List Of French Speaking Countries in Africa

How many french speaking countries are in Africa?

Here you will find all the francophone countries of the African continent. While these nations have their indigenous languages, they see French as their unifying tongue.

Let’s take a look.

Francophone Countries in Africa

French is among the European languages that find its way to Africa as a result of the colonialism of France. Most nations in Africa that were colonized by France made French their first tongue.

As such, they used language in their broadcast media, education, business, legal practices, and many more, even though there are some variations in their vocabulary and pronunciation.

21 French Speaking Countries in Africa

Among the other African nations colonized by Europeans, francophone countries have a strong affiliation with their colonial masters over others. They have great support on the part of their allies to improve their administrations, economic and social systems.

For you to know all the French-speaking countries in Africa, you will have to stay on this page to the end.  We will describe every francophone nation in Africa.

There is a lot to learn from those countries, especially if you are so interested in learning French.

  • Republic of Benin

It is one of the West African nations colonized by France. They retain French as the official tongue after becoming independent. Currently, about 35% of Beninese people speak French.

However, the Republic of Benin has other indigenous tongues that are largely verbalized across the country. These include, Fon, Ge, Bariba, Yoruba, Dendi, and the list goes on.

  • The Democratic Republic of the Congo

In Central Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is among the countries that embrace francophone culture and language. The country is fine-tuning French as an official tongue.

It is used within the country’s educational, commercial and social sectors. Apart from French, the DRC is home to over 250 dialects such as Kikongo, Swahili, Lingala, Tshiluba, etc.

  • Madagascar

Madagascar being the 4th largest island in the world is a place on the eastern pathway from Europe to Asia. France has also colonized the country.

English was their official language until 2010; Malagasy voters endorsed French as their official tongue following their colonial masters. Moreover, a majority of nationals speak French.

At present, approximately 20% of the Malagasy population is fluent in French.

  • Cameroon

It is among the African nations with two official tongues that are English and French, although France achieved the larger geographical share during colonialism.

As a result, most Cameroonian nationals verbalize French in their respective communities. Except for English and French, there are more than 200 dialects.

There are Bantus, semi-Bantus, Sudanic groups, etc.

  • Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast is one of the West African countries that were colonized by the French around 1843. Since the introduction of French in the course of colonialism, the country has continued to use it as an official tongue.

From 1904 to 1958, Côte d’Ivoire became the fundamental unity of the federation of French western Africa.

  • Niger

Niger is a West African country colonized by the French.

The nation ranks among the top French-speaking states on the continent. In addition to the fact that French is their official tongue, it is also a secondary language to most elites.

However, Niger has another mother tongue that they verbalize in their respective communities. They include Hausa, Songhai, Arabic, and lots more.

  • Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso is also a country in West Africa, which verbalizes French as an official language due to French colonialism. French is used as a tongue for commercial and social interactions.

Nonetheless, other dialects are indigenous.

  • Mali

Mali has one of the largest landmasses in Africa.

This country was formerly governed by France and French was used as an official tongue. After the colonial era, the French continued to be a legacy of their colonial masters.

Approximately 80% of Malian people verbalize lingua franca fluently. Aside from French, Mali has over 40 native dialects that include Hasaniya Arabic, Maasina Fulder, Soninker, etc.

  • Senegal

It is another French-speaking African nation that was colonized by France.

Technically, the official tongue of Senegal is French, because they use it for educational, social, economic, and political purposes. Approximately 25% of them are fluent in French.

But other dialects are verbalized by the natives in addition to French.

  • Chad

As the fifth largest African state, Chad has two official tongues. That’s French and Arabic. French became their official tongue during the colonialist period from 1920 to 1960.

Approximately 12.75% of Chadian people are fluent in French, though they have other indigenous dialects.

  • Guinea

It is one of the countries of West Africa which used to be under the French colonial regime.

In their constitution, French is adopted in their administrative, educational, commercial, and social languages. Some 15-25% of the Guinean population speaks French.

Nevertheless, there are other dialects like Loma, Kpelle, Kissi, etc.

  • Rwanda

Rwanda is located at the eastern end of Africa.

They were colonized by Belgium and have since turned French into their official tongue. Among 724,000 nationals, more than 6% speak French.

But before that, they verbalized Kinyarwanda and Swahili as the main language.

  • Burundi

Burundi is also a Belgian Protectorate that gained independence around 1962. As a result, they use French as the official tongue.

Nearly 10 percent of the country’s population is fluent in French. Kirundi is a second official tongue in Burundi. In addition to French and Kirundi, there are many more native dialects.

  • Togo

Togo is a country in West Africa that embraces the French, right from the period of colonialism by France. Approximately 37% of Togolese citizens are fluent in French.

However, their primary dialects are spoken by the Aboriginal community. They include Ewe, Kabiye, and many others.

  • Djibouti

It is one of the African nations with three official tongues: English, Arabic, and Somali. French was the tongue inherited from colonial masters, while Arab and Somalia was adopted for religious meaning.

Besides these three tongues, several other dialects are verbalized by the inhabitants.

  • Comoros

Similar to Djibouti, Comoros also has three official tongues that include French, Arabic, and Comoros. French is used in governmental and inter-communal communications.

Nearly 25.97% of the country’s people are fluent in French. Outside of the three tongues, there are other native dialects.

  • Seychelles

Seychelles is a beautiful island in the Indian Sea. While English and French are the official languages of Seychelles, their primary language is Seychelles Creole.

However, roughly 53 percent of their population speaks French fluently.

  • Gabon

This is one of the African countries that has the greatest number of francophones. Around 80% of Gabonese nationals verbalize the tongue fluently and 32% of residents have made it their first dialect.

As such, it became the first official language and then English second.  In addition to both foreign languages, there are other native dialects in Gabon such as Fang.

  • Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea is also a country with three official languages: French, Spanish, and Portuguese. The country was colonized by the Spanish.

As such, they are the only African country whose official tongue is Spanish. But there are also aboriginal languages that include Bujeba, Gum, Bube, Igbo, Pichinglis, Bisio, and so on.

  • The Central African Republic

Two tongues are verbalized in CAR which consists of French and Sangho. French was the tongue they’d inherited from their colonial masters.

As such, they use it for governmental administration and inter-communal communication. Approximately 28.75% of their aboriginal people are fluent in French.

Nevertheless, the inhabitants use Sangho and other dialects as their primary language.

  • Republic of the Congo (Congo Brazzaville)

It is a French protectorate as well. Many tongues are officially verbalized in this country and they are composed of French, Lingala, Vili, Lair, Sangho, and Kikongo.

But nearly 30% of the country’s population is fluent in French. On top of these tongues, other dialects are used by the Congolese.

In addition to the aforementioned francophone African states, other countries verbalize French, but it is not their official language. We have Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, and Tunisia.

The countries we’ve listed above have made French their official tongue, although they have their local dialects.