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Here are 20 of the most spoken languages in Africa

Africa's linguistic landscape is incredibly diverse, with some languages boasting millions of speakers across multiple countries.

Here are 20 of the most spoken languages in Africa

Here are the ten most spoken languages in Africa based on the number of speakers and their geographical spread:

Swahili, also known as Kiswahili, is widely spoken throughout East Africa and serves as a lingua franca in several countries including Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Mozambique, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It has over 100 million speakers.

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Arabic is the most widely spoken language in North Africa, prevalent in countries such as Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, and Sudan. It is also the official language of several African countries and is spoken by over 100 million people.

Hausa is one of the major languages of West Africa, particularly in Nigeria and Niger, with about 50 million native speakers and another 20 million who use it as a second language.

Yoruba is predominantly spoken in Nigeria, with significant numbers in Benin and Togo as well. It has about 40 million native speakers.

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Amharic is the official language of Ethiopia and is spoken by over 32 million people as a first language and 25 million as a second language.

Oromo, also referred to as Afaan Oromo, is widely spoken in Ethiopia and parts of Kenya and Somalia. It has approximately 37 million speakers.

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Igbo is one of the major languages of Nigeria, with around 34 million speakers. It is one of the official languages of Nigeria and is spoken predominantly in the southeastern part of the country.

Zulu, or isiZulu, is widely spoken in South Africa with over 12 million first-language speakers and 16 million people who speak it as a second language.

French is an official language in several African countries, including Senegal, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger. It is spoken by millions across the continent, both as a first and second language.

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Portuguese is the official language of Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, and São Tomé and Príncipe. It has over 20 million speakers in Africa.

Shona is one of the most spoken languages in Zimbabwe and central Mozambique.

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Somali is the official language of Somalia and is also spoken in parts of Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Kenya.

Wolof is widely spoken in Senegal and parts of The Gambia and Mauritania.

Fula is used by millions across a swath of countries from Senegal to Sudan along the Sahel.

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Berber languages are indigenous to North Africa and are spoken by millions, especially in Morocco and Algeria.

IsiXhosa is another of South Africa’s 11 official languages, predominantly spoken in the Eastern Cape Province.

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As a principal dialect of Akan, Twi is spoken by millions in Ghana.

Tigrinya is spoken in Eritrea and northern Ethiopia.

Lingala is used extensively in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and parts of the Republic of the Congo.

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Mandinka is a major language in The Gambia, as well as in parts of Senegal, Mali, and Guinea.

These languages not only serve as means of everyday communication but also play critical roles in governance, education, media, and cultural expression across the continent.

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