Top 10 Strongest Militaries In Africa

When it comes to global military strength, countries like the United States of America, China, Russia, North Korea, Israel etc, readily come to mind. These countries rank very high on the list of the strongest military in the world. This is based on the number of armoury, fighter jets, tanks etc, in their possession....CONTINUE READING

Narrowing it down to Africa, a few countries have managed to establish themselves as the strongest military in Africa. This article reveals the top 10 of these countries which have the most powerful military in the continent right now.

Which Country Has The Strongest Military In Africa?

In terms of military might, Egypt is the most powerful nation in Africa today. The Egyptian armed forces boast of over 4767 war tanks, 1,100 aircraft, 440,000 active personnel, 40,000 reserve personnel, 400,000 paramilitary personnel, and a defense budget of about $7.85 billion.

These numbers are over 3 times more than that of any country on the African continent. As a matter of fact, if Egypt were to go to war with any African nation, it would decimate the nation in no time. That is of course, based on the number of personnel and armory in their possession.

Now that you have seen the most powerful military in the African continent, check out the others that made our list below.

Top 10 Most Powerful Military In Africa With Pictures (Updated List)

The following are the strongest military in Africa presently.

10) The Libyan Armed Forces

The Libyan Armed Forces comprise of the air, ground and naval forces. The armed forces possess over 76,000 active personnel, 400 armored tanks, and 46 aircraft which includes some sophisticated fighter jets. The nation’s defence budget is pegged at $3 billion.

For a nation of just about 6 million, Libya is doing pretty well for itself in terms of military. The country is number 10 on the list of African countries with the highest military might.

The Libyan National Army was very influential in the defeat of Muammar Gaddafi and his allies. Though the military and the entire country is still recovering from that war, they still possess far more armoury than so many countries in the continent.

9) Angolan Armed Forces

The Angolan Armed Forces 

The Angolan Armed Forces are also known as “Forcas Armadas Angolanas” in Portuguese or simply FAA. This is made up of Exercito (the Army), Marinha de Guerra (Navy) and the Forca Aerea Nacional (National Air Force).

As of 2014, the Angolan military budget was estimated at $6.8 billion. The Angolan Armed Forces have over 107,000 active personal and 30,000 reserve personnel.

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The country gets most of its military equipment from Russia, Brazil, Italy, Belarus, Moldova, Cuba and South Africa. Presently, the FAA is said to be in possession of over 270 aircraft and 140 tanks, making it one of the most powerful military in Africa.

The military has experienced so many battles. Including the Angolan War of Independence, Civil War, South African Border War, First Congo War and so many others.

The Angolan military training is also one of the most rigorous and profound military training in the continent.

8) Tunisian Armed Forces

The Tunisian Armed Forces - Image 

You cannot have a complete list of the most powerful military in Africa without the Tunisian Armed Forces being on it. The military is in possession of over 350 tanks and 139 aircraft.

In terms of personnel, the military has over 40,500 active personnel which comprises of the Navy, Airforce and Army.

Though this number is far lesser than that of Angola and Libya, their military equipment far supersedes that of those two countries.

The Tunisian Armed Forces have always been known for maintaining one of the lowest defence budgets in the Arab region. One of the ways they achieve this is by investing in domestic military products.

Presently, the Tunisian defence budget is estimated to be about $1.1billion.

7) Kenya Defence Forces

The Kenya Defence Forces - Image 

The Kenya Defence Forces consist of Kenya Airforce, Kenya Army and Kenya Navy. They are the armed forces of the Republic of Kenya. Whoever serves as the president of Kenya, also serves as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and after him is the Chief of Defence Forces.

Within their arsenal, the military has over 186 main battle tanks and several thousands of other equipment.

Although the Kenyan military is rated among the strongest military in Africa, it has been constantly plagued with various reports of corruption. The Kenyan armed forces currently has over 24,120 active personnel and a budget of $2 billion.

Based on our research, in the previous years this Kenyan Military occupied the spot that is being enjoyed by the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces today.

6) Royal Moroccan Armed Forces

The Royal Moroccan Armed Forces - Image Via Twitter

The Royal Moroccan Armed Forces comprise of the Royal Guard, the Royal Gendarmerie, the Airforce, the Army and the Navy.

They are the military forces of the Kingdom of Morocco. The military is the sixth strongest military in Africa.

The Royal Moroccan Armed Forces are expensive, large and well trained. They have an estimated defence budget of $4.7 billion and adding to that is $11.5 billion which is specifically meant for the purchasing of arms.

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The military presently has over 310,000 active personnel and about 200,000 reserve personnel. In terms of equipment and ammunition, the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces has over 1,348 tanks and more than 323 aircraft ready for battle. That makes them one of the most powerful military in Africa as a whole.

5) Nigerian Armed Forces

The Nigerian Armed Forces - Image

The Nigerian Armed Forces boast of over 162,000 active personnel and 32,000 reserve personnel. They are made up of the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Airforce. The Nigerian armed forces has a yearly budget of about $2.152 billion, making them one of the most expensive militaries in the continent.

In terms of battle-ready equipment, the military has over 360 tanks, 300 aircraft, 25 naval vessels, 1400 armoured vehicles and 6000 logistical vehicles.

Although the Nigerian Armed Forces are among the most powerful military in Africa, the issue of experience is a major factor as a majority of the personnel have never seen a real war. Just like that of Kenya Defence Forces, corruption is another element that bedevils the military forces in Nigeria.

If the issue of corruption is properly dealt with in the Nigerian military, the armed forces has all the potentials in the world to compete with nations even outside the African continent.

4) South African National Defence Force

The South African National Defence Force - Image

As of 2014, the South African National Defence Force had about 78,707 active personnel and 15,107 reserve personnel. As of the time of compiling this article, the number of its personnel has gone very far above that.

The SANDF as it is popularly known as comprises of the South African Army, Navy, Airforce and Military Health Service. Their annual military budget is estimated to be about $4.278 billion.

Although it is hard to get the exact number of battle-ready ammunitions and equipment the South African military has within its arsenal, we are sure the SANDF has quite a lot of them.

In terms of military might, the South African National Defence Force is ranked number 4 in Africa. They have enough manpower, equipment and resources to defeat several nations in the continent.

3) Ethiopian National Defense Force

Ethiopian National Defense Force - Image 

The Ethiopian National Defense Force is widely considered and ranked as the 3rd strongest military in Africa. The force has over 162,000 active personnel and about $330 million yearly budget.

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The Ethiopian National Defense Force is mainly made up of the Ethiopian Ground Forces and the Ethiopian Airforce. Since the country is a landlocked country, it has no Navy presently.

In terms of war, the Ethiopian military is among the most experienced in the continent. Their history reveals a list of countries they have gone to wars with including Italy, which they defeated to maintain their independence.

The ENDF presently has over 81 aircraft and 560 armoured tanks in its possession. Their training method is also among the best on the African continent. Very few nations in Africa can be compared to them in terms of that.

2) Algerian People’s National Armed Forces

Algerian People’s National Armed Forces - image

The Algerian people’s National Forces is a combination of the Ground Forces, the Navy, the Algerian Air Force and the Algerian Air Defence Force. They are the second most powerful military in Africa.

The Algerian People’s National Armed Forces boast of over 130,000 active personnel and over 150,000 reserve personnel. The military has about $13 billion budget to make them one of the most expensive on the continent.

Algeria military has been praised several times in the news for the highly professional training members of its staff has to go through before becoming qualified for service. The military is also among the most experienced in the continent.

With over 1500 armoured vehicles and thousands of other armouries within its possession, the military falls among the most equipped and strongest military in Africa.

1) Egyptian Armed Forces

 Egyptian Armed Forces - Image

The Egyptian Armed Forces consist of the Egyptian Air Defense Forces, the Egyptian Air Force, the Egyptian Navy and the Egyptian Army. These are forces that defend the country against foreign or domestic attacks.

The military boasts of an estimated budget of $7.4 billion to $11.1 billion yearly. This includes the $1.3 billion military aid given to the country every year by the United States of America.

The Egyptian military has fought so many wars, even more than any other African country. In terms of military might, they are the strongest military on the African continent right now.


The Egyptian Armed Forces are the strongest military in Africa. It is followed closely by the Algerian People’s National Armed Forces and Ethiopian National Defense Force in the third place on this list

They have more manpower, equipment, experience and training than any other military within the African continent.

If you were searching for a list of the strongest military forces in Africa, I hope you find this information useful.