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10 African countries with the highest alcoholism rates

In many African cultures, drinking is part of traditional rituals and ceremonies. While this is deeply rooted in cultural practices, it also contributes to a higher societal tolerance for alcohol consumption.


Alcoholism is a chronic issue where someone abuses and depends on alcohol. It’s classified as mild, moderate, or severe based on the symptoms, which include difficulty limiting the amount one drinks, drinking in unsafe situations, and sacrificing social or work activities for alcohol consumption.

Like the rest of the world, Africa is dealing with a growing burden of harmful alcohol consumption and its disastrous effects. According to the United Nations, there is no other consumer product as widely available as alcohol that accounts for as much premature death and disability. Globally, 3.3 million deaths annually stem from the harmful use of alcohol, and this represents 5.9 % of all deaths.

Excessive consumption of alcohol or alcohol dependency comes with serious consequences. It can mess with people’s health, causing heart problems, liver issues, strokes, and high blood pressure.

Moreover, it also contributes to increased crime, road accidents, and sadly, even loss of life. So, it’s more than just a personal problem; it’s also a community concern.

In previous articles, we explored African countries with the highest alcohol consumption and those with the highest beer consumption. However, according to Wisevoter, the prevalence of alcoholism in a country does not directly correlate with its alcohol consumption. This is because a country could have a large population of drinkers but few with alcoholism, and vice versa.

Rank Country Prevalence of alcohol dependence Alcohol consumption per capita Global rank
1 Togo 3.3% 12 L 36th
2 Botswana 2.5% 26.2 L 86th
3 Cameroon 2.5% 22.6 L 87th
4 Rwanda 2.5% 25.6 L 89th
5 Seychelles 2.5% 21.8 L 90th
6 Uganda 2.5% 26 L 91st
7 Eswatini 2.5% 34.4 L 92nd
8 Burundi 2.4% 23.7 L 93rd
9 Equatorial Guinea 2.4% 15.5 L 94th
10 Gabon 2.4% 17.2 L 95th

Source: Africa Business Insider