10 Strongest Military in Africa (2024): See Nigeria’s Current Position

Last updated on January 24th, 2024 at 11:05 am

China, Russia or the United States might be the strongest military in the world because of the number of personnel she possesses, WMD’s, armory, tanks, fighter jets, e.t.c. But what countries in Africa have the highest military strength? This is what this post will seek to address.


Strongest Military Forces in Africa

The Global Fire Power ranking (GFP) measures countries’ military might each year and gives a power index number when comparing them to other countries.

Below is the latest ranking of 10 countries with the most powerful military force in Africa in 2024.


The table below, shows the 10 African countries having the strongest military power this 2024:

Rank Country Global Rank PwrIndx Score
1 Egypt 15th 0.2283
2 Algeria 26th 0.3589
3 Ethiopia 33rd 0.4632
4 South Africa 39th 0.5619
5 Nigeria 49th 0.7938
6 Kenya 55th 0.8702
7 Morocco 61st 1.0081
8 Tunisia 73rd 1.2491
9 Angola 74th 1.2881
10 Libya 76th 1.4119

Here is recent ranking of Africa’s most powerful military forces this 2024 from the lowest to the highest:


Libya has an active military comprising of 76,000 personnel, 400 tanks and 46 aircraft. With a population of 6,244,174, Libya’s defense budget is estimated at $3 billion and ranked 10th strongest military in Africa.

The Libyan National Army comprises of the ground forces, the air force and the navy. It was after the first Libyan civil war in 2011 that these armed bodies were formed.

After defeating the might of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime, the Libyan army Supply depots and bases were damaged during the civil war, this called for rebuilding the country’s damaged military infrastructure.

Yousef Mangoush was appointed the first Chief of Staff and the force was deployed to Kufra to intervene in a tribal conflict among its citizenry. In terms of equipment, we know that they are formidable and have ballistics in their barracks.


Angola has an active military comprising of 107,000 active front-line personnel, 140 tanks and 270 aircraft and 3,039,089 people that are fit for  service.

It is said that Angola has one of the largest air forces in Africa and that is why it is ranked the 9th best military in Africa.

The weapons of the Angolan armed forces are mostly Russian, Soviet and ex-Warsaw pact hardware. In fact, a chunk of its equipment were gotten in the 80s and 90s when most African nations were at civil war as there was hostilities with neighboring countries.

Some infantry weapons listed include: Rifles in service with Army include the AK-47, AKM, FN FAL, G3 Assault Rifle, SKS and IMI Tavor, Pistols include the Makarov pistol, Stechkin automatic pistol and the Tokarev TT pistol. Sub-machine guns include the Škorpion vz. 61, Star Z-45, Uzi and the FBP sub-machine gun, Anti-Tank weapons include the RPG-7, 9K111 Fagot (650 ordered in 1987), 40 RM-70 multiple rocket launchers, etc.


With a budget estimated at $550,000,000, Tunisia has 350 tanks and 139 aircraft with an active military personnel of 35,800 which ranked Tunisia, 8th country in Africa with the strongest military.

The Tunisian armed forces had an army of 40,500 personnel dully equipped with close to 84 main battle tanks and 48 light tanks. As for the Air Force, there are about 4,000 personnel, 27 combat aircraft and 43 helicopters.

The navy is slight higher as personnel are numbered to be 4,800 operating a total number of  25 patrol boats and 6 other craft.


Morocco has a large land mass with its population pegged at 32,649,130. Its active personnel in the military is 195,800 with a defense budget of $3.4 billion.

Morocco has 1,348 tanks and 323 aircraft in its arsenal. Morocco is ranked 7th strongest military in Africa this 2024.


Kenya’s defense budget is estimated at $595 million with about 12, 168, 138 fit for military service out of its population.

Kenya has an active front-line personnel of 24,120 and is ranked 6th strongest military force in Africa.


Nigeria military is ranked 5th position on this list of African countries with the highest military strength this 2024. Due to political instability, corruption and lack of latest equipment for its military, it still ranked 5th strongest country in Africa with military strength of 1,400 armored vehicles, 360 tanks, and 6,000 logistical vehicles at its disposal.

Nigeria’s air force boasts of nearly 300 aircraft and 25 high-powered naval vessels with defense budget estimated to be $2.33 billion. Nigeria, also called the giant of Africa is ranked fifth best military in Africa.


South Africa’s defense budget is estimated at $4.96 billion. South Africa has 191 tanks, 213 aircraft, and a total naval strength of 30.

Its aircraft and naval vessels are well-equipped with the latest technology.

The nation also have 62,082 active personnel and a reserve of 17,000. South Africa’s army is ranked 4th most powerful military in Africa 2023.


Ethiopia military strength is noticeable in her yearly defense budget of $340 million which ranks her third strongest military on the African continent.

With an arsenal that consists of 560 tanks and 81 aircraft, Ethiopia has an active personnel of 138,000 ground forces and a further 3,000 air force personnel.


Algerian military has an active front-line personnel of 120,000. They are one of the most equipped military in Africa with about 1,500 armored fighting vehicles at its disposal.

Algeria is among the African countries with the best military power. The nation’s defense budget is estimated at $10.57 billion.


Egypt is the strongest and most powerful nation in Africa. Egyptian military is the strongest among other countries in Africa because of the size of its armed forces.

Egypt has 4,767 tanks and 1,100 aircraft. Its total naval strength is 237. Egyptian soldiers are well-equipped and well-trained, but are inferior to Israeli soldiers in terms of weaponry and training.

As of 2011, the Egyptian Armed forces have more than 438,500 active personnel, in addition to 800,000 personnel available in reserve and over 400,000 paramilitary personnel making it one of the largest armies in the world. it also has the largest defense budgets in the world estimated at $7.85 billion.


According to Global Fire Power, they ranked various African countries using 50 factors to determine how strong and powerful their military might is. The power index score (PwrIndx) provides an avenue for small and more technologically-advanced nations to compete together to know who has the most equipped armed forces.

While we don’t doubt our listings above, we provide GBF ranking of top 30 most powerful African countries with military strength of a world power this 2024.

  1. Egyptian military PwrIndx: 0.2081
  2. Algerian military force PwrIndx: 0.4659
  3. South African Army PwrIndx: 0.5405
  4. Nigerian military PwrIndx: 0.7007
  5. Ethiopian Army PwrIndx: 0.7361
  6. Morocco Airforce PwrIndx: 0.8244
  7. Angolan Military PwrIndx: 0.8379
  8. Sudan Forces PwrIndx: 1.0051
  9. Democratic Republic of the Congo Army PwrIndx: 1.0631
  10. Zambian Armed Forces PwrIndx: 1.3035
  11. Tunisian Forces PwrIndx: 1.3322
  12. Libyan Army PwrIndx: 1.3696
  13. Zimbabwe Air force PwrIndx: 1.3906
  14. Kenyan Air force PwrIndx: 1.4177
  15. Ugandan Navy PwrIndx: 1.5802
  16. Chad Armed Forces PwrIndx: 1.6041
  17. Tanzanian Army PwrIndx: 1.7109
  18. Malian Military PwrIndx: 1.7172
  19. Cameroon’s Military PwrIndx: 1.8242
  20. Ivory Coast Armed Forces PwrIndx: 1.8514
  21. Burkina Faso Military PwrIndx: 1.9009
  22. Ghanaian Navy PwrIndx: 1.9231
  23. Mozambique Navy PwrIndx: 1.9287
  24. Botswana Military PwrIndx: 2.0582
  25. South Sudan Air Force PwrIndx: 2.1281
  26. Niger Army PwrIndx: 2.1631
  27. Republic of the Congo Military PwrIndx: 2.4035
  28. Madagascar Armed Forces PwrIndx: 2.6168
  29. Namibian Navy PwrIndx: 2.6519
  30. Gabon Navy PwrIndx: 2.7173
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Oluchi Chukwu

Oluchi is a seasoned Information blogger, content developer and the editor of Nigerian Queries. She is a tech enthusiast who loves reading, writing and research

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