A cohort of African nations have emerged as standout contenders on the Global English Proficiency Index.
This is evident in the recently released 2022 ranking of the Education First English Proficiency Index which ranks countries by the equity of English language skills amongst adults who took the EF test.
These countries, spanning diverse cultures and landscapes, have not only embraced the power of the English language but have also achieved commendable proficiency levels.
Join us as we look through some of these countries and their performance on the index.
South Africans are the most English-proficient people in Africa. According to the report, the African country leads the continent with a score of 609. It also occupied the 12th position globally.
This is however no surprise as about 5,000 British settlers first arrived in the South African region in 1795. Reports say officials recruited British schoolmasters and Scottish clergy to occupy positions in the education and church systems in order to spread the influence of English in the colony.
Kenya came second on the list with an average score of 582. The East African country ranked 20th globally.
English was introduced to Kenya along with the United Kingdom’s colonisation of Kenya in 1895. The British reportedly reduced the influence of Swahili and made English the medium of instruction in Kenyan schools.
Nigeria, the most populous black nation makes the number 28 on the global chart in the EF English Proficiency Index ranking. In the latest update, the country was ranked as the third-best English-speaking African country with a 564 score.
Nigeria’s performance in the EF English Proficiency Index could be a reflection of the country’s commitment to enhancing language skills, communication, and global connectivity, contributing to its growth on the international stage.
With a moderate English proficiency score, Ghana sits as Africa’s fourth-best English-speaking African country. The West African country occupied the 41st position on the global scale with a 529 score.
Uganda was ranked as the fifth-best English-speaking African country with a 512 score. The landlocked East African country also ranked 55th globally. Uganda’s official language is English and it is spoken by most educated Ugandans.
The sixth-best English-speaking African country on the Global English Proficiency Index is Tunisia with a 511 score. It closely follows Uganda as the 56th country globally.
Although Tunisia has Arabic as its official language, English is taught as a second foreign language in the country.
In Tanzania, English is a minority language compared to Swahili. It is used as a language of instruction in secondary and higher education.
On the Global English proficiency index, Tanzania ranks as the seventh-best English-speaking African country with a 496 score. It also occupies the 63rd position globally.
Ethiopia comes next as the eighth-best English-speaking African country with a 490 score.
In Ethiopia, English is the most widely spoken foreign language and is the medium of instruction in secondary schools and universities.
Morocco occupied the ninth position with a 478 score. The North-African country ranked as the 76th best English-speaking country in the world. This is because most Moroccans do not speak English. Reports say only 15% of the population is proficient in English.
Algeria is the tenth-best English-speaking African country with a 476 score. Occupying the 78th position globally, Algeria started teaching English in primary schools in 2022.
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