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Top Languages Spoken Across Africa

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The African continent is one of the most linguistically diverse continents in the world. The continent is home to more than one billion people who speak more than 2000 languages. Some research studies indicate that there are about 3000 languages spoken across the African continent. Nigeria, the most populous country on the continent is one of the biggest concentrations of linguistic diversity in the world with more than 500 languages being spoken in the country. The continent also has a rich multilingual history due to interactions of people from different linguistic backgrounds through trade ad intermarriages. Many of the African people speak more than one language.

After gaining independence many African countries adopted one language to be used as the main or the official language to be spoken by their citizens as one way of promoting nationalities. Many countries selected the languages of their former colonial masters to be used in government, business, and education. This explains why English, French, and Portuguese are among the mostly widely spoken languages on the continent.   Nevertheless, many African countries have began promoting their local languages and appreciating their linguistic diversity through developing language policies that promote multilingualism.

The African languages mainly fall into one of the three linguistic families: Afro-asiatic, Nilo-Saharan, and Niger-Congo, with other languages being part of different bigger language groups such as the Khoisan, Indo-European, and Austronesian linguistic families. Afroasiatic languages are mostly spoken in North Africa as well as the horn of Africa by more than 350 million people. Among the languages included in this linguistic family, include Berber languages, Semitic languages, Chadic languages and the Cushitic languages. The Nilo-Saharan language family is the largest linguistic grouping that brings together many diverse languages from the Nile valley all the way to Tanzania, Congo, Nigeria, as well as some languages along the Niger River. Among the widely spoken languages in this group include Kanuri, Fur, Songhay, Nobiin, and the widespread Nilotic family, which includes the Luo, Dinka, and Maasai. The Niger-Congo language family is the biggest language group on the continent, and by extension in the world, given the vast number of languages it comprises. Within this larger family is the Bantu language group, which covers a huge geographical area across the continent.

  1. Arabic
Map showing the distribution of Arabic language Speakers in Africa and Parts of Asia
Map showing the distribution of Arabic language Speakers in Africa and Parts of Asia

Arabic is the most widely spoken language in Africa based on the number of people who speak the language. However, the language is mostly concentrated in North Africa and some parts f the Sub-Saharan Africa. It is estimated that there are more than 140 million people who speak Arabic as their first language in Africa, making it the biggest language on the continent. Thus, Arabic speakers on the Continent of Africa make up to 62% of the total speakers of Arabic in the world. Arabic is the official language of many African nations including Algeria, Comoros, Chad, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia, and Western Sahara. It is also worth noting that most of the countries that speak Arabic in Africa are have Islam as the majority religion.

2. Swahili

A map of the Swahili language Speakers in Africa
A map of the Swahili language Speakers in Africa

Swahili or Kiswahili is the second most popularly spoken language on the Continent. This is a Bantu language that is spoken as the first language among the Swahili people of East Africa. It is estimated that speakers of Swahili language in Africa are more than 100 million, but only about 15 million speak it as a first language. Kiswahili is the national language in Tanzania, Kenya, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Shikomor, which is the official language of Comoros, is considered a dialect of Kiswahili as the two languages are closely related. The Swahili language has its origins along the coastal lines of Kenya and Tanzania. A huge chunk of the vocabulary in Swahili is derived from the Arabic language as a result of the interactions of the Arabic traders and the coastal people of East Africa from the 15thand 16th century. There are also other Swahili words that have been originally derived from German, Portuguese, English, Hindustani and French. The language is recognized and spoken in many countries on the continent including Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi, Rwanda and Burundi, Somalia, and the Comoro Islands.

3. Hausa

A map showing the distribution of people speaking the Hausa language in Africa
A map showing the distribution of people speaking the Hausa language in Africa

Hausa is the third largest language on the African Continent. It is classified as a member of the Chadic branch of the Afro-Asiatic family of languages. Hausa is the most widely spoken as a first language in Nigeria and as a second language in Nigeria as well as many other West African Countries. There are more than 70 million speakers of the Hausa language in Africa. Most Hausa speakers live in Northern Nigeria and Southern Republic of Niger. The language is also popular in Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Togo as well as Chad. The language originated from a dialect in Kano, Nigeria, where most of the Hausa speakers are located. It is widely used in business and education in Nigeria and other parts of West Africa. Besides, it is one of the few African countries that are taught in International Universities due to its immense literature.

4. English

Image showing a map of African Countries that Speak the English language
Image showing a map of African Countries that Speak the English language

English is the fourth most popular language on the continent. The language, which originated in England in the United Kingdom, was introduced in Africa through the colonization of Africa by the British. Many former colonies of Britain have adopted English as their official language for government, business, and education. Many other countries have plans in place for adopting English in their countries, despite not being former colonies of Britain. For example, Rwanda, which is a former colony of France, is quickly encouraging its citizens to learn and speak English as the country integrates itself into the East African community. English is spoken in 23 African countries including Botswana, Cameroun, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, St. Helena, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

5. Amharic

Image showing a bottle of Coca-Cola, a global brand by the leading beverage companies, Coca-Cola, in Amharic.
Image showing a bottle of Coca-Cola, a global brand by the leading beverage companies, Coca-Cola, in Amharic.

This is the fifth most widely spoken languages in Africa. It is the second largest Semitic dialect on the continent after Arabic. It is the official language in Ethiopia, with more than 25 million native speakers, and is spoken outside Ethiopia by about 3 million emigrants. Amharic is one of the very few African languages that uses its own alphabet, while most other languages use either Arabic or Latin letters. The Amharic language is also associated with the Rastafarian movement common in the Caribbean. Many Rastafarians also learn Amharic as a second language, as they consider it to be a sacred language. Many popular Jamaican reggae artists such as Ras Michael, Lincoln Thompson and Misty-in-Roots have composed and sang several of their songs in Amharic, thus bringing the language to a new audience in the Caribbean.

6. French

An image showing the translation of names of popular colors from french to English
An image showing the translation of names of popular colors from french to English

French, like English, is a European language that was introduced in African through colonization. The language, which originated from France, is mostly spoken in former colonies of France in West and Central Africa. In Africa, French is often spoken alongside indigenous languages, but in some areas, it has become a first language, such as in the region of Abidjan, Ivory Coast or Libreville, Gabon. Among the countries that speak French in Africa include Togo, Senegal, Seychelles, Rwanda, Re-Union, Niger, Mali, Madagascar, Guinea, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Cameroun, Congo, DRC, Algeria, Chad, Burkina Faso, Benin, and Burundi.

7. Oromo

The Oromo Alphabet
The Oromo Alphabet

The Oromo language is Cushitic language widely spoken in the Horn of Africa and other surrounding nations including Ethiopia, Somali, Kenya, and Egypt. The Oromo are the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia and account for up to 40% of the entire population.

8. Yoruba

Popular Us Based Rapper Wale, whose real name is Olubowale Victor Akintimehin, from Washington DC is originally from Nigeria among the Yoruba People
Popular Us Based Rapper Wale, whose real name is Olubowale Victor Akintimehin, from Washington DC, is originally from Nigeria among the Yoruba People.

Yoruba is one of the principle languages of Nigeria and is also spoken in other countries in West Africa. Significant Yoruba populations in other West Africancountries can be found in Ghana, Togo, Ivory Coast, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

9. Igbo

An Image of the Igbo Dictionary by Okowa Okwu
An Image of the Igbo Dictionary by Okowa Okwu

This is the native language of the Igbo people of Nigeria. The Igbo people are one of the largest ethnic groups in Africa. Igbo is also a recognized minority language of Equatorial Guinea.

10. Berber

Berber Alphabet
Berber Alphabet

The Berber language is the tenth most widely spoken language in Africa. The Berber languages are a group of 26 closely related languages that constitute a branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family. They are spoken by 14 to 25 million people in Northern Africa throughout the Mediterranean coast, the Sahara desert and Sahel, an area which used to be dominated by Berbers before the arrival of the Arabs. Today, there are large groups of Berber-speaking people in Morocco and Algeria, Mali, Niger and Libya, and smaller groups in Tunis, Mauritania, Burkina-Faso, and Egypt.

A list of the 10 Most Widely Spoken Languages on the African Continent

  1. Arabic
  2. Swahili
  3. Hausa
  4. English
  5. Amharic
  6. French
  7. Oromo
  8. Yoruba
  9. Igbo
  10. Berber

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24 Hours Across Africa

Erdogan, confident that Trump will waive sanctions on Turkey.

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Source: Reuters- U.S. President Donald Trump has the authority to waive sanctions on Turkey for its purchase of Russian air defense systems and should find a “middle ground” in the dispute, President Tayyip Erdogan says.

First parts of a Russian S-400 missile defense system are unloaded from a Russian plane at Murted Airport, known as Akinci Air Base, near Ankara, Turkey, July 12, 2019.

Erdogan’s comments came two days after NATO member Turkey took delivery of the first consignment of advanced Russian S-400 missile defense system parts, despite warnings from Washington that the move would trigger U.S. sanctions.

Broadcaster Haberturk quoted Erdogan as telling Turkish journalists that Trump “has the authority to waive or postpone CAATSA”, referring to U.S. sanctions designed to prevent countries buying military equipment from Russia.

“Since this is the case, it is Trump who needs to find the middle ground,” Erdogan said, according to Haberturk.

Trump expressed sympathy for Turkey’s position when he met Erdogan at a G20 summit in Japan last month, saying Ankara had bought the S-400s from Moscow because the previous U.S. administration would not sell it the Patriot defense system made by Raytheon Co.

“Right now, I don’t believe Trump is of the same opinion of those below him and he has said this in front of all the world’s media,” Erdogan said. “By buying the S-400s, we are not getting ready for war. We are trying to guarantee peace and our national security.”

Despite Trump’s warm words, U.S officials said last week the administration still planned to act.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the Washington Post in an interview published late on Sunday “the law requires that there be sanctions and I’m confident that we will comply with the law and President Trump will comply with the law”.

U.S. officials have said Turkey could also be thrown off the F-35 stealth fighter jet program in addition to the threatened CAATSA sanctions,

Meaning it would no longer be part of the production process or be able to buy the jets it has ordered.

The Pentagon says the S-400s would pose a threat to the jets if they were operating in the same region.

Erdogan said Turkey had orders for more than 100 F-35s made by Lockheed Martin and expected Washington to remain committed to the deal.

Erdogan said Turkey still wanted to buy Patriot missile defense systems from Washington and the two countries should be aiming to increase trade and work on “comprehensive defense cooperation”.

“Trump has always viewed this positively,” he said. “ … Now, at a time when we are discussing mutual trade volumes of $75 billion, $100 billion, will we be dealing with this gossip? Why should we? We are strategic partners, let’s do what strategic partnership entails.”

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Nigeria: Actress Regina Daniels Married to Billionaire Ned Nwoko? Here’s Why I married Her.

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We all heard that Nollywood actress, Regina Daniels is customarily married to businessman/politician, Ned Nwoko who happens to be 59 years old (Not like it matters). They had a customary marriage ceremony at Asaba which was the hometown of the Daniel’s.

Hon. Ned Nwoko, a former member of the House of Representatives, is 59 (Like we mentioned earlier, not like it matters again) and his newest wife, Regina is 18 years old meaning that he had  or maybe has four other wives. The billionaire politician also happens to be a muslim and can lawfully have as many wives as his relgion allows (Your research can start afterwards)

 

Also, he cited his royal background as another factor for his harem of women.
Recall that Ned Nwoko married one Miss Nwakaego Ukachukwu, his Special Adviser on Legal Matters and also gifted her a N20 million BMW car as well as a posh mansion in a high-brow area in Abuja.

Regina and mum, Rita

Married to five wives, Nwoko has been the one splashing cash and spoiling Regina Daniels silly with expensive gifts. He bought her the expensive cars including a house in GRA Asaba which the actress brandished on social media some weeks ago as a gift to her mother, Rita Daniels.

Don’t forget little Regina flaunted a N3.3m Rolex wristwatch, some days after her gift to her mum.
Obviously, Regina has been dating the billionaire for at least over a year or close to two. When asked if Ned Nwoko could be accused of cradle-snatching, sources close to him hinted that Nwoko didn’t touch her until she was of age.
It was also gathered that Mr. Nwoko sometimes flies the actress to Abuja on his private jet to one of his cozy homes where he also enjoys quiet times with her.
The wedding ceremony, which held last weekend was a private affair as the few family members invited were instructed not to take photographs. There wasn’t much glitz as many would have wanted and everybody complied with the wish of the couple to have a discreet ceremony.

Her mother, Rita Daniels, is also an actress. Currently, a Mass Communication student of the Igbinedion University, Benin, she became a social media sensation recently when she started flaunting luxury on her Instagram page. From flying private jets to different parts of the world to flaunting luxury cars, she became the kind of newsmaker acting never afforded her.

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