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Countries Where French is an Official Language

If you were asked to list countries where French is an official language, you might list France, Haiti, and some African countries. However, there are quite a few countries where French is an official language. It is an official language in 26 countries to be exact. Check out these French speaking countries and interesting facts about each one.

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Benin- A country in West Africa, formerly known as Dahomey  

Burundi- Found in the Great Rift Valley where the African Great Lakes are located

Burkina Faso- landlocked West African country, formerly known as Republic of Upper Volta 

Cameroon- located in west-central Africa, Portuguese explorers named it Shrimp River, the English derivative of the name has the meaning of shrimp

Chad- located at the crossroads of Central and North Africa, has a desert region, fertile region, and the 2nd largest wetland in Africa

Central African Republic- as implied in the name, it is located in Central Africa, it has been undergoing a Civil War since 2012

Congo- also known as Congo-Brazzaville and The Congo, it is located on the western coast of Central Africa, was a part of the French colony known as Equatorial Africa

Djibouti- located in the Horn of Africa, it is the smallest country on the mainland of Africa

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DR Congo- Democratic Republic of the Congo, it is the world’s most populated French-speaking country, it is the 11th largest country by area in the world

Equatorial Guinea- previously named Spanish Guinea, Spanish is also an official language, the name now indicates its location near the Equator

Ivory Coast- as the name implies located on the coast in the southern part of West Africa, 78 different languages are spoken, it has religious diversity

Gabon- located on the west coast of Central Africa, originally populated by Pygmy tribes but were then replaced by the Bantu tribes,

Guinea- located on the coast of West Africa, gained independence from France in 1958 but has experienced a series of military coups d’état ever since. 

Mali- located in West Africa, Africa’s 8th largest country, economy comes from agriculture and mining, a large natural resource is gold, it comes in 3rd for largest gold production in Africa

Niger- located in West Africa, it is named after the Niger River, The Sahara Desert contains over 80% of Niger’s land, considered by United Nations to be one of the least developed in the world

Rwanda- located in Central Africa in the Great Rift Valley, the most densely populated country on mainland Africa and 5th most densely populated in the world

Senegal- located on West Africa, engulfs the country of The Gambia, named after the Senegal River, has a large amount of debt causing it to be a very poor country

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Haiti- located on the island of Hispaniola along with the Dominican Republic, largest population of countries in the Caribbean

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France- located in Europe, the French language originated here and is the only official language, France also has territories in the Americans, and the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans

Luxembourg- located in Western Europe, Luxembourg City houses the seat of the Court of Justice of the EU and is one of the four capitals of the European Union, it contains French and German languages and cultures

Monaco- sovereign city-state, microstate in the French Riviera on the Mediterranean Coast, it is seen as one of the most expensive places to live in the world as well as one of the wealthiest

Switzerland– located at the center of Western, Central, and Southern Europe, the Alps take up much of the country’s landmass, highest nominal wealth per adult in the world

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Comoros- archipelagic country located in the Indian ocean off the eastern coast of Africa, the only Arab country located completely in the Southern Hemisphere

Madagascar- formerly known as Malagasy Republic, island country, 2nd largest island country by area, considered one of the world’s least developed countries

Seychelles- archipelagic island country with 115 islands, located near the island of Madagascar, uninhabited before its discovery by Europeans in the 16th century, has been independent from the UK since 1976

Canva Design DAE_F7NYgOQPacific Ocean

Vanuatu- archipelagic island country located in the South Pacific Ocean, is volcanic in origins

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