South Africa

With a population of about 50 million, South Africa has the continent’s largest economy. Its 2009 estimated GDP of $277 billion (U.S.) represents about 23% of Africa’s total economic output. Along with Nigeria, South Africa has by far the continent’s largest public stock market by market cap. The country’s market and leading stocks are components of the EAFE Emerging Markets Indexes, and its currency, the rand, is among the most actively traded emerging markets currencies in the world. The country has long been a major source for diamonds and it is the world’s largest producer of gold, platinum, manganese, chromium, vanadium and titanium.