Africans are living longer and healthier lives as life expectancy is on the rise.  Though millions on the continent still face the challenge of chronic diseases, there has been a huge increase in access to treatment of HIV-AIDS and improvement in the prevention and management of malaria, according to the World Health Organisation.

Based on the WHO life expectancy list published in 2018, here are the top 5 African countries where citizens are assured of a longer life.


Pic credit: Gorilla Safari Rwanda

People in Rwanda are living longer than their colleagues from other East African nations. Recovering from a devastating civil war, Rwandans have adopted healthy lifestyles and from a life expectancy of just 28 in the mid-1990s, people can now live as long as 68.

According to the WHO data, women live more than men, with male life expectancy being 66.1 and female being 69.9.

São Tomé and Príncipe

This is a lower middle income and a developing small island state with a fragile economy. Since independence in 1975, it has operated a multiparty democratic system of governance with 97 per cent of its 200,000 people having access to an improved water source and 60 per cent with electricity.

People can live as long as 69 years.

Cape Verde

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The former Portuguese colony which was once the centre of the slave trade is often admired for its achievement of political and economic stability.  Several droughts caused the deaths of about 200,000 people in the 20th century though its population is among the healthiest in Africa.

Since its independence, it has greatly improved its health infrastructure. People can live as long as 73 years with the life expectancy between male and female being 71 and 75 respectively.


Pic credit: China Daily

After years of post-independence conflicts and several coup attempts, the country has gained stability and currently enjoys a good education, a high per capita income and quality healthcare.

Citizens in the archipelago can live as long as 73 years.


Pic credit: Sun resorts

The most democratic country in Africa with regular free elections and a positive human rights record has developed from a low-income economy that is agriculturally based to a middle-income diversified economy with growing financial, industrial and tourist sectors.

It is the African country with the highest life expectancy; people can live as long as 75 years.