Africa, the second largest continent is home to around 2,000 languages, with Nigeria alone speaking over 250 languages. The continent has a population over 1.216 billion people belonging to different native tribe and groups. The 54 Nations in Africa all have a wide range of languages as diverse as their ancestral tribes.
However, in West Africa, there are bout 1,200 languages with 130 mostly spoken. Let’s take a look at the languages with the highest number of speakers
French is an European language that saw the light of Africa after the colonization period and more than 70 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.
Hausa is the Chadic language with the largest number of speakers in Africa, spoken as a first language by more than 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.
Besides that, it is one of the few African languages that is taught in International Universities due to the amount of literature that it possesses.
English is the primary language of many countries in West Africa. Nations like Nigeria, The Gambia, Liberia, Ghana and Sierra Leone speak if officially.
Yoruba is one of the most cardinal languages in Nigeria with over 30 million speakers in Benin, Nigeria and Togo. Smaller communities of Yoruba speakers can be found in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana and Ivory Coast.
Arabic is the most spoken language in Africa. It is the official or national language of Mauritania, Mali and Niger.
A native language of the Igbo tribe in Nigeria with over 24 million speakers of which a greater portion resides in Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea. Igbo has more than 20 dialects and descends from the Volta-Niger branch of the Niger-Congo family of language.