An Overview Of English Speaking Countries In Africa

english speaking african countries
(Last Updated On: November 25, 2023)

English Speaking African Countries

Africa is the second-largest continent in the world, known for its diverse cultures, rich history, and varied landscapes. West Africa, North Africa, and Central Africa collectively form a significant part of the African continent, the second-largest in the world. The diversity within African nations is reflected not only in their landscapes but also in linguistic diversity, with tribal languages often serving as a crucial element of cultural identity. Under colonial rule, exemplified by British rule in places like Saint Helena and Cape Town, the imposition of certain languages as the language of instruction in schools occurred, shaping the educational landscape. In Côte d’Ivoire, for instance, the language of choice in schools may differ from the tribal languages spoken in daily life, with a secondary language often being prioritized. This linguistic complexity is evident in the extensive list of countries on the continent, each grappling with its unique historical legacy and the challenges posed by the largest country in Africa.

Eastern Africa is home to some of the most populated countries on the continent, with one standing out as the most populous country in the region. In the realm of international communication and business, major cities such as Sao Tome have become hubs where English skills are highly valued. The English-speaking population in this area has grown significantly, positioning English as the preferred language for various facets of international business. While Bantu languages remain principal in local interactions, the prevalence of English as a language of business underscores the global interconnectedness and the region’s adaptation to the demands of the international arena.

South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria are the only African countries most people can name. Most others require a map to locate their general location if you can even find them on the globe at all.

In this article, you’ll learn about 10 English-speaking African countries that you might not have known existed before reading this article.

Most of them will probably surprise you with how interesting they are!

South Sudan

South Sudan is the newest country in English speaking countries. It gained independence from Sudan on July 9, 2011.

The capital of South Sudan is Juba and it has a population of 10,170,000 people with 98% being Christian.

The official status of English is only medium of instruction and not the primary language or official language.

The majority of the population of south Sudan speaks native languages which include Dinka, Nuer, Bari and Fur.

English speakers are found throughout all social classes although they are concentrated among those who have had an opportunity to be educated abroad or who have attended schools that teach in English as well as among those who work for international organizations based in Juba such as UNMISS.

filipino origins

Kenya is the most English-speaking country in Morocco, with a population of around 45 million. The country has a history of British colonialism, and English is an official language alongside Swahili.

what language does africa speak

Gambia (Republic of The)

The Gambia is a country on the coast of Western Africa. The Gambia has an area of 10,689 square miles, and its capital city, Banjul, is situated at latitude 12°32’N and longitude 13°14’W.

The country shares boundaries with Senegal to the north, with Mali to the east and southeast, with Guinea to the south, and with the Atlantic Ocean to the west.

The Gambian population includes 4 million people: 1 million are classed as urban inhabitants while 3 million live in rural areas.

The official languages of The Gambia are English (official), Mandinka and Wolof; indigenous languages include Fulani/Pulaar and Wolof.


The Republic of Zambia is a landlocked country in East Africa. It borders Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

English is the official language of Zambia, but other common languages include Bemba, Chinyanja and Tonga. Zambia’s population is concentrated mainly around the Zambezi River with most people living within 50 miles of it.

Western Zambia has been influenced by Christianity while Eastern Zambia has been influenced by Islam.


The country of Zimbabwe is the most developed country on the African continent, but it still has many of the same problems that plague other African countries.

It was colonized by the British and Rhodesia until 1980, when it became Zimbabwe. There are about 12 million native speakers of English in Zimbabwe who use it as their national language.

The population consists mostly of people from Shona, Ndebele, and Tsonga tribes. Around 18% of Zimbabweans speak English as a first or second language.


In Botswana, English is the official language. It’s not surprising, since English is a foreign language to most African countries and has been taught since the 19th century.

However, at the same time, it’s also one of the two official languages spoken in neighboring Zimbabwe.

The other official language is Shona, which comes from an ancient trade language called Ndebele. English was brought over by British colonizers who first came in the 20th century.


The Republic of Namibia is a landlocked country in Southern Africa, bordered by Angola, Zambia, Botswana and South Africa.

As with most countries on the continent, it’s landscape ranges from plains to deserts and mountains. The capital city is Windhoek and English is its official language.

But what about other countries? Nigeria for example, has one of the largest populations on the continent with an estimated 177 million people.

English is also its official language but it’s actually not spoken as much as Hausa or Yoruba are. In contrast to Nigeria, Kenya is predominantly English speaking with a population of just over 43 million.

It too has been victim to terrorism, especially from extremist groups like Boko Haram who have terrorized civilians in towns and villages.

what countries in africa speak english


The country was a British protectorate until independence was achieved in 1968. King Mswati III currently rules Swaziland from his palace at Nhlangano. It is estimated that just over 5% of the population speaks English as their first language.

English is taught in schools and used for government and business, but many people speak siSwati or siLozi which are local languages.

One of the most popular dishes in Swaziland is pap – a maize meal (corn) dish served with various toppings such as beans, potatoes, tomatoes, onions and soya sauce.


Lesotho shares its borders with both South African countries: Free State and KwaZulu-Natal. The capital city of the country is Maseru, which means place of stone in Sesotho language.

A majority of the population lives below poverty level and many families struggle to provide for themselves due to high unemployment rates and low incomes for workers who are employed.

Education is compulsory from age 7 to 15. Primary school consists of seven years, followed by four years at junior secondary school (grades 10 through 12). In grades 10 and 11 all students take English as a subject.

English Language instruction starts off with reading and writing skills, but later moves on to a more conversational approach where students learn about different cultures and lifestyles.

English Language classes culminate in exams that include reading comprehension tests, writing tasks, grammar exercises, speaking activities and short essays.

what do africans speak


The country is divided into 10 provinces and subdivided into 36 districts. English, French, German and Spanish are all official languages of the country, which was also a former British colony.

The Francophone majority accounts for more than 70% of the population while Anglophones account for about 20%.

These groups have historically been separated from one another by geographical barriers and differences in colonial administration practices.

However, since its independence in 1960, Cameroon has had four presidents who were francophones from different parts of Cameroon as well as an anglophone Prime Minister (from Northwest Province).

This country has made considerable progress towards improving political representation at all levels, but it still has not achieved parity among the various linguistic groups.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are twenty-one English-speaking countries in Africa, with South Africa hosting the most. The following is a list of English-speaking countries in Africa by population size: Nigeria, South Africa, Botswana, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and Ghana.

There are a lot of countries in Africa, but not all of them speak English. Many African countries speak their own languages, as well as French and Portuguese. Some countries that speak English include: Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa and Botswana.

If we can help you with any questions, please feel free to contact us


Our privacy policy

Keep in touch


Contact Us 24/7

Translation office in Miami
Request quote