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Africa is the second largest and second most populous continent with a population of over one billion. Over 2500 languages are spoken in Africa with Nigeria alone having more than 250 languages.

Nigerian women

Here is a list of the top most spoken languages in Africa.

1. English


There are over 700 million English speakers in Africa. Most countries that were former British colonies have adopted English to be their official language. It is well spoken in Nigeria, Botswana, Cameroon, Rwanda, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana and South Africa.

2. Arabic


More than 171 million people in Africa speak Arabic. It is the most widespread official language in the continent and the second most spoken language only behind English.

It is the official language of Algeria, Mauritania, Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco, Eritrea, Somalia, Chad, Sudan, Djibouti and the Western Sahara.

3. French


Just like English, French is widely spoken in the world and Africa is not an exception. The countries colonised by France speak this language. The countries where French is spoken include Gabon, Mauritius, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Sao Tome & Principe, Tunisia, Guinea, Seychelles, Democratic Republic of Congo and Equatorial Guinea.

There are about 120 million French speakers in Africa.

4. Swahili


About 10% of the African population speak Swahili. It is the most spoken language in East Africa and is believed to have originated from Arabic.

This is the official language of Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. Swahili is also spoken in Mozambique, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

5. Hausa


This unique language spoken by about 50 million Africans has between 23 and 25 consonant phonemes.

It is spoken in Western, Northern and Central Africa. However, the main Hausa speaking areas are northern Nigeria and Niger.

6. Oromo


The Oromo tribe is the largest tribe in Ethiopia with a population of around 35 million. This language is also spoken in Eritrea, Somalia and Kenya.

7. Yoruba


This is one of the languages spoken by one of Nigeria's largest ethnic groups. The Yoruba people speak Yoruba. It is also the most spoken language other than English in West Africa. It has about 30 million speakers from Nigeria, Benin and Togo.

8. Amharic


Amharic is the second most spoken Semitic language after Arabic in the world. It is the official language of Ethiopia. Over 28 million Africans speak this language.

9. Igbo


Igbo is another language spoken by the Igbo  tribe of Nigeria. It is the 9th most spoken African language with about 24 million speakers from Nigeria, Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea.

10. Shona


Shina is the 10th most spoken language in Africa. It is the home language of Zimbabwe. About 14 million people speak Shona in Africa.

Top Most Spoken Languages In Africa

Africa is the second largest and second most populous continent with a population of over one billion. Over 2500 languages are spoken in Africa with Nigeria alone having more than 250 languages.

Nigerian women

Here is a list of the top most spoken languages in Africa.

1. English


There are over 700 million English speakers in Africa. Most countries that were former British colonies have adopted English to be their official language. It is well spoken in Nigeria, Botswana, Cameroon, Rwanda, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana and South Africa.

2. Arabic


More than 171 million people in Africa speak Arabic. It is the most widespread official language in the continent and the second most spoken language only behind English.

It is the official language of Algeria, Mauritania, Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco, Eritrea, Somalia, Chad, Sudan, Djibouti and the Western Sahara.

3. French


Just like English, French is widely spoken in the world and Africa is not an exception. The countries colonised by France speak this language. The countries where French is spoken include Gabon, Mauritius, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Sao Tome & Principe, Tunisia, Guinea, Seychelles, Democratic Republic of Congo and Equatorial Guinea.

There are about 120 million French speakers in Africa.

4. Swahili


About 10% of the African population speak Swahili. It is the most spoken language in East Africa and is believed to have originated from Arabic.

This is the official language of Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. Swahili is also spoken in Mozambique, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

5. Hausa


This unique language spoken by about 50 million Africans has between 23 and 25 consonant phonemes.

It is spoken in Western, Northern and Central Africa. However, the main Hausa speaking areas are northern Nigeria and Niger.

6. Oromo


The Oromo tribe is the largest tribe in Ethiopia with a population of around 35 million. This language is also spoken in Eritrea, Somalia and Kenya.

7. Yoruba


This is one of the languages spoken by one of Nigeria's largest ethnic groups. The Yoruba people speak Yoruba. It is also the most spoken language other than English in West Africa. It has about 30 million speakers from Nigeria, Benin and Togo.

8. Amharic


Amharic is the second most spoken Semitic language after Arabic in the world. It is the official language of Ethiopia. Over 28 million Africans speak this language.

9. Igbo


Igbo is another language spoken by the Igbo  tribe of Nigeria. It is the 9th most spoken African language with about 24 million speakers from Nigeria, Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea.

10. Shona


Shina is the 10th most spoken language in Africa. It is the home language of Zimbabwe. About 14 million people speak Shona in Africa.

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