Ranking of African Countries By Literacy Rate: Zambia at No 13 while Zimbabwe tops at No. 1

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 population, males, 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 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.

Source: The African Economist