One of the most notable characteristics of the continent is its linguistic variety, but, how many languages ​​are spoken in Africa? Can you approximate the number of languages ​​spoken on this continent? Complicated, right? Well, we can give you an answer:

Around 2000 languages ​​are spoken, however, it must be taken into account that not all these languages ​​are spoken by a similar number of people, because while some have millions of speakers, others are concentrated in a smaller number of people.

In Africa 23 official languages ​​coexist, among the most common are French and English, being the official or co-official languages ​​in 41 of the 54 countries that make up the continent … Arabic, Portuguese and Swahili are also very widespread.

This has an explanation and, is that in the pre-colonial period, before the European powers divided up the African continent at the Berlin Conference, only native languages ​​were spoken in the territory. After independence, many countries adopted an official language, which in many cases was a European language.

Thus, of the total number of African countries, 27 have a European language as their official language, 18 have one of these languages ​​as official and only 9 continue to have only native languages ​​as official.


  1. Angola: Portuguese.
  2. Algeria: Classical Arabic (cultured Arabic).
  3. Benin: French.
  4. Botswana: English and Setswana.
  5. Burkina Faso: French.
  6. Burundi: French and Kirundi.
  7. Cape Verde: Portuguese.
  8. Cameroon: French and English.
  9. Chad: French and Arabic.
  10. Central African Republic: French and Sango.
  11. Comoros: Arabic, Swahili and French.
  12. Republic of the Congo: French, Lingala and Kituba.
  13. Democratic Republic of the Congo: French.
  14. Ivory Coast: French.
  15. Egypt: Arabic.
  16. Eritrea: * None at the official level. Arabic and Tigrinya are the most widely spoken languages.
  17. Ethiopia: Amharic.
  18. Gabon: French.
  19. Gambia: English.
  20. Ghana: English.
  21. Guinea: French.
  22. Guinea-Bissau: Portuguese.
  23. Equatorial Guinea: Spanish, French and Portuguese.
  24. Kenya: Swahili and English.
  25. Lesotho: Sesotho and English.
  26. Liberia: English.
  27. Libya: Arabic.
  28. Madagascar: French and Malagasy.
  29. Malawi: English and Chichewa.
  30. Mali: French.
  31. Morocco: Classical Arabic and Berber.
  32. Mauritius: English, French, and Mauritian Creole.
  33. Mauritania: Arabic.
  34. Mozambique: Portuguese.
  35. Namibia: Afrikaans and German.
  36. Niger: French.
  37. Nigeria: English.
  38. Rwanda: Kinyanwarda, English and French.
  39. Sao Tome and Principe: Portuguese.
  40. Senegal: French.
  41. Seychelles: English, French, and Seychellois Creole.
  42. Sierra Leone: English.
  43. Somalia: Somali.
  44. Swaziland: Swazi and English.
  45. South Africa: English and Afrikaans.
  46. Sudan: English and Arabic.
  47. South Sudan: English.
  48. Tanzania: Swahili and English.
  49. Togo: French.
  50. Tunisia: Arabic.
  51. Uganda: English and Swahili.
  52. Djibouti: Arabic and French.
  53. Zambia: English.
  54. Zimbabwe: English.