Africa’s defence and security expenditure is on the rise, presenting an opportunity for the defence industry.
Africa’s defence expenditure is projected to experience steady growth, according to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
Military expenditure in Africa increased by 1.2% in 2021 to an estimated $39.7 billion, SIPRI reported. The total for Africa was almost evenly split between North Africa (49% of the regional total) and sub-Saharan Africa (51%).
Over the decade 2012–21, African military spending followed three distinct trends. It first rose continuously between 2012 and 2014, followed by four years of decline until 2018 and then three consecutive years of growth until 2021, to give an overall increase of 2.5%.
This upward trend is fueled by Internal conflicts caused by political instability and terrorism determined the need for many African countries to improve their military strength.
As of 2022, Algeria had the highest defense spending budget in Africa, around 10 billion U.S. dollars. The country ranked 23rd in the world.
Nigeria and Morocco followed, with a budget of roughly 5.9 billion and 5.4 billion U.S. dollars, respectively. Overall, North Africa was the region allocating the largest budget to national defence on the continent.
In 2021, North African military expenditure totalled $19.6 billion, 1.7% lower than in 2020, but 29% higher than in 2012. The long-standing tensions between the two largest spenders in North Africa — Algeria and Morocco — worsened in 2021. Morocco’s spending grew by 3.4%, to $5.4 billion.
In 2021 military expenditure in sub-Saharan Africa totalled $20.1 billion, 4.1% higher than in 2020, but 14% lower than in 2012. The increase in 2021 was the first in sub-Saharan Africa since 2014 and was primarily driven by Nigeria, the biggest spender in the subregion. Between 2020 and 2021, Nigeria raised its military spending by 56%, to reach $4.5 billion.
The increase came in response to Nigeria’s various security challenges, such as attacks by Islamist extremists and separatist insurgents.
South Africa, the second largest spender in the subregion, cut its military expenditure by 13%, to $3.3 billion in 2021. The country’s prolonged economic stagnation has severely impacted its military budget.
In 2021 Kenya, Uganda and Angola were, respectively, the third, fourth and fifth largest military spenders in sub-Saharan Africa. Over the decade 2012–21, Kenya and Uganda have both faced insurgencies that have influenced their military spending.
Between 2012 and 2021, military expenditure rose by 203% in Uganda but remained relatively stable in Kenya (down by 4.5%).
This period is considered the best time to indicate your interest in boosting your influence in the continent.
NISECEXPO known as Nigeria Security Exhibition and Conference is Africa’s leading continental Defence and Security show and is the best opportunity to showcase equipment and technologies.
The show brings together under one roof in the beautiful cosmopolitan city of Abuja, Nigeria, defence and security forces, experts, professionals, buyers, end users and manufacturers of military and security equipment to network, negotiate and consummate trade deals.