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

The oil price crash hurts Algeria more than most, with foreign reserves falling from US$200 billion in mid-2014 to about $120 bn. in early 2015. Spending cuts will add to domestic pressure; parts of the south are rebellious and jihadists threaten the ageing regime of ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, while power-brokers jockey for position.

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

President José Eduardo dos Santos's government will scramble to cut budgets as receipts from oil sales plummet after the world price crash, putting pressure on social spending and big development projects. The fate of Vice-President Manuel Vicente will signal succession plans ahead of the 2017 elections.

Population: 150mn. million
GDP: 118.7 bn. million
Debt: 25.0 bn million

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will continue to scour Africa for arable land prospects as food security concerns mount. Elections scheduled for January 2014 will preclude Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami from participating.

Population: 10.60 mn. million
GDP: 9.24 bn. million
Debt: 2.37 bn. million

After the Constitutional Court ruled out a third term for President Thomas Boni Yayi, competition for the succession should dominate politics this year. He may yet try to bend the rules but could instead focus on his legacy, including the planned rail link to Niger and on Benin’s role in the new regional force to fight Boko Haram.

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

Opposition hopes that President Seretse Khama Ian Khama may reign in the widely-feared Directorate of Intelligence Services in his second term are likely to be disappointed. Renewed clashes with unions are likely but diamond output will drive GDP growth of around 5.6%.

Population: million
: million
Debt: million

Population: 0.4 mn million
: million
Debt: million

Burkina Faso
Population: 17.42 mn. million
GDP: $13.4 bn. million
Debt: $2.56 bn. million

After almost three decades of autocratic rule under Blaise Compaoré, this is transition year. His presidential guard remains a menacing presence presence that most Burkinabès want to see the back of and then there are the machinations of the former President himself, all of which requires deft hands.

Population: 10.48 mn. million
GDP: $3.04 bn. million
Debt: $0.68 bn. million

President Pierre Nkurunziza's third term ambition may spark tension. Forces nationales de libération rebels could resume their guerrilla war. Local polls are on 26 May, the first round of the presidential elections on 26 June, senate elections on 17 July – and any second round of the presidentials on 27 July.

Population: million
: million
Debt: million

Population: 22.82 mn. million
GDP: $32.2 bn. million
Debt: $4.92 bn. million

The Boko Haram threat dominates political thinking in Yaoundé. Economic and social pressures abound, notably youth unemployment and the fall in commodity prices. Future security hangs on the success of the regional military force approved by the African Union, for which Cameroon has promised troops.

Cape Verde
Population: 0.54 mn. million
GDP: $1.98 bn. million
Debt: $1.48 bn. million

Economic growth and labour law reform will dominate the debate ahead of a close-run election in 2016. The governing Partido Africano da Independência de Cabo Verde's reforms have cost support. The centrist opposition Movimento para a Democracia of Ulisses Correia e Silva is promising jobs and tax cuts.

Central African Republic
Population: 4.709 mn. million
GDP: $1.73 bn. million
Debt: $0.57 bn. million

The July elections are delayed until early 2016. In many areas in the countryside, there is no security; in towns, skirmishes and highway banditry make life extremely dangerous. Many blame the interim government. Recurrent divisions affect both the Séléka and the Anti-Balaka, making any settlement difficult.

Population: 13.21 mn. million
GDP: $15.8 bn. million
Debt: $2.22 bn. million

Despite unease about governance and human rights, taking the lead against regional jihadists allows Idriss Déby Itno a high degree of diplomatic support from France and the United States. He will run again in 2016's elections, saying he wants to finish the job.

Population: 1.4 bn. million
GDP, $: 9 trn. million
Debt: $548.6 bn. million

New President Xi Jinping came to office in late 2012 seeking to curb corruption and maintain better relations with the people while avoiding implementing reforms that might undermine the ruling party. The economy will grow more modestly in 2013 as evidence of a deepening inequality increases.

Population: 0.752 mn. million
GDP: $0.72 bn. million
Debt: $0.15 bn. million

President Ikililou Dhoinine is preparing to hand over to a candidate elected from Grande Comore in 2016 under a system of political rotation that faces growing criticism. Ex-President Ahmed Abdallah Sambi from Anjouan says he will run in 2016 even though he is ineligible under the rules.

Population: 4.559 mn. million
GDP: $14.1 bn. million
Debt: $3.45 bn. million

Constitutional change to permit President Denis Sassou-Nguesso to run for another seven-year term in 2016 is on the cards. The oil price slump may curb plans to assuage public opinion with development projects neglected for 30 years.

Population: 69.36 mn. million
GDP: $32.7 bn. million
Debt: $6.08 bn. million

Despite pressure from inside and outside Congo-Kinshasa, President Joseph Kabila could still find reasons to postpone the polls but the parliamentary and presidential elections are due to be held on 27 November. According to the constitution, he is not allowed to seek another term.

Côte d'Ivoire
Population: 20.81 mn. million
GDP: $34.0 bn. million
Debt: $11.3 bn. million

Re-election should be no problem for President Alassane Ouattara, whose main opponents lead deeply divided parties. In his second term, ADO must tackle redistribution and ensure that impressive economic growth benefits more Ivorians – and keep the unruly, increasingly restless military in check.

Population: 0.886 mn. million
GDP: $1.58 bn. million
Debt: $0.83 bn. million

Despite poor health, President Ismael Omar Guelleh may stand in 2017's elections. Financially, Djibouti continues to benefit from the rents created by the regional crises but there is also a sense of fragility, despite the strong support from the United States and France.

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

East Africa

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

East Africa

Population: 83.39 mn. million
GDP: $284.9 bn. million
Debt: $44.4 bn. million

The economy will grow by 4.5% but there will be no International Monetary Fund loan agreement. Parliamentary elections will see a low turnout and result in a large pro-General Abdel Fatah el Sisi loyalist, nationalist majority. The armed insurgency mainly confined to Sinai will intensify.

Equatorial Guinea
Population: 0.778 mn. million
GDP: $15.4 bn. million
Debt: n/a million

Efforts will continue to alter the oil-producing country's image as an old-school dictatorship. President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, in power since his 1979 coup, seems to be preparing his son Teodorín's succession despite his reputation and opposition even from within the ruling clan. Export revenue plunges.

Population: 6.54 mn. million
GDP: $3.87 bn. million
Debt: $0.95 bn. million

United Nations sanctions continue while Asmara supports regional rebel groups. Mining sector expansion has little impact on economic constraints. Relaxation of controls encourages refugee returns and more diaspora funding. No change in relations with Ethiopia. Amidst succession manoeuvres, the external opposition is split and in dispute.

Population: 96.51 mn. million
GDP: $49.9 bn. million
Debt: $12.6 bn. million

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and the EPRDF government will win May’s election over a crushed opposition. Economic growth is strong, driven by agro-industrialisation, low oil prices and increasing energy supplies. Relations with Egypt over the Nile Dam remain cool – and with Eritrea, it's no change.

Population: 1.711 mn. million
GDP: $20.7 bn. million
Debt: $4.32 bn. million

With elections in 2016, President Ali Ben Bongo Ondimba fears the impact of low oil prices more than the formerly banned Union Nationale party led by the ailing André Mba Obame. Ex-African Union Commission Chairman Jean Ping is struggling to unite the opposition.

Population: 1.91 mn. million
GDP: $0.92 bn. million
Debt: $0.52 bn. million

December’s failed coup attempt elicited little sympathy for Yahya Jammeh's regime, whose record on human rights and corruption faces open criticism from the United Nations and Commonwealth. Yet, for now, a serious challenge to him and his Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction ahead of the 2016 presidential elections remains unlikely.

Population: 26.4 mn. million
GDP: $35.5 bn. million
Debt: $15.8 bn. million

Faced with power cuts, delays on gas production and lower oil export revenue, President John Mahama's government has secured a loan of almost US1 billion from the International Monetary Fund. Opposition leader Nana Akufo-Addo is campaigning for economic reform and building support ahead of elections in late 2016.

Population: 12.0 mn. million
GDP: $6.77 bn. million
Debt: $1.20 bn. million

2015 is election year and President Alpha Condé has much to do to prove that he merits a second term. Campaigning is going to be hard and dirty – and likely along ethno-political lines. Ebola will recede further but the mining sector will not realise its full potential.

Guinea Bissau
Population: 1.75 mn. million
GDP: $1.04 bn. million
Debt: $0.28 bn. million

The political and economic recovery will continue. With international support, the Partido Africano para a Independência da Guiné e Cabo Verde-led all-party government will contribute to stability but expectations are high. Corruption and lack of capacity will remain challenges for a government with much to accomplish.

Hong Kong SAR
Population: 7.1 mn million
: million
Debt: million

Population: 1.2 bn. million
GDP, $: 1.9 trn. million
Debt: 290.3 bn. million

As politicians prepare for general elections next year, the new party leaders are establishing their positions. Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata (Indian People's Party) could face off against Rahul Gandhi of the Bharatiya Rastriya Kangres (Indian National Congress). Meanwhile, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's INC-led government must deal with the urgent challenges of fighting corruption and improving infrastructure.

Population: 244.5 mn. million
GDP, $: 895 bn. million
Debt: 170 bn. million

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, in office since 2004, plans to step down after general elections in 2014. Retired General Prabowo Subianto and the opposition Gerindra party hope that the sweeping out of the incumbent Governor from Jakarta in September 2012 is a sign of the public's dissatisfaction with the status quo.

Population: 127.6 mn. million
GDP, $: 5.1 trn. million
Debt: 1.5 trn. million

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the Liberal Democratic Party returned to power on 26 December 2012 and formed a right-wing government that aims to boost business. Tension with the Chinese neighbours is likely to increase. Abe has called for the Central Bank to fight deflation and announced robust spending plans as Japan's economy heads for another three quarters of contraction.

Population: 45.6 mn. million
GDP: $62.7 bn. million
Debt: $13.5 bn. million

2015 will see economic turbulence and more squeezes on freedom, including draconian media and security laws. The government's priorities are devolution and infrastructure but restive county governors will pose more challenges. The US$5 billion railway will proceed but export receipts are down, whetting the Jubilee government's appetite for debt

Population: 6.4 mn million
: million
Debt: million

Population: 2.10 mn. million
GDP: $2.46 bn. million
Debt: $0.89 bn. million

Prime Minister Tom Thabane and his All Basotho Convention are likely to win the 28 February elections called early in a bid to relieve tension between the parties following August's failed coup attempt. That was blamed on renegade Lesotho Defence Force Commander Tlali Kamoli, now holed up in the mountains and deemed 'too risky' to arrest.

Population: 4.40 mn. million
GDP: $2.07 bn. million
Debt: $0.54 bn. million

The opposition claims President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is more interested in ensuring that her successor after the 2017 polls will come from her Unity Party than in post-Ebola planning and reconstruction. The defeat of her son, Robert, by football star George Weah in the Montserrado County senatorial election has boosted the opposition.

Population: 6.25 mn. million
GDP: $49.3 bn. million
Debt: n/a million

The Central Bank of Libya will struggle to support the national budget as most of its remaining foreign capital reserves are illiquid. Subsidy and salary cuts plus shortages of power and other essentials will provoke greater violence, including jihadist attacks, despite United Nations-brokered peace talks.

Population: 23.6 mn. million
GDP: $11.2 bn. million
Debt: $2.85 bn. million

New Premier General Jean Ravelonarivo will be under pressure to deliver better services in 2015, particularly from the corruption-ravaged Jirama electricity company. The new team’s success will depend on keeping sweet the supporters of influential ex-President Marc Ravalomanana while fending off the challenge of former transitional regime leader Andry Rajoelina.

Population: 16.8mn. million
GDP: $4.41 bn. million
Debt: $1.56 bn. million

More convictions will follow Cashgate. A Supreme Court ruling on a challenge to parliamentary election results could justify opposition claims of rigging and throw the government into disarray. With no aid, the economy is expected to worsen, especially after the floods.

Population: 29.9 mn. million
GDP, $: 327.9 bn. million
Debt: 81.5 bn. million

Prime Minister Najib Razak and his Barisan Nasional coalition will focus on palm oil exploration primarily in West Africa after winning a general election in May.

Population: 15.8 mn. million
GDP: $12.0 bn. million
Debt: $2.56 bn. million

Peace talks continue. Tuareg rebels demand autonomy for the north but the government and public favour only decentralisation. After 2014's presidential jet and military procurement scandals, new Premier Modibo Keïta will need all his savvy gravitas to restore donor confidence.

Population: 3.98 mn. million
GDP: $4.29 bn. million
Debt: $3.57 bn. million

President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz's re-election won him five more years but he must confront jihadists in the region and perceived enemies within. Social problems are exacerbated by climate change and ethnic divisions. Commodity price falls will limit investment.

Population: 1.30 mn. million
GDP: $12.7 bn. million
Debt: $10.9 bn. million

The victory of the Militant Socialist Movement and the Parti Mauricien social démocrate coalition returned the veteran Anerood Jugnauth, 82, to the Premiership, promising to rebalance the economy, improve conditions for sugar and textile workers and maintain rapid growth in the financial services sector.

Population: 33.5 mn. million
GDP: $112.6 bn. million
Debt: $39.3 bn. million

Plunging oil prices could improve GDP and help Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane's Parti de la justice et du développement emerge on top in September's local polls and in 2016's parliamentary elections. Concern remains over the Western Sahara occupation. The King's health could become a question.

Population: 26.5 mn. million
GDP: $16.6 bn. million
Debt: $6.89 bn. million

President Filipe Nyusi's biggest first-term tests will be to prevent further political violence and keep gas sector development on track. A truce is likely with the opposition Resistência Nacional Moçambicana (Renamo). New oil and gas concessions will be awarded, marking the entry of some major international companies.

Myanmar (Burma)
Population: 61.1 mn million
: million
Debt: million

Population: 2.35 mn. million
GDP: $12.0 bn. million
Debt: n/a million

As the first non-Oshivambo President, Hage Geingob will prioritise party unity, ethnic balance and technocratic appointments in his new team. New gold, copper and uranium mines will expand GDP growth to 5.5%; poverty reduction and urban housing costs will be high on the agenda.

Population: 18.5 mn. million
GDP: $8.29 bn. million
Debt: $2.66 bn. million

Riots over the Charlie Hebdo cartoon and a baby trafficking scandal put Mahamadou Issoufou under pressure as he prepares to run for re-election early in 2016. A new welfare scheme and a rural development plan are due to start. Issoufou will work more closely with Chad and Nigeria to counter cross-border Boko Haram attacks.

Population: 178.5 mn. million
GDP: $594.3 bn. million
Debt: $13.8 bn. million

Opposition leader Muhammadu Buhari has the first serious chance to unseat an incumbent president in elections due in March, as worries grow over the government's response to economic troubles and to the Islamist insurgency. The outcome of the vote will be critical to stability and investment in Africa's biggest economy.

North Korea
Population: 24.9 mn. million
GDP, $: n/a million
Debt: n/a million

Kim Jong Un appears to be opening up the economy, but rocket launches and mixed messages about the country’s nuclear plans suggest that international negotiations may not bring much progress.

Population: 183.4 mn. million
GDP, $: 238.9 bn. million
Debt: 56.8 bn. million

President Mamnoon Hussain and his ruling Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz party face political and security challenges to contain numerous violent factions in the country. With exports to the United States falling, Pakistan will try to diversify its markets, courting many African countries in the process.

Population: 94.0 mn million
: million
Debt: million

Population: 12.1 mn. million
GDP: $8.00 bn million
Debt: $1.69 bn. million

United Nations and Congolese troops could force the Forces démocratiques pour la libération du Rwanda to surrender. President Paul Kagame is laying the ground to change the constitution and run for a third term in 2017. The Kigali Peace Marathon will be held on 24 May and Hillywood Film Festival in July.

São Tomé & Príncipe
Population: 0.20 mn. million
GDP: $0.36 bn. million
Debt: $0.21 bn. million

Sao Tomé's once bright ambitions of joining the African oil producers' club appear set to dim as companies cut back on exploration. It is a major setback for Premier Patrice Trovoada, a frontrunner to succeed President Manuel Pinto da Costa in 2016 and advocate of oil as an agent for change.

Population: 14.6 mn. million
GDP: $15.9 bn. million
Debt: $5.22 bn. million

President Macky Sall must prove to a sceptical public that his policies are working. Ex-President Abdoulaye Wade's attempts to get his son Karim out of gaol and cleared of corruption charges risk distracting and embarrassing the government.

Population: 0.09 mn. million
GDP: $1.47 bn. million
Debt: $2.71 bn. million

With presidential elections due in 2016, incumbent James Michel of the governing Parti Lepep has announced his candidacy. His biggest challenge is likely to come from Wavel Ramkalawan of the Seychelles National Party, which hopes to capitalise on growing differences between Michel and his Parti Lepep.

Sierra Leone
Population: 6.21 mn. million
GDP: $5.41 bn. million
Debt: $1.40 bn. million

The fallout from the crisis in London Mining and African Minerals and wobbly handling of the Ebola outbreak have weakened President Ernest Bai Koroma's government. Concern about corruption adds to his woes. A divided, ineffective opposition claims that he plans to extend his term beyond 2017.

Population: 5.4 mn. million
GDP, $: 268 bn. million
Debt: 25.6 bn. million

Singapore's economy is slowing down due to the global recession and laws that encourage the employment of low-skilled workers from abroad have proved unpopular with the public. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and the People’s Action Party, however, face no immediate threats to their developmental authoritarian system of rule.

Population: 10.8 mn. million
GDP: n/a million
Debt: $3.05 bn. million

The new cabinet will be as bad as its predecessor. Allegations about President Hassan Sheikh's circle will be confirmed, creating more diplomatic discontent. Al Shabaab will target cabinet members and launch attacks in Kenya without any strategic gain, as the situation slowly gets worse.

South Africa
Population: 52.5 mn. million
GDP: $341.2 bn. million
Debt: $139.8 bn. million

Eskom will battle to avert total blackout as President Jacob Zuma's ambition for a US$100 billion nuclear-energy project faces strong opposition. Cyril Ramaphosa's campaign to take over as African National Congress and national President will generate fierce debate within party and government. Public protests by ANC members will reach new heights.

South Korea
Population: 49.3 mn. million
GDP, $: 1.2 trn. million
Debt: million

Park Geun-Hye will become South Korea’s first female President in February after winning the December 2012 elections. Daughter of dictator Park Chung-hee, she won on a conservative ticket, pledging to impose stricter regulations on the chaebol conglomerates, strengthen the social welfare state and boost employment.

South Sudan
Population: 11.7 mn. million
GDP: $11.9 bn. million
Debt: n/a million

While its leaders fight over power-sharing and the spoils of office, the world's youngest state teeters on the edge of widespread famine. A collapse in the oil price, though, means they can't continue squandering national resources. As pressure for sanctions and intervention mounts, mediator IGAD seeks a new government by 9 July, Independence Day.

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

Southern Africa

Sri Lanka
Population: million
: million
Debt: million

Population: 38.8 mn. million
GDP: $70.0 bn. million
Debt: $22.4 bn. million

The governing National Congress Party's insistence on elections in April and in the face of the boycott by a united opposition is bringing the crisis to a head. As African, Arab and Western governments lose patience and worries grow about NCP Islamist international activity, the regime's future depends on how far it can compromise.

Population: 1.27 mn. million
GDP: $3.84 bn. million
Debt: $0.46 bn. million

Absolute monarch King Mswati III is set to step up political repression as his subjects face a weakening economy and worsening poverty. Activists will have plenty to campaign about including the trials of leading oppositionists Mario Masuku and Maxwell Dlamini, which will come under close scrutiny, regionally and internationally.

Population: 23.4 mn. million
GDP, $: 494 bn. million
Debt: million

The continuing rapprochement with China remains the most hotly debated political topic. Students organised protests in late 2012 to criticise the shrinking media space for outlets not connected to businessmen with links to China, but Taiwanese companies are increasingly signing deals on the mainland. A year after his re-election, pro-cooperation President Ma Ying-Jeou's approval ratings are already dropping and he may soon have to take some unpopular economic decisions.

Population: 50.8 mn. million
GDP: $36.6 bn. million
Debt: $13.0 bn. million

Polls will dominate. A constitutional referendum is slated for 30 April, while elections for councillors, MPs and the presidency take place in October. Sandwiched between them is the most keenly contested competition, the governing Chama cha Mapinduzi's presidential nomination process. A candidate will be selected by July.

Population: 64.5 mn. million
GDP, $: 377 bn. million
Debt: million

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission warned last year of the risk of more violence and instability. The military plays a major role in politics and President Yingluck Shinawatra has spent a lot of political capital trying to allow her fugitive brother Thaksin to return. Meanwhile, the ruling Pheu Thai party wants to implement more democratisation and decentralisation.

Population: 6.99 mn. million
GDP: $4.84 bn. million
Debt: $0.90 bn. million

President Faure Gnassingbé is likely to win a third term in elections in March. He inherited a constitution without limits on presidential terms and opposition efforts to change that are set to fail. Gnassingbé's row with Ecobank could prove economically and politically costly.

Population: 11.0 mn. million
GDP: $49.1 bn. million
Debt: $25.8 bn. million

88-year-old Béji Caïd Essebsi and his Nidaa Tounes party now lead a coalition in which Islamist Ennahda has agreed to play a minor role. Policy initiatives may move ahead but regional and social divisions remain. More than 1.5 million Libyan refugees are a burden on the country and security threats persist.

Population: 38.9 million
GDP: $26.1 bn. million
Debt: $4.36 bn. million

On 17 March in Kampala, the twelve accused of the July 2010 terror attacks will finally face trial. Troops could return from South Sudan after the military assistance agreement expires in June. And in November nominations for the 2016 general elections will be announced, when veteran President Yoweri Museveni is likely to seek a fifth term in office.

Population: 92 mn. million
GDP, $: 155.9 bn. million
Debt: million

The Communist Party of Vietnam government prides itself on providing peace and stability but has been slow to implement reforms. Foreign investment is losing momentum and the government faces trouble in the banking sector, where bad loans are at 10% or even higher. Corruption is rife in state-owned enterprises.

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

First drilling for oil in Moroccan-controlled waters could add to rising tension in early 2015, with United Nations-sponsored efforts to bring Morocco and the Polisario Front to renewed talks misfiring and African Union intervention rejected by Rabat. The Algeria-Morocco standoff will persist along with concern over human rights.

Population: 15.0 mn. million
GDP: $25.6 bn. million
Debt: $5.60 bn. million

President Edgar Lungu wants to improve Zambia's image and in May an African Union committee of ten foreign ministers (C10) will be in Lusaka to discuss United Nations Security Council reform. They will review the latest developments in the inter-governmental negotiations that began in 2009 in New York and C10's contribution.

Population: 14.6 mn. million
GDP: $13.7 bn. million
Debt: $8.19 bn. million

The succession enigma remains. Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa lacks real power as well as the popularity of his predecessor. Purges will continue at the expense of progress on the financial and economic fronts. The health of President Robert Mugabe, 91, will be continually monitored – and the First Lady's influence will escalate.