- South Africans are the most English-proficient people in Africa, according to a report by a global private language tutor, Education First
- South Africa was ranked top in Africa followed by Kenya
- The ranking was based on English proficiency tests done by a sample of adults in countries that participated
South Africans are the best in English language proficiency in Africa according to the latest report by a global private language tutor, Education First (EF).
The country was ranked number six in the world among those taking part.
The English Proficiency Index (EPI) by the Switzerland-based company had Nairobi in Kenya 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.
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 the 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.
"This report investigates how and where English proficiency is developing around the world. To create the ninth edition of the EF English Proficiency Index, we have analysed the results of 2.3 million adults who took our English tests in 2018," read the report in part."
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