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Most popular languages spoken in West Africa

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The cultural diversity of Africa cannot be overestimated. There are around 2,000 languages spoken in Africa, with Nigerians alone speaking over 250.

In West Africa, however, here are the languages with the highest number of speakers.

Most popular languages spoken in West Africa

Many countries in Africa were colonized by France, and more than 50 million people in Africa speak French. Coincidentally, many of these speakers are in West Africa. In nations like Benin, Togo, Mali, Senegal, Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire, French is either the official language or used very commonly in society.

In West Africa, English is the primary language of many countries. Nations like Nigeria, The Gambia, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Ghana speak it officially.

Yoruba is considered one of the most widespread Nigerian languages as it has 20 million estimated speakers across Africa, according to Buzz Nigeria. Outside Nigeria, you find large Yoruba-speaking communities in and Benin Republic. Smaller communities be found in Sierra Leone, Liberia and other African countries.



Arabic is the most widespread language in Africa and is the official or national language of Mauritania, and Niger.

Hausa is the Chadic language with the largest number of speakers in Africa, spoken as a first language by some 27 million people. In West Africa, Hausa is commonly spoken throughout southern Niger and northern Nigeria. You can also find it in small communities in Ghana. It has developed into a lingua franca across much of Western Africa for purposes of trade.

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