An exploration of the implications for Nigeria and South Africa of Nigeria's overtaking of South Africa as Africa's economic giant.
South Africa was said to have been overtaken by Nigeria as the biggest economy in Africa in April 2014. This study looks at how this will affect the newly crowned biggest economy and the recently dethroned second biggest economy in the African continent. The fact that Nigeria is the biggest oil producer in the continent and South Africa the biggest gold and platinum producer in the world makes for an interesting observation and comparison. Both countries are important in the international arena. South Africa is a member of an influential grouping of leading developing countries, BRICS which includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. On the other hand Nigeria is a member of the influential oil grouping, OPEC. The type of research the study undertook fell within the qualitative paradigm. This paradigm was chosen merely because the study was mostly desktop based. Secondary data was generated through books, journal articles, newspapers and internet resources. The relevant theory chosen to guide the study was the comparative advantage theory which looks at the goods that both countries produce and that have made them powers to be reckoned with in the continent when it came to trading and other areas. The study revealed that although Nigeria is now the biggest economy in Africa but this does not mean it will outrank South Africa in most meaningful economic measures outside the GDP size. However if South Africa’s economy continues to struggle Nigeria’s economy will not only be bigger in terms of GDP size but will also improve in other economic areas as well. It has also been revealed that although South Africa is a politically stable country compared to Nigeria, which is struggling to contain Islamic militant group, Boko Haram, intermittent strikes, high levels of crime, corruption and electricity outages do their level best to ensure that the country suffers from fragile instability. Based on these findings the study proposes that both countries need to be vigilant and take precautionary measures in order to protect their continental and international image.