Below is the ranking of African countries by the literacy rate. This entry includes a definition of literacy and Census Bureau percentages for the total populationmales, and females. There are no universal definitions and standards of literacy. Unless otherwise specified, all rates are based on the most common definition – the ability to read and write at a specified age (15 and above). Detailing the standards that individual countries use to assess the ability to read and write is beyond the scope of this article.

  Country Literacy Rate
1.
Zimbabwe
90.70
2.
Equatorial Guinea
87.00
3.
South Africa
86.40
4.
Kenya
85.10
5.
Namibia
85.00
6.
Sao Tome and Principe
84.90
7.
Lesotho
84.80
8.
Mauritius
84.40
9.
Congo, Republic of the
83.80
10.
Libya
82.60
11.
Swaziland
81.60
12.
Botswana
81.20
13.
Zambia
80.60
14.
Cape Verde
76.60
15.
Tunisia
74.30
16.
Egypt
71.40
17.
Rwanda
70.40
18.
Algeria
69.90
19.
Tanzania
69.40
20.
Madagascar
68.90
21.
Nigeria
68.00
22.
Cameroon
67.90
23.
Djibouti
67.90
24.
Angola
67.40
25.
Congo, Democratic Republic of the
67.20
26.
Uganda
66.80
27.
Gabon
63.20
28.
Malawi
62.70
29.
Sudan
61.10
30.
Togo
60.90
31.
Burundi
59.30
32.
Eritrea
58.60
33.
Ghana
57.90
34.
Liberia
57.50
35.
Comoros
56.50
36.
Morocco
52.30
37.
Mauritania
51.20
38.
Cote d’Ivoire
48.70
39.
Central African Republic
48.60
40.
Mozambique
47.80
41.
Mali
46.40
42.
Ethiopia
42.70
43.
Guinea-Bissau
42.40
44.
Gambia, The
40.10
45.
Senegal
39.30
46.
Somalia
37.80
47.
Sierra Leone
35.10
48.
Benin
34.70
49.
Guinea
29.50
50.
Niger
28.70
51.
Chad
25.70
52.
Burkina Faso
21.80
 

 

Information on literacy, while not a perfect measure of educational results, is probably the most easily available and valid for international comparisons. It is impossible to overstate the importance of education especially in Africa. Low levels of literacy, and education in general, can impede the economic development of a country in the current rapidly changing, technology-driven world.