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Which African Countries Consume the Most Meat?

which african countries consume the most meat
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Written by Teresa Mwangi

Did you know a meat-loving African consumes 67kgs of this delicacy every year? So the next logical question is; which African Countries consume the most meat?

In this context, meat encompasses chicken, beef, pork, lamb, mutton, and fish. Data shows that there are 202 million chickens slaughtered daily globally meaning 140,000 chickens go down every minute. Subsequently, there are 73 billion chickens slaughtered in the world every year. Poultry is the largest-reared birds with the highest consumption across the world.

Food equals satisfaction and joy for a majority of the world’s population. An interesting insight on this subject is digging deep on where in Africa you will likely have a feast with meat.

How Many Animals Does the World Eat in A Year?

Before looking into which African countries consume the most meat, here are figures of how many animals are slaughtered in a year.

which african countries consume the most meat

Grilled chicken. Photo/Sip Bite

Type of meat Annual Slaughters Globally
Chicken 73 billion
Ducks/geese 4.5 billion
Pork 1.4 billion
Turkey 604 million
Sheep 620 million
Goats 600 million
Cows 400 million


Which African Countries Consume the Most Meat?

As mentioned earlier, the biggest meat consumers in Africa eat up to 67 kilograms of meat every year. But which are these countries in the second largest continent in Africa with such a high appetite for animal protein?

1. Gabon

Gabon succinctly leads the pack on which African countries eat the most meat. A healthy Gabonese consumes an average of 67 kgs of meat every calendar year. Gabonese cuisine, both at home and at events is historically carnivorous. Moreover, as a resource-rich nation, Gabon’s economy has relied on industries like logging, where workers require substantial protein intake, fostering a meat-centric diet.

Wild game hunting remains a sustainable practice, ensuring population control and preserving biodiversity. Thus, Gabon’s affection for meat is a culturally rooted issue. Besides, this high consumption of meat by Gabonese people is directly related to factors like the country’s oil wealth. The rich oil deposits here give the people a higher disposable income meaning they can afford to put a meat dish on the table often.

2. South Africa

which african countries consume the most meat

South African meat. Photo/Food For Mzansi

South Africa holds the second-highest position, with an average of 60 kilograms of meat consumed per capita per year. Mzansi boasts a well-developed agricultural sector, including a strong livestock industry, contributing to its high meat availability. Additionally, South Africa has a more diverse meat consumption pattern compared to other African countries, including a significant preference for poultry.

3. Morocco

This North African nation comes third in the list of which African countries consume the most meat. A Moroccan consumes at least 35kgs for this delicacy annually. Beef, and mutton are highly consumed.

which african countries consume the most meat

Moroccan beef Kebabs. Photo/Taste

4. Cape Verde

Fish and chicken are more common in Cape Verde with an annual 32kgs of consumption per year.

5. Namibia

Beef, poultry and pork top the consumption list of a Namibian putting it at 30kgs per person annually.

6. Tunisia

Chicken, beef, mutton and fish are widely consumed in Tunisia. As a Muslim-dominated country, pork is very uncommon. However, they enjoy at least 27kgs of meat every year per person.

7. Chad

Statistics show that Chad has a meat supply of over 26 kilograms per person.

8. Botswana

Botswana enjoys a prolific livestock industry with 24kgs per person annually. Beef is the most common type of meat consumed in this part of Southern Africa.

9. Angola

Poultry takes it home with an estimated 297,000 metric tons consumed in 2022, translating to roughly 20 kg per person annually. Chicken is generally cheaper than other meats, making it accessible to a larger portion of the population. Moreover, Angola relies heavily on imports to meet its poultry demand, with Brazil being a major source.

Which Country is the Largest Meat Producer in Africa?

Contrary to popular belief, South Africa is not Africa’s largest meat producer despite having a strong livestock industry of both beef and poultry. Ethiopia is the largest meat producer in Africa based on available data. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Ethiopia’s meat production stands at over 1.9 million metric tons.

Beef, mutton, and buffalo meat are its biggest meat exports, thanks to its population of over 110 million people.

Which Country has the Best Beef in Africa?

The best quality, full-flavoured, lean beef is produced in Botswana through the utilization of natural farming practices and free-range cattle. Cattle farming is a perfect fit for Botswana’s terrain and semi-arid, subtropical climate. Between 2.5 and 2.8 million cattle are claimed by the nation.

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About the author

Avatar of Teresa Mwangi

Teresa Mwangi

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, loves travelling and telling stories about tour and travel in Africa by every angle.

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