List Of Portuguese Speaking Countries In Africa 2023

Filed in Article by on September 28, 2022 0 Comments

Are you looking for the list of Portuguese Speaking Countries in Africa? If yes, then this informative article is for you. You will be given detailed information about the list of Portuguese Speaking Countries in Africa.

In the African continent, there are over 30 million people speaking the Portuguese language. Some are people in nations colonised by Portugal while others are just countries with communities who have learned the language from Portuguese speaking communities that they have interacted with. This article will discuss some of the Portuguese speaking countries in Africa and the roles that the language has played in this continent.

Reasons For The Scramble Of Africa

As one of the colonial powers, the Portuguese colonial powers fought for particular African nations due to various reasons such as:

Raw Materials

There was a surplus raw material for their industries back in their home country, and the Africans did not have the machinery or know-how to exploit it. Such included oil, cotton, cocoa, rubber and diamond.

Limited Competition Of Power

African nations did not have a strong leadership force, and hence it was easy to head them and force some cultures and customs on them.


The Portuguese powers also scrambled for the countries along the coastline since it was strategic for the shipment of their goods. These nations were also easy to defend from other colonial powers due to their nearness to the sea.

Africa had not developed as much, and hence they saw the potential to expand their businesses, leadership and religion.

Their leadership however failed since they did not have enough support from their home country to lead the colonial states. There were also few Portugal colonisers, and hence it became easy for the African states to fight for their freedom.

Portuguese African Colonies

Which countries in Africa were colonized by Portugal? The following are some of nations along the coasts that were inhabited by the Portuguese colonial powers. Firm settlement establishments, ports and trade activities were first made along the coastal lines by this colonial power.


Mozambique is one of the countries where Portuguese is spoken officially. Colonisation is seen through their culture which was greatly influenced by the Portuguese. They, however, fought for their independence and gained it on the 25th June 1975.


This country was a Portuguese colony from 1575 to 11th November 1975 when it gained its freedom. It is known to be the second largest oil producer in sub –Saharan Africa. However, the corruption epidemic in the country has derailed its economy, and most people are still living below the poverty line. The Portuguese culture in the country was nonetheless eroded as the years went by.

Cape Verde

Being a relatively developing country and with a population of approximately 500,600, Cape Verde is an island that covers 570 kilometres off the west African coast. They have embraced religion with most of them being Christians. Cape Verde gained its independence on 5th July 1975.

Equatorial Guinea

As a country in mid-Africa occupying 28,000 square kilometres, Equatorial Guinea is one of the smallest but wealthiest nations in Africa. It has Spanish, French and Portuguese as official languages. They are however ignorant of human rights in the country; hence religion and other customs left by the Portuguese were neglected. Equatorial Guinea gained its independence in 1974.

Guinea Bissau

Guinea Bissau is a kingdom that was colonised by Portuguese. It, however, managed to get its power from the colonial powers on 10th September 1974.

What Are The Portuguese Speaking Countries In Africa?

Colonisation by the Portuguese left some African nations still glued to the Portuguese language. In countries such as Mozambique, Angola, Cape Verde, Sao Tome, and Principe, and Equatorial Guinea it is an official language.

These states go by the name PALOP (Paises Africanos de Lingua Oficial Portuguesa). There are however the likes of South Africa who have communities speaking the Portuguese language in Africa.

Most of these are communities from neighbouring states such as Angola and Mozambique that have fled their countries due to civil war. This has led to almost 300,000 people speaking Portuguese in South Africa.

Senegal, on the other hand, has the language being taught as a foreign language throughout the country. Mauritius also had an encounter with the Portuguese since they were the first to discover the island. They speak Portuguese as well.

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