the army and mutineers led by ex-Vice-president Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon. Stability is needed to bring back aid and investment.

Southern Africa
Population: n/a million
GNI: n/a million
Debt: n/a million

Southern Africa

Population: 38.76 mn. million
GDP: 50.5 bn. million
Debt: 21.1 bn. million

President Omer Hassan Ahmed el Beshir says that he will step down this year but the threat of prosecution by the International Criminal Court could lead him to attempt to maintain the status quo. The ruling National Congress Party will try to co-opt other parties into the government to improve its image.

Population: 1.268 mn. million
GDP: 3.8 bn. million
Debt: 0.6 bn. million

King Mswati III is not inclined to open up the political system to pro-democracy forces. Instead, he is seeking to counter opposition demands with higher public spending. Economic growth remains at a standstill.

Population: 50.76 mn. million
GDP: 31.8 bn. million
Debt: 10.0 bn. million

President Jakaya Kikwete and the Chama Cha Mapinduzi government have been unable to push through constitutional changes ahead of national elections in 2015. The debate has nonetheless raised tensions with Zanzibar. Civil society activists continue to question the CCM government's ability to manage the coming gas boom.

Population: 6.993 mn. million
GDP: 4.0 bn. million
Debt: 0.7 bn. million

Opposition groups such as the Collectif sauvons le Togo and the Coalition arc-en-ciel are growing in strength after last year's contested elections. President Faure Gnassingbé’s governing Union pour la République will introduce constitutional reforms.

Population: 11.02 mn. million
GDP: 49.4 bn. million
Debt: 22.3 bn. million

Interim Premier and ex-Industry Minister Mehdi Jomaa will lead a government of technocrats to steer through a new constitution and prepare for national elections this year. His predecessor, Ali Larayedh from the Islamist Ennahda party, stepped down on 9 January after protests from trades unionists and leftists.

Population: 38.85 million
GDP: 21.3 bn. million
Debt: 3.8 bn. million

The succession to President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and new restrictions on free speech and democracy will dominate debate. Disputes over the misappropriation of donor funds continue, but oil production should begin in earnest after delays over enabling legislation.

Western Sahara
Population: n/a million
GDP: n/a million
Debt: n/a million

Although pressure mounts on Morocco, with the Annual Report on the African Union Commission for 2013 providing the latest call for self-determinism in Western Sahara, progress on the issue will remain painfully slow. Moroccan offshore oil ambitions will increase tensions within the territory and with neighbouring Algeria, which has long been critical of Morocco's claim to the Saharawi region.

Population: 15.02 mn. million
GDP: 23.0 bn. million
Debt: 4.3 bn. million

After the death on 28 October 2014 of Michael Sata, a presidential by-election is to be held on 20 January. The opposition Movement for Multiparty Democracy and United National Independence Party are preparing for battle but the governing Patriotic Front is likely to benefit from its incumbency and also from the public's sympathy for the loss of its leader.

Population: 14.60 mn. million
GDP: 10.9 bn. million
Debt: 6.2 bn. million

President Robert Mugabe celebrates his 90th birthday in February, giving rise to more calls for the governing Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front to prepare for the succession. Investors continue to worry about the indigenisation programme and the weakening of the banking sector.