Food and Beverage

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9. South Africa

Per capita alcohol consumption: 140.3 liters

South Africa, the only African nation to make the top 10 list of the biggest alcohol consumers, has seen its per person alcohol consumption rise to the highest level in 2012 over the past six years.

Beer dominates the alcohol market in the country, accounting for 79 percent of all alcohol drinks consumed, followed by wine, a far second at 8 percent. Cider and perry are third in line, making up more than 5 percent of all alcohol consumed. The surge in beer consumption in South Africa is reflective of a trend seen in the rest of the continent as economic and population growth lead to a surge in sales. London headquartered brewer SABMiller, which owns more than 200 beer brands, reported in April that lager sales volumes in Africa grew 6 percent in 2012. The company plans to boost beer sales in Africa by 7-9 percent a year by luring drinkers with cheaper beer, using local grains and cheaper packaging.

The continent also has the highest proportion of binge drinkers in the world, at over 25 percent of all legal age drinkers, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). South Africa is working on a new bill to restrict alcohol advertising, raise the minimum drinking age to 21 from 18 and implement tougher laws on drink and driving.

Pictured: Waterfront Bar and Restaurant in Cape Town, South Africa.

Photo: Juergen Stumpe | Getty Images