Do you wonder if there are countries in Africa that speak French as we have many English speaking African countries? Millions of Africans speak French on a daily basis, making it the world’s fifth most spoken language. The French-speaking population of the continent is currently 47.7% (143.1 million). More than 45.7 per cent of Europe’s population (137.1 million) lives in France, which has a population of 67.12 million people.
According to the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), Africa has more French speakers than the rest of Europe. According to the survey, 22.7 million more individuals spoke French between 2010 and 2018, with 68 per cent of these new speakers living in Sub-Saharan Africa, 22 per cent in North Africa, and 7% in America, while Europe only accounts for 3% of the 22.7 million new speakers.
The expanding African population is a major factor in the French language’s fifth-place position. French is still the single official language in more than ten African countries, and it is also the second official language in many others. According to the OIF, by 2050, the number of French speakers would have risen to over 700 million, with 80 per cent of them living in Africa.
Top 10 Countries In Africa That Speak French
These are the top French-speaking countries in Africa, in no particular order.
1. The Democratic Republic of the Congo
Officially, the Democratic Republic of Congo speaks French. It is widely acknowledged as the Congo’s lingua franca, allowing communication among the country’s many ethnic groups.
With a population of 81.5 million people, this big central African country has recently been destroyed by civil war and corruption. The official language is French, but also Lingala, Kiswahili, Kikongo, and Tshiluba are spoken.
According to a report published by the OIF in 2014, 33 million Congolese individuals (47 per cent of the population) could read and write French. 67 per cent of the population could read French, and 68.5 per cent could speak and understand it.
2. Republic of the Congo
The Congolese populace who speak French is 30 % of the population. Moreover half of adults over the age of 15 in Brazzaville can write simple French phrases. This country, which has a population of 5 million people, is a major oil producer in Sub-Saharan Africa. French is the official language.
3. Côte d’Ivoire
Ivory Coast is home to 78 different languages, however, French is the official language of the country. The French language, which was adopted during colonial times, is taught in schools and serves as the country’s lingua franca.
Madagascar is one of the countries that speak french. This big island off the east coast of Africa is home to 25 million people. In reality, it is the world’s fourth-largest island! Madagascar is well-known for its wildlife. Madagascar officially speaks French and Malagasy.
Malagasy and French were designated as the official languages of the Malagasy Republic in the first national constitution of 1958. French is generally spoken as a second language and is used for international communication among the educated people.
Central Africa’s most populous country boasts the continent’s highest literacy rate and is regarded as “Africa in miniature” because of its cultural and linguistic variety. The official languages are French and English, which are the languages of former colonial French and British Cameroons. and there are approximately 200 linguistic groupings.
Other languages spoken by the clan include Bantu, Semi-Bantu, and Sudanic. Cameroonians are fluent in French, which comes as no surprise. There are around 250 more languages spoken by almost 20 million Cameroonians in addition to the colonial languages.
6. Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso is another French-speaking African country on our list. In Burkina Faso, Administrative, governmental, and judicial institutions, as well as public services and the press, all speak French. It is the only language used by the government, the courts, and the administration. In addition, French is the language of teaching in the country’s schools.
With a population of 18.6 million people, it is one of Africa’s poorest countries. It is isolated and located in the west. The official language is French, which was established in 1919 when France colonized Burkina Faso.
The official language of Niger is French, which is one of 11 official languages in the country. Niger is located east of Mali, on the borders of the Sahara desert. It is a key transit route for migrants travelling to Europe, with a population of 16.6 million people. The official language is French, however, Hausa, Songhai, and Arabic are widely spoken.
According to Wikipedia, 20 per cent of Nigeriens are literate in French, and even 47 per cent in cities, and this number is rapidly increasing as literacy increases. The government administration, media, and business community all communicate in French.
Mali is a country with many languages. Many Europeans are familiar with Mali and the northern city of Timbuktu, which speaks over 80 languages. Mali is one of Africa’s largest countries. The official language is French, which is spoken by 18.5 million people. Bambara, Berber, and Arabic are among the other significant languages spoken. In urban areas, the language is more understood.
French, which was introduced during the colonial period, was kept as the official language after the country gained independence and is still used in administration and formal education. Almost everyone in Mali who speaks French does so as a second language.
Senegal is one of the countries in West Africa that speak french. Senegal has a reputation for being one of Africa’s model democracies. It is located in northwest Africa and has a history of having a stable government. Dakar is the country’s capital, with a population of 15.5 million people. The official language is French. In Ivory Coast, there are approximately 78 different languages spoken, but Senegal’s official language is French, which was inherited from the colonial era.
The administration speaks French, which is comprehended by 15–20 per cent of all males and 1–2% of all females.
Benin is another one of the francophone countries in Africa. French is the primary language of administrative, political, and judicial organizations, as well as the public sector and the press. It is the only language used in legislation, administration, and courts. French is also the primary language of instruction in the country’s schools.
With a population of 18.6 million, this is one of Africa’s poorest countries. It is landlocked and located in the west. The official language is French, which was established after France annexed Burkina Faso in 1919.