News: South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria are rated as Best in English Language Proficiency in Africa

South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria have been rated as the best in English language proficiency in Africa.

The rating done by English Proficiency Index (EPI) a Switzerland-based company, tipped Kenyans as the second best in English language proficiency in Africa according to the latest report by the global private language tutor, Education First (EF).

According to, the country was ranked number 18 in the world with South Africa being ranked number six globally and best in the continent.

The English Proficiency Index (EPI) by the Switzerland-based company ranked Kenya behind South Africa even though Nairobi still emerged as the highest placed African city in English proficiency. Other African countries that appeared in the top 100 list included Nigeria (29), Ethiopia (63), Tunisia (65), Egypt (77), Cameroon (83), Sudan (87), Algeria (90), Ivory Coast (96) and Libya (100). The top country in the world was the Netherlands followed by Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Singapore finishing the list of the top five. Kenya had a high proficiency EF EPI score of 60.51 with Netherlands leading with 70.27%.

In terms of cities, Nairobi emerged top in Africa with an EPI score of 61.94% followed by Lagos which scored 58.47 %. Africa’s average proficiency score dropped primarily due to score changes in South Africa and Ethiopia and the inclusion of Sudan and Cameroon, which both fall in the ”very low” proficiency band, the report said.

“As in previous years, a few African countries performed well while the rest performed poorly, and the gap between higher and lower proficiency countries is wider than ever, “The overall average for Africa dropped significantly, primarily due to score changes in South Africa and Ethiopia—both countries with large populations—and to the inclusion of Sudan and Cameroon, which were not in the Index last year, and both fall in the Very Low Proficiency band,” read the report.

The EF report links English proficiency to innovation, public investment in research and development, number of researchers per a population of one million as well as technicians per capita. “For the first time, we find that adults aged 26-30 have the strongest English skills. This finding reflects the growing prominence of English instruction in university education around the world,” said EF.

The scores are achieved through analysing results from 2.3 million adults who took an online English test in 2018 via EF Standard English Test where 100 countries participated.


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