african countries

It’s not only in France that people speak French. There are numerous countries in Africa where people speak French as a first or second language. Because of colonization, Africa has the largest population of French-speaking people. Some countries still speak their native indigenous languages but others have really adapted French as a first language like in the Ivory Coast and in Gabon. In other countries, it depends on which social-class you fit. In Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria, it’s the upper-class who speak French as a first language. The ‘Scramble for Africa’ is a dark and sad part of African history but to know more about these countries, you need to learn all about their colonization. Here is a list of all 26 African countries where people speak French.


The French invaded Algeria in 1830 with the Invasion of Algiers. Algeria was under French rule until their independence. The war for their independence lasted from 1954-1962 but turmoil started during World War 1. Some have called the French invasion a genocide.

2Benin (formerly known as Dahomey)

Benin’s official language is French but other local languages are commonly spoken. It was part of the huge slave trade. Europeans would kidnap Africans to sell them in North America. After slavery was abolished, France took over the country. Benin gained its independence in 1960.

3Burkina Faso

The official government and business language of Burkina Faso is French. The French, English and German were all fighting to take over this country but France won in 1896. Burkina Faso stayed a French colony until 1960.