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Top 20 Strongest Militaries in Africa

Top 20 Strongest Militaries in Africa

Which are the top 20 strongest militaries in Africa?

Read on to find out here.

African militaries has evolved, Countries such as Egypt is known to one of the strongest military forces in the world. Due to political instability, terrorist insurgency among others, Most countries in Africa now have some of the most empowered military bases.


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Among the criteria used in ranking military power includes; the number of serving military members, the naval force, fuel availability for military operations, the number of jet fighters, the defense budget, and logistics flexibility. with that being said lets take a look at the top 20 strongest militaries in Africa.

Top 20 Strongest Militaries in Africa


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Libya’s military has some 100,000 troops, more than 2,000 tanks, 374 aircraft and a navy and includes two patrol submarines (Reuters). The statistics includes Ground forces, Navy and Air Forces.

Due to the instability in the country in 2011 civil war and the outbreak of a new conflict in 2014, the Libyan ground forces remain structurally divided, with components constituting the Tobruk-based Libyan National Army (LNA) under the command of Khalifa Haftar.


The forces loyal to the GNA have been fighting against various other factions in Libya, including the Islamic State. Some efforts have been made to create a truly national army, but most of the forces under the Tripoli government’s command consist of various militia groups, such as the Tripoli Protection Force, and local factions from cities like Misrata and Zintan.


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Another strong military force in Africa can be found in Sudan. The military has an active force of 104,00 0 personnel, 191 aircraft, 410 combat tanks, 403 armoured fighting vehicles and a total of 18 naval assets. Most of this equipment is supplied from Russia and China as the country is under sanctions from Western countries.

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During the Omar al-Bashir era, the Sudanese armed forces consisted of the Land Forces, the Sudanese Navy, the Sudanese Air Force, and the Popular Defence Forces. They also previously had Joint Integrated Units formed together with rebels of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army. The Armed Forces operated under the authority of the People’s Armed Forces Act 1986.


DR Congo

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The majority of FARDC members are land forces, but it also has a small air force and an even smaller navy. The three services may have numbered between 144,000 and 159,000 personnel. In addition, there is a presidential force called the Republican Guard, but it and the Congolese National Police (PNC) are not part of the Armed Forces.


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The Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) is the military force of Ethiopia. Civil direction of the military is carried out through the Ministry of Defense, which oversees the ground forces, air force, as well as the Defense Industry Sector.

Ethiopia has about 162,000 fighting personnel, 92 Aircraft, 24 fighters and 33 helicopters. They also have 365 tanks, 480 Towed Artillery and 130 Armored vehicles.

Top 20 Strongest Militaries in Africa


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The Royal Moroccan Armed Forces are large, expensive and well-trained with extensive experience in counter-insurgency, desert warfare and combined air-land operations. Further experience has come from participating in peace-keeping operations. 

However, as Morocco has not fought a conventional interstate war since the Algerian-Moroccan war of 1963, they have little experience in state-on-state warfare.

Morocco has an estimated 510,000 personnel, of which 310,000 are active personnel. The airforce have 249 aircraft strength, 83 fighters and 64 helicopters. The Army have 3,033 tanks, 8,000 armored vehicles, 156 Towed Artillery and 144 Rocket projectors.



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The Angolan Armed Forces or FAA are the military of Angola. The FAA include the General Staff of the Armed Forces and three components: the Army, the Navy and the National Air Force. 

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Angola has one of the strongest militaries in Africa. They have 120,000 personnel, 100,000 of them are active. the air force have 300 aircraft, 72 fighters, 164 helicopters and 15 attack helicopters.

The Land Forces have 379 tanks, 600 Armored vehicles, 350 Towed Artillery and 115 Rocket projectors.



Nigerian Military
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The Nigerian Armed Forces are the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. They are composed of: the Army, the Air Force and the Navy.

The Nigerian Military have 200,000 personnel, of which 120,000 are active personnel. The Air force have 125 Air craft, 8 fighters, 41 helicopters and 15 attack helicopters

The Land forces have 355 tanks, 2000 Armored vehicles, 339 Towered Artillery and 59 Rocket projectors.

South Africa

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The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) comprises the armed forces of South Africa. The commander of the SANDF is appointed by the President of South Africa from one of the armed services. They are in turn accountable to the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans of the Defence Department.

The military as it exists today was created in 1994, following South Africa’s first multiracial election in April of that year and the adoption of a new constitution. It replaced the South African Defence Force and also integrated uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) and the Azanian People’s Liberation Army (APLA) guerilla forces.


The South African Military have 81,500 military personnel, 66,500 active and 15,000 reserve personnel. The Air Force have 221 Air craft, 17 fighters, 87 helicopters, and 12 attack helicopters.

The land Forces have 195 tanks, 3000 Armored vehicles, 72 Towed Artillery and 50n rocket projectors.

South Africa is 3rd of top 20 strongest militaries in Africa.



Algeria military forces
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The Algerian People’s National Armed Forces is the military forces of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria. Algeria has a large military to counter foreign and domestic threats.

The People’s National Army include ground forces, the Algerian Air Force, the Navy and the Algerian Air Defence Force.

The Algerian Military have about 470,000 personnel, 130,000 active personnel and 150,000 reserve personnel.

The Air force have 551 Air craft, 102 fighters, 268 helicopters and 45 attack helicopters.


The Land Forces have 2,024 tanks,7,000 Armored vehicles, 396 Towed Artillery and 300 rocket projectors.

Algeria has the second strongest military in Africa.


Egyptian army
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The Egyptian Armed Forces are the state military organisation responsible for the defense of Egypt. They consist of the Egyptian Army, Egyptian Navy, Egyptian Air Force and Egyptian Air Defense Forces.

The Egyptian consist of 1.3 million personnel, 450,000 active personnel and 480,000 reserve personnel.


The Air force have 1,053 air craft, 258 fighters, 304 helicopters and 91 attack helicopters.

The Land forces have 3,735 tanks, 11,000 Armored vehicles, 2,200 Towed Artillery and 1,235 rocket projectors.

Egypt has the strongest military in Africa.


Top 20 Strongest Militaries in Africa

3South Africa29
8DR Congo71
18Burkina Faso97
21Côte d’Ivoire104

figures and facts were sourced from GFP