The 20 Cleanest Countries in Africa Right Now

Do you ever wonder which are the cleanest countries in Africa? In this article, we will talk all about the top 20 cleanest countries in Africa.

A country’s cleanliness is one of the most important things that determine the quality of life in that country.

This ranking is based on the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) research done by Yale University.

The research takes into account aspects such as the air quality in a country, exposure to harmful substances among other factors.

Countries with fewer environmental pollution cases are more likely to rank high on this list.

Before taking a look at these 20 top countries, I have created a table to show the ranking of all the African nations according to the latest report.

Rank CountryEPI Score
7South Africa43.1
12Equatorial Guinea38.1
14The Central Africa republic36.9
15Democratic Republic of Congo36.4
24Cape Verde32.8
28Republic of Congo30.8
46Cote d’Ivoire25.8
47Sierra Leone25.7

Of all the nations in Africa, here are the 20 cleanest countries.

1. Rwanda

EPI Score: 46.7

Population: 12.65 million

Rwanda is a small country in East Africa that ranks 1st in this list together with Tunisia. The country has been in the news for a span of years now because of its cleanliness.

Kigali, its capital city is ranked the cleanest city in Africa. The high ranking is because of the government initiative of clean-up campaigns every week.

Citizens in the country come out every week to clean up the city. There has been a great improvement in the country since president Paul Kagame took over the country.

Some of the environmental conservation policies that have contributed to this success include the banning of plastic bags.

Kigali, Rwanda

1. Tunisia

EPI Score: 46.7

Population: 11.82 million

Tunisia is an Arab country situated in North Africa. With its population of 11.82 million, a lot of effort has been made to increase the cleanliness ranking of the country.

 This has made it to rank 1st in this list of the top 20 cleanest countries in Africa.

The country has introduced policies that reduce water, energy, and soil pollution. Its cities are one of the cleanest in the continent because of good basic sanitation amenities.

3. Gabon

EPI Score: 45.8

Population: 2.226 million

Gabon is a country that’s not really known by many people. However, it has made tremendous improvements in its hygiene and sanitation levels.

Through the efforts of organizations such as UNICEF, 90% of urban areas have clean drinking water.

There is a disparity with the rural areas, however, as 30% of the rural population does not have access to clean water.

 The country also has good levels of basic sanitation services.

4.  Mauritius

EPI Score: 45.1

Population: 1.3 million

Mauritius is actually one of the best countries to live in the world. It has been ranked among one of the African countries with the best beaches and is one of the best countries to do business.

It is also one of the most visited countries on the continent. Being one of the cleanest countries is a major contributor to the success of its tourism industry. It has good air quality and has reduced pollution in its cities.

5. Algeria

EPI Score: 44.8

Population: 43.85 million

With an EPI score of 44.8, Algeria ranks 5th on this list of the top 20 cleanest countries in Africa.

The government has had a lot of problems with water polluters over the years. It introduced policies that led to good water quality and sewer control.

With more environmental conservation efforts, the country can easily rise higher up on this list.

Around 70% of Algerians now have access to basic sanitation because of continued efforts.


6. Egypt

EPI Score: 43.3

Population: 102.3 million

Egypt is one of the iconic tourist destinations on the continent. Despite its large population, Egypt still manages to rank high on this list. It has good air quality and sewer management.

However, 8.4 million people, especially in rural regions, lack access to modern sanitation, one of the areas the nation needs to work on.

7. South Africa

EPI Score: 43.1

Population: 59.31 million

South Africa is one of the most beautiful countries in Africa. The growing population in the country has not affected its ranking on cleanliness.

Some of its cities such as Cape Town are ranked as one of the cleanest cities in the world.

The southern part of Africa has one of the lowest basic sanitation levels. About 340 million people do not have access to basic sanitation.

However, South Africa has good sanitation services compared to other countries in this region.

8. Morocco

EPI Score: 42.3

Population: 36.91 million

Morocco is one of the cleanest countries in Africa. It has good air quality, and the majority of its citizens have access to clean water.

Clean drinking water is available to about 83% of Moroccans. Availability of safe drinking water is one of the factors that determine how clean a country is.

9. Botswana

EPI Score: 40.4

Population: 2.3 million

The rise of Botswana as a country economically is fascinating. It moved from being the second poorest country in Africa to become one of the wealthiest nations on the continent.

The country is clean and orderly which is evident when you visit the capital, Gaborone. The traffic is also smooth, unlike most African capital cities.

Since 1981, Botswana has recognized the human right to water and sanitation. The country has one of the highest sanitation levels on the continent.

10. Namibia

EPI Score: 40.2

Population: 2.5 million

With a population of fewer than 3 million people, Namibia is one of the top 20 cleanest countries in Africa. The country has one of the best cleanup campaigns on the continent.

The capital Windhoek is one of the cleanest cities in Africa. This is because of the commitment of the country’s president to the cleanup drive.

Citizens are expected to gather and clean up their communities which has led to Namibia being one of Africa’s cleanest nations.

Windhoek the capital of Namibia

11. Malawi

EPI Score: 38.3

Population: 19.13 million

Malawi is a landlocked country situated in southeastern Africa. The country is engulfed with highlands and diverse wildlife.

The country is faced with instances of deforestation and soil erosion. Its administration has made policies that reduce the erosion that occurs in the country.

67 percent of the population has access to drinking water. However, there is a disparity between the citizens in urban and rural areas which should be fixed.

12. Equatorial Guinea

EPI Score: 38.1

Population: 1.4 million

Equatorial Guinea is a Central African country with many rainforests.

It has committed to executing its environmental strategies towards the sustainability of the environment.

Around 66% of Equatorial Guinea’s population used basic sanitation services in 2017. The country has good air quality which makes it one of the cleanest countries in Africa.

13. Zimbabwe

EPI Score: 37

Population: 14.86 million

Zimbabwe is a landlocked country bordered by South Africa. The country has huge numbers of deposits of coal, copper, and tin.

The high ranking of the country on this list is attributed to the activists in the country. Environmental activists have been vocal about any action taken by the government that is harmful.

They were quick to critic the president’s address at the COP26 conference. They cited that his speech was not in line with his actions such as giving out the land for coal mining to occur.

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14. The Central Africa Republic

EPI Score: 36.9

Population: 4.83 million

The Central Africa Republic is a country situated in Central Africa. It is bordered by countries such as Chad and Cameroon.

The country has made this list because of its policies aimed at making the country cleaner. It has made strides in policy-making strategies that aim at pollution reduction.

Around 75% of citizens in the country have access to safe drinking water.

15. Democratic Republic of Congo

EPI Score: 36.4

Population: 89.56 million

The Democratic Republic of Congo is the second-largest country in Africa. The DRC is a resources-rich country and has been engulfed by issues such as deforestation.

The country has made huge strides to reduce pollution and reduce unsanitary conditions. However, 33 million people in rural regions still lack access to safe drinking water despite its large water reserves.

Through ongoing efforts, 52% of the population has better water access. The percentage will, however, increase over time through sustained efforts in environmental conservation.

16. Uganda

EPI Score: 35.6

Population: 45.74 million

Uganda is a landlocked country in East Africa. It ranks 16th on this list of the top 20 cleanest countries in Africa. It performs well due to its investment in clean energy

Based on data from UNICEF, two-thirds of households don’t bathe with soap. A section of the population also practices open defecation. However, UNICEF has improved access to basic sanitation by providing clean drinking water and basic toilets.

17. Sudan

EPI Score: 34.8

Population: 43.85 million

Sudan is a country that performs high in environmental and health investment. An interesting fact about Sudan is that it has the highest number of pyramids even more than Egypt.

68% of households have access to safe drinking water which prevents the population from contracting diseases. However, there are wide disparities between sanitation levels in urban and rural areas.

Khartoum, the capital of Sudan

18. Kenya and Zambia

EPI Score: 34.7

Population: 55 million (Kenya), 18 million (Zambia)

18th on this list is Kenya and Zambia who tie with an EPI score of 34.7. Kenya is one of the cleanest African nations.

The huge investments in clean energy industries are one of the factors contributing to this. Its cities such as Nairobi have one of the best air quality rankings on the continent.

 There has been a huge emphasis on solar, wind, and geothermal power generation. These power generation methods are more sustainable as they lead to less pollution.

Kenya is home to the United Nations Environmental Programme(UNEP) which has increased its focus on environmental conservation.

Zambia is a landlocked country in the south of Africa. It has good conservation policies for its natural environment. The air pollution level in the country is low and manageable.

An estimated 4.8 million Zambians do not have access to clean water on a regular basis. 6.6 million of their citizens do not have access to appropriate sanitation.

20. Ethiopia

EPI Score: 34.4

Population: 115 million

Ethiopia is a large landlocked country in the Horn of Africa. It is ranked the 20th on this list of the cleanest countries in Africa.

Most of the pollution that takes place in Ethiopia is due to fuel and industry emissions. The country has been able to rank high in its EPI as its industries are mostly agro-based.

Countries with many manufacturing industries are more likely to have high pollution levels. Ethiopia has made it to this list because of the presence of good basic sanitation services.

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