The top 10 Biggest alcohol drinking countries in Africa have always been a topic of debate between us Africans. It is known how important alcohol consumption is to the cultures of South America and Eastern Europe, particularly in Belarus, Ukraine, Germany, and the Russian Federation. However, not as much is known about the culture of alcohol consumption in African countries.
On Saturday mornings all over the world, people wake up differently. Many people wake up feeling sober and ready for the day, and many wake up with a pounding headache given to them by the alcohol they drank the night before. In this exclusive article, we will learn about the 10 countries in Africa that consume more alcohol annually than the rest of the countries on the continent by looking at statistics that calculate the amount of litres of alcohol consumed per person per year.
When I first took a look at the list of the 10 countries, I was very surprised because I did not expect many of these countries to be on this list. Before diving in and getting to know how much alcohol is drunk throughout Africa, it is important to note that the majority of the type of alcohol that is consumed in these nations is very traditional and/or locally made. Though all types of alcohol are bad for the liver, these local types can be even worse.
Remember excessive alcohol consumption is very harmful to your health, so keep those bottles down and you may stay around a lot longer.
So, Here Are the 10 Biggest Alcohol Drinking Countries in Africa
10. Tanzania-7.7 liters/year
In Tanzania, 0.2% of alcohol consumption comes from wine, 1.8% comes from spirits, 11% comes from beer, and the remaining 87% comes from other types of alcohol. Tanzanians are known to make their own moonshine — a traditional and strong alcoholic drink. The local population tends to greatly prefer this drink; about half of the population lives below $1/day, and the local moonshine options are much cheaper than other types of alcohol.
9. Botswana – 7.96 liters/year
In the 9th spot on the list, we have Botswana. 42% of alcohol consumption in this country comes from the “other” category, and 57% comes from beer. This is likely due to the high consumption of Botswana’s national beer, St. Louis, though many
people who have tried this beer compare the taste to that of generic cheap light beers found elsewhere in the world. Other beer options in Botswana include imported beers from South Africa or Namibia — both of these countries are on this list as well.
8. Gabon – 9.32 liters/year
The preferred alcoholic drink for Gabonians is evident; while under half of the country’s favourite drinks fall into the wine (10%) and spirits (22%) categories, 67% of the alcohol consumed per year in Gabon is beer. The cheapest and most popular beer in Gabon is Regab, which costs between .70 cents and $2. The lack of tax on any alcoholic beverages makes it easy for Gabon to import alcohol from abroad and keep it affordable. In fact, Gabon is a dream nation for all alcohol aficionados because it has the second cheapest alcoholic beverages in the world, with the Russian Federation being the first.
7. South Africa – 9.46 liters/year
The wine capital of Africa takes the 7th spot in this list. Alcohol in South Africa is a lot more expensive than in previously mentioned Gabon. Since South Africa is such a big country, there is no surprise that there are a lot of different types of alcohol for people to drink. 56% of consumption comes from beer, which is much more affordable than wine (17%), spirits (16%), and other categories of alcohol (11%). The most popular beer brands in the country are Castle and Black Label. South Africa is also widely known for its large vineyards, particularly in Stellenbosch and the Western Cape region.
6. Burundi – 9.47 liters/year
Narrowly beating out South Africa, alcohol drinkers in Burundi strongly prefer alcohol in the “other” category, which makes up an overwhelming 81% of consumption. Beer, by comparison, makes up 19% of alcohol consumption, and wine and spirits barely make a showing. The most well known drink in Burundi is urwarwa, or banana wine, which is produced using traditional methods and is most often consumed during festivals and special occasions.
5. Namibia – 9.62 liters/year
Like its South African neighbor, Namibia has a wide break-down of favorite drinks. Beer leads the pack with 67% of alcohol consumption, spirits make up 20%, wine makes up 7% and “other” with 6%. The country’s flagship beer, Windhoek Lager, is popular across the country and surrounding regions, and tastes similar to many lighter German beers which is not surprising, given Namibia’s colonial history.
4. Rwanda – 9.10 liters/year
Just 8% of alcohol consumption comes from beer in Rwanda, despite the popular Turbo King, Primus, and Amstel brands being widely available. The other 92% is largely from homemade drinks such as urwarwa (banana beer) and the fermented honey drink, ubuki. Ikigage, made from dry sorghum, is also common in Rwanda.
3. Kenya – 9.72 liters/year
43% of Kenya’s alcohol consumption comes from popular beer brands such as Tusker Lager and Tusker Premium Lager. Wine is also popular in Kenya, but mainly just amongst the wealthy classes. Alcohol consumption in Kenya became so rampant that the government took steps to try and lower the rate. When it comes to drinking alcohol, women in Kenya are not left out. The same could not be said for many of the other countries on this list. Kenyan women drink about as much alcohol as the men.
2. Uganda – 11.93 liters/year
Uganda holds the number 2 spot with 11.93 liters of alcohol consumed per person each year. Just 4% of consumption comes from beer and 2% from wine, with the “other” category at a roaring 94%. The generic term for domestically distilled beverages in Uganda is the famous Ugandan waragi, which contains about 42%
Alcohol. Ugandans drink a variety of locally prepared alcoholic drinks such as: pombe and lubisi, or locally made banana or millet beer, tonto (a traditionally fermented drink made from bananas) banana wine, and more. During my visit to Kampala, I often wondered if people actually had jobs. It seemed to me that every hour of the day, and every day of the week, there were always people drinking in the pubs. Uganda is a fun country to visit for alcohol aficionados, and is very close to claiming the top country in this list.
1. Nigeria – 12.28 liters/year
Nigeria is the No. 1 in African country for alcohol consumption due to its high population which technically results in higher volume and liters consumed per year. Beer makes up just 16% of alcohol consumption in Nigeria, while “other” drinks, particularly home-brewed beverages, make up 84%. Religious lawmakers are making it more difficult and expensive to produce and sell alcohol in the country. Known as Nigeria’s home brew, ogogoro is a strong alcoholic drink. It has 30-60% ethyl alcohol content, depending on how it’s made, and is produced from the juice of raffia palm trees. Some Nigerians, especially the ones in the eastern parts of the
country, also have the famous palm wine. Palm wine can be found in other parts of west and central Africa, and is produced naturally and traditionally.
These were the 1O Biggest Alcohol Drinking Countries In Africa. Hopefully you learned something new, and feel free to contribute your own opinions on this list.
Statistical data source AFKinsider