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RANKED: Top 10 African countries with the largest military personnel

Top 10 African countries with the largest military

Amid speculation that there could be a World War III following the spark of new conflicts like Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, many have been left questioning which African nation has the largest armed forces.

Between ongoing armed conflicts to building of defences preemptively, many countries have amassed significant militaries to date.

Using data from World Population Review, Business Insider Africa has put together a list of the top 10 African countries with the largest military personnel.

Which African country has the largest military?

Well, to answer that, we need to consider the three commonly measured categories of military personnel:

  • Active military: Soldiers who work full-time for the arm
  • Military reserves: People who do not work for the army full-time but have military training and can be called up and deployed at any moment
  • Paramilitary: Groups that aren’t officially military but operate in a similar fashion, such as the CIA or SWAT teams in the U.S.

We can now mention the top 10 African countries with the highest total number of military personnel.

1. Egypt

Egypt military power NPR
Egypt military power (NPR)

Total personnel – 1.3 million

Active military: 438.5K

Paramilitary: 397K

Reserves: 479K

2. Algeria

Algeria military
Algeria military

Total personnel – 467.2K

Active military: 130K

Paramilitary: 187.2K

Reserves: 150K

3. Morocco

Moroccoan military
Moroccoan military

Total personnel: 395.8K

Active military: 195.8K

Paramilitary: 50K

Reserve: 150K

4. Eritrea

Eritrean military at a parade
Eritrean military at a parade

Total personnel: 321.8K

Active military: 201.8K

Paramilitary: 0

Reserves: 120K

5. Nigeria

Nigerian army
Nigerian army

Total personnel: 223K

Active military: 143K

Paramilitary: 80K

Reserves: 0

6. Sudan

Sudan army
Sudan army

Total personnel: 209.3K

Active military: 104.3K

Paramilitary: 105K

Reserves: 0

7. South Sudan

Sudanese military
Sudanese military

Total personnel: 185K

Active military: 185K

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Paramilitary: 0

Reserves: 0

8. Ethiopia

Ethiopian Army
Ethiopian Army

Total personnel: 138K

Active military: 138K

Paramilitary: 0

Reserves: 0

9. DR Congo

DR Congo Army
DR Congo Army

Total personnel: 134.3K

Active military: 134.3K

Paramilitary: 0

Reserves: 0

10. Angola

A division of the Angolan Army
A division of the Angolan Army

Total personnel: 117K

Active military: 107K

Paramilitary: 10K

Reserves: 0


–Pulse Ghana–

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