french speaking african countries

What are the French Speaking Countries in Africa and Their Currencies?

If you think that French is only spoken in France, think again. In Africa alone, there are at least 21 countries in the continent that speak French. The language was brought to the African shores through colonialism. France and Belgium’s control over African colonies may have been lost in the 1in the 1950s and 60s but the language stayed.

At present, data shows that the language is the sole official language in 11 African countries and the second official language in the other 10. And thanks to Africans, French is the world’s fifth spoken language.

Remitbee serves 11 countries in Africa: Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal, Togo, Uganda, Tanzania, Côte d'Ivoire, and Nigeria. Out of these, four are French-speaking. Let’s get to know these countries as well as their currencies.

Cameroon - XOF

Named by the Portuguese explorers as the Rio dos Camarões or “River of Prawns”, this highly urbanized country in western Africa was first colonized in 1884 by Germans until 1916. After World War I, The League of Nations placed ¾ of the country under France and the remaining ¼ under Britain's rule. It was only in 1960 that Cameroon was given its independence. That is why French and English are the official languages of this country.

The capital of Cameron is Yaoundé. It is home to over 260 tribes with their distinct dialect, so aside from their official languages, about 230 more languages and dialects are spoken in Cameroon.

Côte d’Ivoire - XOF

When it comes to cocoa beans, Côte d’Ivoire is the place to be. This African country in southern West Africa is the largest exporter of cocoa beans in the world. They also apply various nuts and palm oil. This land was once called the “teeth coast” due to its ivory trade. The capital city of this country is Yamoussoukro.

Côte d’Ivoire’s official language is French. Since 1883, this country has been a French protectorate. Six years later, it became France’s colony and a territory of French West Africa in 1904. In 1960, Côte d’Ivoire gained its full independence. From being Ivory Coast, this country’s name was changed to Côte d’Ivoire.

Senegal - XOF

Senegal is a beautiful country where traditional African culture and French influence harmoniously join together. The official language of the country is French, and 95 percent of its population is Muslim. They also house the largest mosque in West Africa.

The French conquest of Senegal began in 1650 when Saint-Louis, Senegal, was established. However, the country became a French colony from 1895 to 1960 and the center of France’s west African empire. The capital of Senegal is Dakar.

Senegal is a famous tourist destination in Africa. Surfing and birdwatching are just some of the activities you’ll enjoy here. Senegal will be the first African country to host an Olympic event, the 2022 Youth Olympic Games. If you go to Senegal for a tour, ensure that you won’t miss visiting at least one or all of its 7 UNESCO sites. Lac Retba or Pink Lake is also a must-visit. This lake is pink due to high salt concentration, and it contains bacteria that only survive under its condition, which causes the lake to give off pink colour when absorbing sunlight. This country is a big exporter of peanuts and fish.

Togo - XOF

After World War II, the residents of British Togoland voted to join the Gold Coast as part of the newly independent Ghana nation in 1957. The French Togoland, on the other hand, became the Togolese Republic in 1960.

Togo might be considered as one of the smallest countries, but don’t let its size fool you. This country is one of the continents that enjoys the highest living standards due to this valuable phosphate deposit and well-developed agricultural export sector. Tourists frequent Togo for its beautiful white-sand beaches, fishing villages, vibrant markets, and national parks.

Conclusion

Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, and Togo have the same currency: West African CFA franc, their currency code is XOF. 1 CAD is approximately 447.18 XOF. If you’re planning to send money from Canada to these French-speaking African countries, use Remitbee Online Money Transfer Service. We promise you fast and secure service, competitive rates, and low fees.

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