South Africa has many attributes that make it a worthy representative of Africa on the world stage, but is set to lose its first place.
If Nigeria plays its cards right, it could become Africa’s only global superpower. It already has the continent’s biggest economy, a huge military budget and a fair record of regional engagement.
By 2040 it will also be the fourth largest country in the world after India, China and the United States.
New research by the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) shows that out of Africa’s “Big Five” powerful countries – Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, Algeria and Ethiopia – Nigeria is “the African country with by far the greatest capabilities” to play a global role.
The choice of the Big Five is based on the demographic, economic and military size of these countries, as well as their historical role as regional leaders.