While countless languages are spoken globally, the English language stands out as a leading force. Its global significance doesn’t just stem from the language itself but from the sheer number of people who speak it.
English plays a pivotal role in cross-border communication, facilitating cultural exchanges and international diplomacy. As a result, English proficiency has become a vital skill in today’s world, empowering individuals to bridge linguistic gaps, access information, and pursue opportunities.
Africa, with its population of over 1 billion people, is no exception to the English wave. About 130 million Africans speak English, and while it’s an official or secondary language in 27 out of 54 countries on the continent, the proficiency levels among them vary.
A recent English Proficiency Index (EPI) published by EF Education First, an international education company that specializes in language training, educational travel, academic degree programs, and cultural exchange, scrutinized the English-speaking prowess of nations worldwide. African countries secured spots across different proficiency levels.
The countries in the ranking are considered non-native English speakers, and the data comes from assessments of 2.1 million adults across 111 countries. They are further categorized into five tiers of proficiency: very high, high, moderate, low, and very low.
South Africa stands out as a beacon of English proficiency in Africa, landing in the very high category alongside nations like the Netherlands, Singapore, Austria, Norway, and Denmark.
Across the continent, English proficiency remains relatively steady, with various age groups showing similar competence levels. What’s even more remarkable is the narrow gender gap; it’s among the smallest in the world, with little disparity between men and women in English proficiency at the national level.
Below are the 5 best English speaking countries in Africa: