Don’t be fooled into thinking that French is limited to the French-speaking western world. There are over twenty-one Countries in Africa That Speak French as their official language. Colonialism brought the language to Africa’s borders. Although French and Belgian colonial power in Africa waned in the 1950s and 1960s, the French language endured.
Currently, research shows that in 11 African countries, it is the sole official language and in 10 other countries, it is a second language. As a result of African immigrants, French is now the world’s fifth most widely spoken language.
10 Countries In Africa That Speak French
Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal, Togo, Uganda, Tanzania, Côte d’Ivoire, and Niger.
First on our list of Countries in Africa That Speak French is Cameroon – first colonized by Germans in 1884, this densely populated African country was renamed the Rio de Camares or “River of Prawns” by Portuguese explorers.
Following World War I, the League of Nations divided the country in half, putting France in charge of three-quarters of it and the United Kingdom in charge of the other quarter. Only in 1960 was Cameroon granted independence from France. As a result, both French and English are recognized as national languages.
Yaoundé is the capital city of Cameron. More than 260 distinct dialects and languages are spoken in Cameroon, making it one of the most diverse countries in Africa.
Côte d’Ivoire is the place to go if you want the best cocoa beans. As the world’s top producer and exporter of cocoa beans, it is located in southern West Africa. Nuts and palm oil are also used in their preparation. This area was historically known as the “tooth coast” due to its ivory commerce. Yamoussoukro is the country’s capital.
The official language of Côte d’Ivoire is French. As a French protectorate, this country has been in existence since 1883. In 1904, it officially became a French colony and part of French West Africa after only six years of independence. It was in 1960 when Côte d’Ivoire became a sovereign state. Côte d’Ivoire was formerly known as the Ivory Coast.
Senegal is a lovely country with a fusion of African traditional culture and French colonial architecture. The country’s official language is French, and the majority of its people are Muslims. Additionally, they are home to West Africa’s largest mosque.
Saint-Louis, Senegal, was built in 1650 as the beginning of the French occupation of Senegal. From 1895 to 1960, however, it was a French colony and the epicenter of France’s West African empire in this region. Dakar is the capital of Senegal.
Senegal is one of Africa’s most popular tourism destinations. Just a few of the things you can do here include surfing and birdwatching. For the first time, Senegal will host an Olympic event when the 2022 Youth Olympic Games are held there.
Consider seeing at least one or all of Senegal’s seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites if you plan to visit the country on a tourist trip. Pink Lake (Lake Retba) is another must-see attraction. The pink color of this lake is due to the high salt concentration and the presence of bacteria that can only thrive in this environment. Peanuts and fish are major exports from this country.
In 1957, the people of British Togoland, which had been occupied by the Allies since World War II, opted to join the Gold Coast in the newly formed Ghana. However, in 1960, the French Togoland was renamed the Togolese Republic.
Even though Togo is one of the world’s tiniest countries, don’t be fooled. Phosphate deposits and a well-developed agricultural export industry make this country one of the continents with the highest quality of life. Togo’s white-sand beaches, fishing communities, colorful markets, and national parks attract tourists from around the world.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Officially, French is the official language of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. People from all around the Congo can communicate with each other in french because it is commonly accepted that this is the country’s official language.
Civil violence and corruption have decimated this central African country, which is home to 81.5 million people. Languages spoken include Lingala and Kiswahili in addition to French and Tshiluba in the official language.
33 million Congolese people (47 percent of the population) were able to read and write French in 2014, according to a survey from the Organization for International Development (OIF). 65 percent of the population could read French, and 68.5 percent were fluent in the language as well.
Another French-speaking African nation is Burkina Faso, which we’ve included in this list. Public services and the press are all in French in Burkina Faso’s administrative, governmental and judicial organizations.
Government, courts, and administration all use the same language. The country’s schools also use French as a medium of instruction.
Niger’s official language is French, one of the country’s 11 recognized languages. Nigerien is a country located to the east of Mali, on the edge of the Sahara Desert.
With a population of 16.6 million, it serves as a major transit point for migrants heading to Europe. Although French is the official language, many people also speak Hausa, Songhai, and Arabic.
Mali is a country where people speak a variety of languages. There are many Europeans who have heard of Mali and Timbuktu, a metropolis in northern Mali that spans more than 80 languages. Located in West Africa, the country of Mali is one of the largest on the continent.
It’s the official language of France, which is spoken by 18.5 million people. Aside from Arabic and Bambara, many people speak Bambara and Berber dialects. There are more people who speak the language in metropolitan areas.
The colonial language was retained as the country’s official language upon independence and is still used in government and formal education today. Everyone in Mali who speaks French as a second language is almost universally fluent in French.
Benin is another African country that is fluent in French. French is the primary language used in the public sector, the judiciary, politics, and the media. Every aspect of government, as well as the judicial system, requires fluency in English. Schools in France use French as their major language of instruction.
At 18.6 million people, it is one of the poorest countries in Africa. It is located in the west and is completely surrounded by water. In 1919, France acquired Burkina Faso and declared French as the national language.
The Republic of the Congo
Thirty percent of Congolese people are fluent in French. Half of Brazzaville’s adult population over the age of 15 can write basic French sentences. This oil-producing country in Sub-Saharan Africa, with a population of only 5 million people, is a prominent player in the region. The official language is French.
conclusively on the Countries in Africa That Speak French, the West African CFA franc (XOF) is used by Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, and Togo. 447.18 XOF is the approximate value of one Canadian dollar.