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The Top 10 Best Armies in Africa (2023)

Any state that wants to defend its borders and interests must have military power. Africa is one of the continents with the strongest military. This shows that it is doing well in the face of world superpowers. Egypt is renowned to have the best army in Africa.

In this article, the top 10 best armies in Africa will be discussed subsequently.

Top 10 Best Armies in Africa

1. Egypt

Because of the size and strength of its military forces, Egypt is the best in Africa for military power. The North African country ranks a remarkable 12th in global rankings. The Egyptian Armed Forces include the Egyptian Army, Egyptian Navy, and Egyptian Air Force. Its active frontline force has nearly 500,000 members, which is far more than any of its African counterparts.

It boasts nearly 10,000 armored fighting vehicles, 60,000 logistical vehicles, 1,092 aircraft, and large oil reserves. Its naval strength, which includes both traditional carriers and nuclear-powered submarines, is what sets it apart.

Since the military coup that overthrew Morsi and brought al-Sisi to power, proposed amendments to the constitution gave the army more power, which activists believe could lead to intervention in civil matters. Egypt has the best army in Africa.

2. Algeria

Like its North African counterpart, Algeria has used its large maritime border to its benefit. It has developed massive military capabilities both on land and in the air. However, the country is ranked 27th in global rankings. Algeria has more than 130,000 soldiers on the frontline and nearly 2000 armored fighting vehicles at its disposal.

The country is in turmoil following the resignation of its long-serving president, but the military continues to be a voice for stability and civil unrest. The army chief expressed concern about the delay of the elections, which could fuel more unrest. Algeria’s army is the only entity capable of opposing the Islamic Forces, which almost overtook the country following independence.

3. South Africa

South Africa’s highly-trained military is used for international peacekeeping and international cooperation, even though it hasn’t been involved in any international military conflicts for some time. The country has a staggering $4.6 billion defense budget. the country has one of the best armies in Africa.

The country’s aircraft and naval vessels are well-equipped with the most recent technology. Although the number of active front-line personnel is less than 100,000, the country has the manpower and capabilities to do more. The South African military is a formidable force, thanks to its vast land system technology.

4. Nigeria

For the better part of the last decade, the West African army has been engaged in a war with the Boko Haram rebels. Despite the significant gains in Buhari’s first term, there have been some setbacks over the past year. The army is now more equipped for conventional warfare than the guerrilla tactics of the insurgents.

A plentiful domestic oil supply, like in Egypt and Algeria, eases the financial burden associated with military conflict. Nigeria is home to more than 1,800 armored vehicles, 250 tanks, and 6,000 logistics vehicles. It also has nearly 300 aircraft and 25 high-powered naval vessels. The country’s naval power is lower than that of its African counterparts, which have maritime borders.

5. Ethiopia

Ethiopia, despite being landlocked and lacking the benefits of a maritime frontier has one of the best armies in Africa. Ethiopia has spent its resources to develop its army and air force. Since he was elected Prime Minister, Aby Ahmad has maintained a friendly relationship with the military.

Military officials have been seen visiting some of the PM’s projects and hearing his vision for the country. Since the country has been in conflict for many years, it has become increasingly important to have a strong military due to the imminent threat from Al-Shabaab terrorist group. Ethiopia has nearly 2 million military-age citizens each year and an active force of 140,000 soldiers.

6. Angola

Three military components make up the Angola Armed Forces, namely the army, navy, and air force. The transformation agenda of President Lourenco was implemented earlier this year with the armies, which saw 88 generals be relieved from their duties.

The President refers to the oil reserves as the “Golden Goose”, which has enabled the country in Southern Africa to finance a large military budget. The country currently has up to 100,000 troops, supported by 585 armored combat vehicles, 300 tanks, and 285 pieces of aircraft, as well as a navy of 57 crafts.

7. Morocco

King Mohammed VI called for 10,000 Moroccans to be enrolled in compulsory military service. This number is expected to rise to 15,000 by 2020. The Moroccan Army currently has 196,000 soldiers. It has 291 aircraft, 2,720 armored vehicles, 1,109 tanks, and a navy with 121 assets.

In March, the army launched a joint military exercise with the USA, dubbed “African Lion 2019”, which was focused on training the troops for combating violent extremism. Its biggest weakness, is still the deployment of most of its troops in Western Sahara, despite a large amount of funding. However, it still has one of the best armies in Africa.

8. Sudan

The military overthrew Omar al-Bashir, a longtime ruler, after protests and a sit-in at its headquarters. As talks between civil representatives and military leaders have been deadlocked, reports of brutality by the military in Sudan over the past weeks have emerged.

Through the decades of al Bashir’s rule, the military power grew and in recent months it received funding from Saudi Arabia. The active military force includes 104,000 personnel, 191 planes, 410 combat tanks, 403 armored fighter vehicles, and 18 naval assets. As the country is subject to sanctions from Western countries, most of this equipment comes from Russia and China further making it one of the countries with the best armies in Africa.

9. The Democratic Republic of Congo

With 86 million people, the DRC has Africa’s second-largest population and one of the best armies in Africa. The United Nations Stabilization Mission Blue Helmets is still present in the country, as the country’s forces aren’t fully equipped to handle peace operations.

After a period of civil conflict, security reforms began in 2003. The country is still struggling to integrate non-state armed actors into its national security institutions. Although the country has a 134,000-strong active force, this force is still behind other forces in terms of training.

10. Libya

Since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi, there has been no peace or stability in North Africa. You probably guessed that the military has an impressive collection of equipment, which is a result of its oil dollars making the country one of the countries with the best armies in Africa.

Tripoli’s government is trying to stop the forces from entering the city, as it does not have a fully integrated force. The country still has 2,500 armored fighting vehicles, 500 tanks, and 600 towed artillery pieces. It also has 6,500 logistical vehicles.