List of Popular Natural Resources in Africa

The list of popular natural resources in Africa is extensively endless; little wonder, the other world continents, especially the western powers, are hovering around this little dark world paramountly because of its eye-catching bounties (resources). Veritably, Africa has 30% of the remaining mineral resources in the world. And 57% of Africa’s export earnings comes from hydrocarbons.

Recently discovered oil reserves have increased the importance of the commodity on African economies. From 1980 to 2012, proven oil reserves in Africa grew by 150%, making the continent as one of the largest oil producing cartels. Similarly, from 2009 to 2019, West Africa accounted the major success in gold discoveries amongst other list of popular natural resources in Africa.

While other continents are beginning to face depletion of resources, the African ore resources grow to be more abundant. This has made exploration activities in West Africa stronger than before. In 2020, West Africa received the third larger budget for exploration projects.

List of Popular Natural Resources in Africa

We’ll be making a list of popular natural resources in Africa in this very short article. Yours is to pay attention of the abundant blessings which the continent of Africa is pretending not to be thankful for.


Angola has overtaken Nigeria as the biggest oil producer in Africa. With over 9 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, Angola is committed to unleashing the full potential of its hydrocarbon sector. For decades, Nigeria has been Africa’s largest oil producer. But in recent years, theft and sabotage at production sites have hampered output. Petroleum authorities say more than 200,000 barrels are lost daily as a result, and that the trend is costing the country millions of dollars in revenue.


Diamond mining in South Africa has been operating for more than 150 years, with the first mine established by Cecil Rhodes in 1888 through his company De Beers — now the world’s biggest diamond miner. The continent of Africa is home to some of the top diamond producing nations with most of the world’s gem-quality diamonds mined there since the 1870s.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo was the second-largest African diamond-producing country that year, reaching a production volume of over 15 million carats.


Post estimates that the South African sugar cane crop will grow by 7 percent to 18.4 million metric tons (MT) in the 2022/23 market year (MY), up from 17.2 million MT in the 2021/22 MY. However, As of 2019, Uganda was the largest producer of sugar in East Africa with an output of 514 thousand metric tons.


Angola, Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mozambique, Namibia, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, and Tanzania are the ten key salt producing countries in Sub- Saharan Africa. The salt produced in these countries has a wide reach and potential to make the greatest impact on iodized salt coverage in the region.

Salt in Africa is also important because people need salt in their diets to survive. Salt could be used to preserve food, and also make bland food tasty. These qualities made salt very valuable. In fact, Africans sometimes cut up slabs of salt and used the pieces as money.


Africa’s two most profitable mineral resources are gold and diamonds. In 2008, Africa produced about 483 tons of gold, or 22 percent of the world’s total production. South Africa accounts for almost half of Africa’s gold production. Ghana, Guinea, Mali, and Tanzania are other major producers of gold.


Iron ore production in Africa is dominated by South Africa, Mauritania and Algeria. Many countries possess iron ore deposits that are as yet untapped/unmined. Iron played a central role in many societies of early Africa. It held both spiritual and material power. Physically, Africans used iron to create tools for agriculture, utensils for everyday life, and weapons for protection and conquest

Other list of popular natural resources in Africa are:

  • Cobalt
  • Uranium
  • Copper
  • Bauxite
  • Silver
  • Cocoa Beans
  • Tropical Timber
  • Tropical Fruit

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