Top 10 Best Army In Africa 2019

Best Army In Africa

The Top Ten Best Army In Africa 2018
The Best Army In Africa 2019

The Best Army in Africa can be said to be the Army with the overall best multi-spectral warfare capability. Such an Army can perform various type of warfare in different location with sufficient modern military equipment and funding to increase the certainty of total victory.

Every country has an Army or a Land Force meant to defend the territory in case of any threat both foreign and domestic. A nation’s army is the land-based military branch which conducts warfare on land.

A Land-army may also possess aerial platforms if it has an army aviation branch. In most African countries, the army is usually has the highest personnel numerically and bears the ultimate burden of territorial defence. It is usually supported by the nation’s Air Force and Navy.

A standard army should be disciplined and professional when conducting warfare.

Due to the ever present global economic crunch, many nations lack the wherewithal to properly equip its Army with standard war fighting equipment. African military are faced with a unique challenge which is how to balance between equipping for counter insurgency and preparing for conventional warfare. Over the years, conventional battles between African nations have all but ceased and the most recent being the Sudan-South Sudan Heglig Crises of 2012. Instead, asymmetrical and unconventional warfare between nations and non-state actors have taken the limelight.

Land Warfare or Ground Warfare

This is a form of combat that takes place predominantly on land. Land forces usually include various units such as the personnel, the weapons systems and other vehicles.
There are three distinct types of combat units in the army which includes


This is the branch of the army that performs combat on foot. They are different from other military personnel whom can also operate on foot like Calvary, Artillery-men and Main Battle Tank operators.
The bulk of an army’s personnel is made up of infantrymen, they bear the brunt of combat and usually suffer greater casualties.

Infantrymen are mostly armed with personal weapons, light weapons; Crew served weapons and Squad weapons. Infantry are always closer to the enemy therefore they enjoy better situational awareness. They could be transported to the battlefield by various means which includes but not limited to amphibious landing, air assault by parachute or helicopter, trucks or armored personnel carriers.

Special Forces and Special Operation Forces falls under infantry however, these capabilities will not be used in ranking our Best Army in Africa.


Armor play a vital role in today’s land warfare and the Main Battle Tank is a must-have for African Armies. Due to the large expanse of land bordering connecting all African nations, armor has continued to play a major role in African conflicts and quite frankly, it will continue to do so in the next coming years.

Despite declining economic conditions, African nations have continued to rely on armored vehicle for security and protections, investing heavily on it. 70% of tanks designed worldwide from the East to the West have seen service with African nations.

There are other types of armored vehicles like Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV), Armored Personnel Carrier (APC), Armored Fighting Vehicle (AFV), Mine Resistant and Protection (MRAP), armored cars even Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGV) E.T.C


These are large weapons used to fire munitions to far distance. They are the most lethal weapon in any Army’s inventory. Their role involves providing indirect fire support to embattled allied units and to bombard enemy’s position. They can also be used to cover the retreat of allied troops.
In Africa, Owning large amount of artillery piece is an indication of strength and prestige. Historically, artillery pieces have been used to overwhelm enemy forces causing physical and psychological damages.

Role of the Army

The primary duty of the Army is to protect and defend the nation‘s territorial integrity against threat both ‘FOREIGN’ and ‘DOMESTIC.’

The general role of the Army can be summarized into this 4 duties:

  1. Defend the homeland with lethal force (offensive)
  2. Repel foreign invaders (Defensive)
  3. Engage enemies in foreign soil (Expeditionary)
  4. Counter Insurgency and counter terrorism (COIN)

Metrics used for ranking

There are so many other facets of land warfare in the Best Army In Africa ranking,  it’s very difficult to quantify or rank them all. However, to simplify everything we have chosen three critical areas to rank our contenders.


This is the amount of time the Army has undertaken combat actions against other enemy ground units. Combat experience is highly important for any military branch sine military dexterity is usually measured through previous battle achievements. Combat experience is a valuable key factor to determine troop’s reliability. It offers military leaders the ability to strategies on effective training based on what they have experienced on the battlefield. The training regime of all military on Earth is based on one form of lesson learnt during combat operation. Finally, experience breeds confidence and any experienced soldier has a better chance of survival that a rookie.


If you train hard, you fight easy – Nigerian Army 72nd Army Special Force Infantry Division.

Training is very important in the military, it dictates how the Army fights. The goal of military training is to establish and improve the war-fighting capabilities of soldiers in their different roles. Rigorous training regime prepares the Army’s troops to be ready for any operation.

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Training enhances synergy between various units in the Army. It helps build moral and confidence. There are various type of Army training such as Basic infantry training, Marksman training, Leadership training, specialized training etc.


As the saying goes, “you are as good as your weapon”. This are the tools the Army use to conduct their duties. It is essential that the Army have capable working equipment so as to facilitate smooth working environment.
Sadly, due to the poor economic outlook of many African nations, they are saddled with inferior weapons systems.

The primary equipment of the Army is the

  • Knives & Bayonet
  • Small arms
  • Grenades & Explosives
  • Heavy weapons
  • Armored vehicles
  • Artillery

Please note that having all these listed does not necessarily means certainty in victory because other factors come into play such as:

  • Terrain
  • Climatic condition
  • Leadership skills
  • Communication
  • Information
  • Electronic Warfare (Jamming)
  • Cyber Warfare

Best Army in Africa
Here are the list of the top 10 best army in Africa this year.

10) Chadian Army

 Best Army In Africa

Formed in 1980, the porous border between Chad and Sudan has been a major source of instability in the region. Between 2006 and 2009, element of Chadian military fought alongside Darfur rebels clandestinely in an attempt to overthrow the Government. Chadian Army personnel are currently deployed in numerous operations across the Sahel region such as Multinational Joint Task Force – a multinational group combating Boko Haram. The Chadian Army is also a member of the G5 Sahel group conducting military operations to secure the Sahel region against violent extremism.

The Chadian Army is known as a ferocious fighting force and their mode of transportation is the iconic pick-up truck known as “technical.” In early 1970s, the country defeated invading Libyan forces in a war known as the “Toyota War.” Since then, the Chadian military is seen as a stabilizing force in Central Africa and West Africa to some extent. The Chadian Army is supported by French forces based in the country.

 Best Army In Africa


  • Toyota War
  • Mali crises
  • War in the Sahel
  • Sudan Civil War
  • Congolese War

Personnel: 25,000 Active, 150,000 Reserved
Tanks: 50 UNITS (T-55)
APC: 99 UNITS (BTR-80, BTR-3E, BTR-60, VAB-VTT, WZ-52)
IFV:  161 UNITS (BMP-1, VAV-150 Commando, PTL-02 Assaulter)
MRAP: unknown units
Artillery: 5 towed, 10 self-propelled
Rockets: 22 units
Defense Budget: $165 million USD (2017)

9) Angolan Army

 Best Army In Africa

The Angolan Army operates mostly Soviet/Russian equipment and most of its weapons were acquired in the 80s and 90s. The Angolan Army is divided into six military regions 9 (Cabinda, Luanda, North, Central, East and South). The Army is split into six divisions.

In 1996, The Angolan Army fought a bitter war with South Africa known as the South African Border War or Angolan Bush War. This conflict brought about the largest battles on Africa since World War II. Currently, its main security concern comes from Cabinda region secessionist movement.


  • South African Border War
  • Angolan War of Independence
  • Angolan Civil War
  • First Congo War
  • Republic of Congo Civil War
  • Second Congo War
  • 2012 Guinea-Bissau Coup d’etat

Personnel: 100,000 Active, 68,000 Reserved
Tanks: 300 UNITS (200 T-54/55, 50 T-62, 50 T-72)
APC: 246 UNITS (MT-LB, BTR-152, BTR-60, BTR-80, WZ-551)
IFV: 250 UNITS (BMP-1, BMP-2,)
MRAP: 50 units
Artillery: 332 towed, 28 self-propelled
Rockets: 115 units
Defense Budget: $3.23Billion USD (2017)

8) Tunisian Army

 Best Army In Africa

Established in 1831, after the Arab Spring of 2011 (which the Tunisian Military supported), the Tunisian Army has since been on a steady improvement. Some expert says this is due to gradual restructuring and more modern security reforms. The military which has been marginalized during the ex-dictator Zine al Abidine Ben Ali’s regime is now being reinvigorated.

The Tunisian Army was purposely left to rot by the former administration whereas the Presidential Guard and the Interior Ministry Security (a paramilitary force) were being favored.  During the Arab spring, the military protected the demonstrators in ousting the dictator – going against his direct order. This action pitted the Tunisian Army against the more numerically powerful (both in quality and quantity) National Guard and IMS forces in a battle that raged for several days the Tunisian Army came out victorious –easily.


  • Bizerte Crises
  • Yom Kippur War
  • Battle of Wazzin
  • Chaambi Operatioms
  • Battle of Ben Guerdane

Personnel: 27,000 Active Duty, 39,000 Reserved.
Tanks: 200 UNITS (59 M60A3 Pattons, 30 M60A1 Pattons, 30 M48A5 Pattons, 80 SK-105 Kurassier tank destroyer)
APC: 991 UNITS (M901 ITV, M113A1, M125A2, M577A2, Humvee, Fiat 6614C, EE-11 Urutu, Fahd 240/280, Cardillac LAV V150 Commando, VXB-170))
IFV:  128 UNITS ((36 EE-9 Cascavel, 24 Alvis Saladin, 40 Panhard AML-90, 10 A
Panhard AML-60, 18 EE-3 Jararaca)
MRAP: 100 BMC Kirpi MRAP
Artillery: 170 towed, 68 self-propelled
Mortars: 134 units
Defense Budget: $5.5billion USD (2017)

7) Royal Moroccan Army

One of Africa’s oldest Army, The Royal Moroccan Army has been active since the year 1088. It is a very proud force – during the World War II, the Royal Moroccan Army refusal to give up Moroccan Jews to the Nazi to be slaughtered enraged Adolf Hitler.

During actions against Germany in World War II, Moroccan troops earned the nickname “Todesschwalben” which means death Shadows due to their battlefield courage and aggressiveness.
The Army has fought a 25-year long war against the Polisario an Algerian backed separatist movement seeking to establish the Independence of Western Sahara.

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  • Ifni War
  • Sand War
  • Six-Day War
  • Yom Kippur War
  • Western Sahara War
  • Shaba I
  • Gulf War
  • Battle of Mogadishu
  • Central African Republic Crises

Personnel: 175,000 Active, 150,000 Reserved
Tanks: 1,276 UNITS (222 M1A1, 150 VT-1A, 148 T-72B, 427 M60 Patton, 224 M48 Patton)
APC: 1,900 UNITS (M113, VAB VCI/VTT)
IFV:  440 UNITS (AIFV, AML 60/90, AMX-10P, BMP3, M901A1)
MRAP: unknown units
Artillery: 192 towed, 488 self-propelled
Rockets: 72 units
Defense Budget: $4.3billion USD (2017)

6) Kenyan Army

 Best Army In Africa

The Kenyan Army is a force to be reckoned with in East Africa, the Army is a major contributor to various African Union Peacekeeping Operations (PKO). Its operations in Somalia indicates that it can project power far from its borders. Although, Al Shabaab’s menace is a constant security threat in Kenya, the country have shown countless times that it can meet the challenge face to face.

The Kenyan Army is upgrading its fighting tactics and equipment slowly but surely. It is a member of various regional security frameworks like the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Regional Protection Force comprising of Kenya, Ethiopia and Rwanda.

 Best Army In Africa


  • World War II (King’s African Rifles battalion)
  • Shifta War (1963-67)
  • Mount Elgon Insurgency (2005-08)
  • Operation Linda Nchi (2011-2012)
  • African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM)

Personnel: 135,000
Tanks: 78 Vickers MK3
APC: 260 UNITS (Type-92 APC, UR-416, Panhard M3, 105 Puma M26-15)
IFV: 84 UNITS (72 AML 60/90, 12 Ferret)
MRAP: unknown units
Artillery: 56 towed, 2 self-propelled, 62 Mortars (50x 81 mm, 12x 120 mm)
Defense Budget: $1.3illion USD (2017)

5) Nigerian Army

Formerly seen as a ferocious fighting force due to its successful operations in Sierra Leone and Liberia however, the force has continually suffer setbacks in the form of equipment shortages, low troops moral and massive corruptions. The Nigerian Army is understood to be the strongest in West Africa primarily due to its large size and not necessarily its combat posture.

In 2017, Transparency international reported that former military leaders may have embezzled military procurement funds reaching a staggering $15 billion dollars. Difficulties in attaining a clear victory against the notorious Boko Haram sect for more than six years have adversely affected troops moral and public support.

Nigeria continually face numerous internal security challenges including Biafran Separatist, Niger Delta Militants and armed nomadic bandits etcetera. Despite all this, the Nigerian Army is still committed to providing security in the country which is exhibited in multiple deployments across the Country. Once a major peacekeeping contributor, the Nigeria Military have scaled back its external commitments and instead focused more on internal security issues.


  • Congo Crisis
  • Nigerian Civil War
  • First Liberian Civil War
  • Sierra Leone Civil War
  • Conflict in the Niger Delta
  • Boko Haram insurgency
  • Northern Mali War
  • Invasion of the Gambia

Personnel: 100,000

Tanks: 319 UNITS (176 Vickers MK3 MBT 100 T-55, 43 T-72AV/T-72M1)
APC: 741 UNITS (70x EE-9 Cascavel, 72x VBL, 250 4K-7FA Steyr, 67 MT-LB, 110 Otokar Cobra, 10 FV603 Saracen, 110 AVGP Grizzy Piranha 6×6, 47x BTR-3UN, 5x BTR-80, EE-11 Urutu)
IFV:  359 UNITS (90 AML-60, AML-90, 50 FV721 Fox, 20 FV601 Saladin MK2, 10 BTR-4EN, BVP-1)

MRAP: 47 units (16x Caiman, 8x Maxxpro, 23x REVA III 4×4, Streit Spartan, Streit Cougar, Streit Typhoon, Bigfoot, Proforce Ara Thunder and Nigerian made Igirigi)

Artillery: 106 towed, 39 self-propelled (Palmaria), 330x Mortar (200x 81mm, 100x 82mm, 30x 120mm)
Rockets: 42 units (10x BM-21 Grad, 25x APR-21, 7x RM-70)
Defense Budget: $1.5 billion USD (2017)

4) Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF)

 Best Army In Africa

The Ethiopian Army is relatively small primarily due to its small military budget notwithstanding, the force is well structured and highly effective. Since the war on the Islamic extremist group Al Shabaab began, the Ethiopian Army has itself become a terror to its enemy. As a testament to their fighting prowess, OW Watch the U.S. Army’s official foreign military study office noted that ”the Ethiopians scare the hell out of everybody” including the U.S.

Ethiopia Army is currently the fourth largest contributor to peacekeeping operations globally. The force focuses on training, domestic weapons production and application of experienced based knowledge on its operations.

On 2th of December, 2006 the Ethiopian Army launched a large-scale invasion of Somalia after months of careful planning. The result produced astonishing decisive victory and defeat for the rogue Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) in Mogadishu. The Ethiopian Army is a prime example of how defence budget (no matter how small) should be effectively utilized.
The lessons gained during the bloody two year Ethiopian-Eritrean War of 1980 is still been used and can be observed in their fighting style, making this country one of the Best Army in Africa.


  • Abyssinian-Adal War
  • British Expedition to Abyssinia
  • Ethiopian-Egyptian War
  • Mahdist War
  • First Italo-Ethiopian War
  • Second Italo-Ethiopian War
  • World War II
  • Korean War
  • Congolese War (PKO)
  • Eritrean War of Independence
  • Ogaden War
  • 1982 Ethiopian-Somali War
  • Ethiopian Civil War
  • Eritrean-Ethiopian War
  • War in Somalia (2006-2009)
  • 2007 Ogaden crises

Personnel: 182,000
Tanks: 800 UNITS (246 T-54/T-55/T-62, 215 T-72)
APC: 400 UNITS (10X YW-534, 300 BTR-60/BTR-152, Type-89, 100 BRDM-1)
IFV:  100 UNITS (80 BMP-1, 10 YW-534)
MRAP: unknown units
Artillery: 464 towed, 20 self-propelled
Rockets: 50 units (BM-21 Grad)
Defense Budget: $500 Million USD (2017)

3) South African National Army

 Best Army In Africa

Historically, the South African Army have always been well respected globally for its resilience in the face of superior enemy. During the First World War (1914), South African Army’s 1st Infantry Brigade deployed with the British Expeditionary Force in France led a daring attack to capture and hold a strategically located field, despite a withering artillery barrage from the Germans in what became known as the Battle of Delville Woods. A feat thought to be quite impossible at that time. The success of this singular act prevented the Germans from overturning the French Western Frontlines, and is also seen as the first strategic victory of the allies during the War.

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The country also fought in World war II and a tough border war with against SWAPO rebels in South-West Africa (Namibia) in 1966.

As of today, According to a Defence Review by the ministry of defence in 2014, the review revealed that the SANDF is “in a critical state of decline”.

Low military budget have started undermining the forces operational capabilities. According to a South African commentator, the force has no innovation; no initiative; no dynamism; no drive.

Despite this shortcomings the South African Army is still a major player in the overall security of the Southern Africa.

The force is currently partaking in several internal deployments like Operation Corona, Chariot, Prosper and Fiela. The South African Army is also known for its near-realtime Brigade size combined arms exercises and a blooming defence industrial complex.


  • World War I
  • World War II
  • Border War
  • Lesotho intervention (OPS Boleas )
  • Central African Republic conflict
  • Force Intervention Brigade

Personnel: 40,121 (active), 12,300 (reserve)

Tanks: 168 units (Oliphant)
APC: 1,900 UNITS (440x Mamba MK3,)
IFV:  1,669 UNITS (178x Rooikat, 239 Patria AMV, 1200x Ratel IFV, 53x Ratel ZT-3 Tank Destroyer)
MRAP: unknown units
Artillery: 192 towed, 488 self-propelled
Rockets: 72 units
Defense Budget: $4.3billion USD (2017)

2) Algerian Peoples National Army (ANP)

The Algerian Peoples National Army (ANP) is one of Africa’s most sophisticated Army in existence. The ANP has over the years acquired cutting edge military equipment that is the envy of most African, Middle East and Asian countries. After a bloody civil in 1990 and the ever constant diplomatic strife with Morocco (its main rival), the country has continued to maintain and upgrade its military posture.

Algeria has continually suffered attacks from terror groups like Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and ISIS this has made the country focus more on military spending, more advanced trainings and weapons procurement. Near real-time simulation training has always remained a primary focus of the Algerian Peoples National Army (ANP). It is a major recipient of Russian arms, undoubtedly a contender in the Best Army in Africa list.


  • Algerian Civil War
  • Algerian anti-terrorism efforts

Personnel: about 200,000
Tanks: 2,405 UNITS (600 T-55, 800 T-62, 500 T-72M, 505 T-90MS)
APC: 4,703 UNITS (BTR-60, BTR-80, BRDM-2, TPz Fuchs, Tigr-M, OT-64 SKOT, Panhard M3)
IFV:  1,204 UNITS (BMPT Terminator-2, BMP-1, BMP-2,BMP-3,AML-60,)
MRAP: unknown units (Marauder)
Artillery: 270 towed, 220 self-propelled
Rockets: 176 units (SR-5, TOS-1 A, BM-30 Smerch, MB-24 Grad, BM-14-16)
Ballistic missiles: 48 units (Iskander)
Defense Budget: $10.5billion USD (2017)

Finally Number 1
1) Egyptian Army

 Best Army In Africa

The Egyptian Army ranks number 1 in Africa, and is a top of the Best Army in Africa list.

Although it still uses conscript which serve for between 12 and 36 months and at the age of between 18 and 30, but the conscripts are very professional and highly trained with most of them having attained various university degrees.

The Egyptian Army assembles its own M1 Abrams main battle tank which was developed and currently in use by the United States Army. An Infantry force of 320000 personnel, It has a total of 1700 MBTs of different designs which is by far greater than all the tanks found in different African regions combined.

 Best Army In Africa

[Click Here to read about the Egyptian Military….]

Personnel: 450,000 Active
Tanks: 4,110 UNITS (M1 Abrams (1130), T-90 (500), T-80 (34), T-62 (500), T-55 (3400, RAMSES II (425), M60 Patton (1716)

IFV: 4,000 UNITS (EIFV (1200), SIFV (800), YPR-765 PRI (1030), BMP-1 (220))
6000 UNITS (M113 (2447), BTR-50 (250), OT-62 TOPAS (250), Pegaso BMR-600 (250), PTS-M (350), K-61 (180), Walid MK II (650), OT-64 SCOT, BTR-60 (200), BTR-152  (175), RG-32 Scout (180), HMMWV (4000+), Fahd (635), Nimr, Shepa, Tiger kader-120 (650), Tiger kader-320 (820), BTR-40 (230), Cadilac Cage Commando (300), BRDM-2 (300), Panthera, Hotspur HUSSARD (110)

(Caiman, RG-33, International MaxxPro, Casspir

Artillery: 3,300 Units
[ M-110 (144), M-111, M-109 (621), M-120 (120), M-125 (350), 2B14 Podnos (750), M-1938 (100), M-1943 (160), M-224 (1800), M-252 (1750), Helwan M-69, Helman UK-2 (600), Helman 60 mm (24500), M-30 (530), M-240 (24), M-1944 (200), M-43 (240), 2B11 Sani (300), M-992, S-23 (24), GH-52 (400), D-20 (150), ML-20 (100), M-46 (420), D-30 (724), D-74, A-19 (50), BS-3, T-122, T-100, ISU-152, SU-100]

Rockets: 72 units

  • Scud (72 launchers/300 missiles)
  • Frog-7 (18 launchers/288 missiles)
  • Sakr-80 (60 launchers/360 missiles)
  • VAP-80 (250 Launchers)
  • M270
  • K-136 Kooryong (36 launchers)
  • BM-21 (200)
  • BM-24 (48 units)
  • RM-51
  • Type 63 (250 launchers)

Defense Budget: $4.3billion USD (2017)

The Best Army in Africa. Any suggestions, recommendations and correction is highly welcomed. Just comment below.

Here’s the summary of the best army in Africa

  1. Egypt
  2. Algeria
  3. South Africa
  4. Ethiopia
  5. Nigeria
  6. Kenya
  7. Morocco
  8. Tunisia
  9. Angola
  10. Chad

E Lionel

Techy, Futurist.