The Democratic Republic of the Congo, formerly known as Zaire, is one of the countries with a large population of Swahili speakers. Few people in DR Congo speak Swahili as a first language. Lingala is more commonly found as a mother tongue in the country. However, it is common for people in DR Congo to speak Swahili when trading with people from other tribes or even other countries. Swahili is one of the government-recognized languages of DR Congo.
Swahili is also widely spoken in Kenya. The usage of Swahili in Kenya is similar to that in DR Congo. It is rarely the mother tongue of Kenyans. However, they often use it when speaking with people who have different tribal languages. Swahili is popular enough in Kenya that it has been named one of the country's official languages.
Swahili is an official language in Tanzania. It is one of the most commonly used languages in the country. In fact, Tanzania is the country with the highest percentage of Swahili speakers. This is why it often the first answer to the question "What countries speak Swahili?" Tanzanians often speak Swahili when trading with merchants from Kenya, Uganda, and other East African nations. Swahili is widely taught in schools in Tanzania, making it more popular among educated people.
Uganda is the last country on our list that has named Swahili an official language. Swahili is commonly taught to schoolchildren of all ages throughout Uganda. Ugandan businesspeople often communicate with businesspeople from other East African countries. Ugandans also communicate with other citizens from different tribes in Swahili.
Swahili is not an official language in Somalia. It is considered to be a minority language in the country. However, it is spoken or understood by large numbers of people in certain coastal regions of the country. Most of the Swahili speakers in Somalia can be found in the southern part of the country. More specifically, Swahili speakers in Somalia are concentrated in the Banjuni Islands.
Swahili is commonly spoken in parts of northern Mozambique. Specifically, it is common in the Mwani region. The government of Mozambique has recognized Swahili as an official minority language. This means that some important government documents are translated into Swahili.
A dialect of Swahili known as Comorian is spoken throughout the Comoros, a small island nation off the coast of mainland Africa. Some experts actually consider Comorian to be an independent language, though most linguists consider it to be a dialect of Swahili.
Several countries have large groups that speak Swahili and include it as an official language. These nations include the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda.