Africa is a continent consisting of 54 countries, over 2,000 languages, and many vibrant and diverse cultures and people groups. If you’re looking for a beautiful African name for your baby girl, you’ll have no trouble finding one. In fact, you’ll have no trouble finding hundreds.
We found it very difficult to narrow down this list to only 100 African girl names. But after spending countless hours studying names and their meanings and polling the masses, we believe we can help you make the best choice for your little one.
We’ve compiled an Africa-specific list and tried to ensure the chosen names reflect this beautiful continent’s complexity and diversity.
100 African Girl Names and Meanings
This list of 100 African girl names includes their meanings, variations, and countries of origin.
Aamina is a Somali name, meaning “feel safe.”
This spelling is an alternative transcription of the Arabic name Amenah. This was the 499th most popular girl name in the U.K. in 2005, with 70 newborns being named Aamina.
Abeba is an Amharic name, meaning “flower.”
Although Abeba is an Amharic name, it is not exclusive to Amharic speakers. Abeba Haile is a high-profile singer-songwriter and musical artist from Eritrea, and she sings in the Tigrinya language.
Abena is an Akan name that means “born on a Tuesday.”
Akan is the principal language of the Akan people of Ghana, where it is tradition to name your child after the day on which they are born.
The Yoruba name Abeni means “we asked for her, and behold, we got her.”
This name’s beautiful, poetic meaning makes it the perfect choice for someone who has waited a long time or encountered difficulties in having their daughter.
Aberash is an Amharic name, meaning “giving of light” or “shining.”
Aberash Bekele was the precedent-setting woman in Ethiopia who was acquitted of a murder charge after pleading not guilty due to self defense. Bekele was 14 when she was kidnapped and raped by a 34-year-old farmer, whom she killed while escaping.
A Yoruba name, Abimbola means “born with honor.”
Abimbola is both a gender-neutral first name and a surname, although its most frequent use in the U.S. is as a forename for girls.
Achieng is a Luo name, meaning “born when the sun shines.”
Achieng is the feminine form of the Luo boy’s name Ochieng. In Luo, the language spoken by the Luo people of Kenya, chieng means “sun.”
The Igbo name Adaeze means “King’s daughter.”
While some websites list Adaeze as meaning “princess,” the correct definition is “first daughter of the King.” The name refers to birth order and the title of the child’s father, not to the child’s title. Hence princess is incorrect.
Adannaya is an Igbo name, meaning “her father’s daughter.”
The fabulous definition of this name from Nigeria makes it ideal for little girls who are the image of their fathers when born.
Adhiambo is a Luo name. It means “born in the evening.”
If you are looking for an African girl name that reflects the time your little one was born, then Adhiambo is ideal for a child born before nightfall.
The Akan name Adwoa means “born on Monday.”
Because there are multiple Akan dialects, Adwoa may be spelled differently depending on the sub-group of the Akan speaker. For example, Fante parents may spell the name Ajuba, Adjoa, or Ajua.
Aïchatou means “alive.”
This name is a version of the Arabic name Aisha. The name Aïchatou is used in areas of western Africa, predominantly those whose names and language have been heavily influenced by the occupation of the French.
The Yoruba name Alaba means “a child born after twins.”
In Yoruba tradition, it was thought that a mother who did not have another child following the birth of her twins would be driven mad because the child was occupying her body, too stubborn to be born.
Alemayehu is an Amharic name, meaning “I have enjoyed life.”
This gender-neutral African girl name is most often used in Ethiopia. The literal translation is “I have seen the world,” but the meaning changes slightly when alem and ayehu are combined as a name.
Alheri is a Hausa name, meaning “grace.”
For parents and guardians with African, specifically Niger and northern Nigerian heritage, Alheri is a beautiful alternative to the perennial favorite, Grace.
Amahle is a Zulu name that means “the beautiful ones.”
The Amahle Bar in Houston, Texas, defines itself as an Afrocentric bar for the African American community of Texas and beyond. Its menu is an incredible mix of African and fusion food, including Ghana Pasta and Sudan chicken tenders.
The Igbo name Amarachi means “God’s grace.”
At the age of eight, Amarachi Uyanne won the first series of Nigeria’s Got Talent. The young singer, dancer, and violinist won N10,000,000, becoming one of Nigeria’s youngest millionaires.
Aminata is used across western Africa. The name means “feel safe.”
Aminata is an evolution of Aminah, which in this case comes from the Arabic word amina, meaning “feel safe.” This is distinct from the other version of Aminah from the Arabic amin meaning “truthful.”
Andile means “they have increased.”
Andile is a name in Zulu, Ndebele, and Xhosa, which are all languages spoken in South Africa. This name is often used for babies of either gender. The meaning of this name makes it a great choice for a firstborn child.
The Igbo name Anuli means “joy.”
BLK IRL is a podcast hosted by Anuli Akanegbu. Akanegbu is an NYU PH.D. student studying how race factors into the successes and failures of social media influencers.
Asha is a Swahili name, meaning “alive.”
The Swahili name Asha is related to the Arabic name Aisha, which is where the meaning comes from. This version of Asha is entirely separate from the Sanskrit Asha, meaning “wish,” “desire,” and “hope.”
The Luo name Awiti means “thrown away.”
The Luo believe giving a sick or premature newborn an unpleasant name makes evil spirits think the child is unloved. Consequently, the spirits will pass over the child and allow them to live.
Babirye is a Ganda name that means “first of twins.”
Babirye is a unisex name given to the firstborn of a set of twins. The moniker generally given to the second twin if they are female is Nakato, meaning “second of twins.” If they are male, it is the shorter version, Kato.
Boipelo is a Tswana name, meaning “proud.”
South African radio and television newscaster Boipelo Mabe is a political analyst with two degrees from the University of Witwatersrand. She is currently working on her Master’s degree in International Development.
Bolanle is a Yoruba name that means “finds wealth at home.”
Raised in Nigeria, Israel, Kenya, and America, Bolanle Olukanni is a television presenter with a double degree from Loyola University, Chicago, in both International Studies and Communications. She founded Nigerian multi-media company, Sage & Willis.
The Oromo name Bontu means “proud.”
For fans of the card game Magic: The Gathering, the name Botu will be familiar as that of the god of ambition. So, perhaps Bontu can do double duty for fans of MTG looking for an African girl name.
Charlize is an Afrikaans feminine form of Charles which means “man” or “army.”
Charlize saw a small wave of popularity in the US between 2004 and 2015, possibly due to actress Charlize Theron winning the Best Actress Award at the 2003 Academy Awards.
In Igbo, Chi means “god, spiritual being.”
Sometimes used as a short version of names beginning with the element Chi, Chi is also a Vietnamese girl name, meaning “branch,” and a Chinese girl name, meaning “flame” or “blaze.”
Chifundo is a Chewa name, meaning “mercy.”
A Bantu language, Chewa is spoken in Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe. The Chifundo Foundation is an organization dedicated to improving children’s education in the villages of Zomba in Malawi.
The Shona name Chipo means “gift.”
Born in Tanzania and now based in the U.K., the Zimbabwean actress and activist Chipo Chung has appeared in roles as diverse as Mary Magdalene in “A.D.: The Bible Continues,” and The Master in the AMC series “Into The Badlands.”
Chisomo is a South African and Chewa name, meaning “grace.”
English speakers usually make the mistake of pronouncing Chisomo as the rather blunt sounding CHIZ-omo. However, the correct pronunciation is the beautifully melodic chee-SO-mo.
A Shona name Danai means “to call, summon.”
In addition to being a traditional Shona name, Danai is also a modern Greek transcription of Danaë which evolved from the Ancient Greek Δαναοί.
The Yoruba name Dayo means “joy arrives.”
While this name’s sound meaning and history are beautiful, any child named Dayo in an English-speaking country is bound to spend their lives listening to people singing the Harry Belafonte song “Dayo” wherever they go.
Dikeledi is a Tswana name, meaning “tears.”
South African author Achmat Dangor has written several books, one of which is “Dikeledi: Child of Tears, No More.” It tells the story of several generations of women named Dikeledi and their family life under apartheid.
Efe is an Urhobo name that means “wealth.”
Efe is used as both a standalone name and a nickname for girls with Urhobo names containing efe, meaning “wealth.”
Efe is a popular name in Turkey, but there it is a boy’s name, meaning “older brother, brave.”
Emen means “peace in Ibibio”
Producer, director, screenwriter, and founder of Nigeria’s Royal Arts Academy, Emen Isong is seen as a driving force in the New Nollywood movement. Isong’s latest movie, “Special Jollof,” is a romance set against a story of Nigerian/U.S. immigration.
The Yoruba girl name Eniola means “person of wealth.”
British-Nigerian footballer, commentator, and executive Eniola Aluko is the director of women’s football (soccer) at U.K. club Aston Villa. Aluko has a first-class law degree and was part of the 2020 Powerlist of most influential Black Britons.
Enitan is a Yoruba name, meaning “there’s no one left.”
Enitan is often incorrectly defined as “a person with a story.” However, according to The Yoruba Name Project, that name is Ẹniìtàn with two i’s, which is sometimes misspelled as Enitan.
The Ewe name Enyonam means “it is good for me.”
Known as Madame Enyonam, Louise Enyonam Ansah is a Ghana teacher who funds the Enyonam Short Foundation from her scant teacher’s salary. The foundation funds education for disabled children.
Eshe is a Swahili name meaning “life.”
A variant of the Swahili name Asha, Eshe is pronounced Eh-sheh. Eshe is a strong, positive, life-affirming African girl name for African Americans looking to honor their East African heritage.
The Amharic girl name Etenesh means “you are my sister.”
Ethiopian jazz singer Eténèsh Wassié is best known for her collaborative performances which fuse jazz and blues in azmaribèt, a crossover between cabaret and traditional Azmari entertainment.
Fadumo is the Somali form of Fatimah which means “to abstain.”
Fadumo Dayib made history as the first woman to run for president in Somalia. Born in Kenya to a Somali mother who had 11 children die of preventable diseases, public health expert Dayib was deported to Somalia then sent to Finland.
Farai is a Shona name, meaning “rejoice.”
Farai London is a premium women’s leisurewear brand that specializes in luxury resort wear. Proudly proclaiming their black-owned status, Farai consciously chose black girl names for their pieces as a way of reclaiming and celebrating their culture.
The Yoruba name Gbemisola means “carry me into wealth.”
Writer, director, comedian, and actress Gbemisola Ikumelo won a BAFTA Film Award from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts for her short film “Brain in Gear.”
Gugulethu is an African girl name, meaning “our treasure, pride.”
Gugulethu “Gugu” Sophia Mbatha-Raw is a stage, TV, and movie actress who won, among multiple other accolades, the Best Actress award at the 2014 Black Reel Awards for her starring role in “Belle.”
Hadiza is the Hausa form of Khadija.
This western African girl name is a form of the Arabic girl name Khadija which means “premature child.” The meaning makes it ideal for a premature baby girl with Hausa heritage.
The Hausa name Hafsat means “gathering.”
Hafsat Abiola was studying at Harvard when her president-elect father was imprisoned and her mother murdered. Abiola founded the Kudirat Initiative for Democracy, is an advisor at the Fetzer Institute, and is on Inclusive Security’s list of 17 Women Changing the World.
Haregewoin is an Amharic name, meaning “grapevine.”
Wine-loving parents or those who own vineyards might like the name Haregewoin. This name can be used for girls or boys and is also a surname in some regions of Africa.
Hibo is a Somali form of Hiba, meaning “gift.”
Activist Hibo Wardere is the Best-Selling author of “Cut: One Woman’s Fight Against FGM in Britain Today.” She works as a mediator and an educator to raise awareness about female genital mutilation to help other women escape these horrors.
Hiwot is an Amharic name that means “life.”
An Ethiopian long-distance runner, Hiwot Ayalew finished fifth in the 3,000 meter steeplechase at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. She often competes with younger sister Wude, who is also an award-winning professional long-distance runner.
Hlengiwe is a South African girl name, meaning “helped, rescued, redeemed.”
South African gospel star Hlengiwe Mhlaba spent much of the early months of 2021 telling people she was not dead. Rumors began circulating in mid-January when a local DJ posted the news of her death on Facebook.
A Somali name, Hodan means “lush” or “rich.”
Hodan Nalayeh Secondary School in Ontario, Canada, is named after Canadian-Somali media executive Hodan Nalayeh. Nalayeh, who was also a prominent activist, was killed in the Asasey Hotel attack in 2019.
Ife is a Yoruba name that means “love.”
According to Yoruba tradition, the supreme god Olodumare ordered his son to create the world. His son became distracted, and the son’s brother created the world and the city of Ife, which lies in the southwest of the country.
The Ibibio name Ifiok means “wisdom, knowledge.”
Pronounced ih-FIH-yok, Ifiok is the ideal choice if you’re looking for an African girl name with positive attributes for your child. This name can be used for girls or boys and is most commonly found in Nigeria, with the U.S. being the second most common country for uses of this name.
Ige is a Yoruba name that means “born feet first.”
The rich cultural naming traditions of the Yoruba divide names into four categories. Ige is an àmútọrunwá’ name, meaning that the child brought the name with them from heaven. These names indicate details about the circumstances of birth.
Imani is a Swahili name meaning “faith.”
Imani first hit the U.S. top 1,000 girl names chart in 1990, reaching peak popularity in 1996 when it reached #239. That year, 1,222 newborns were given the name Imani.
An Ibibio name, Ime means “patience.”
Ime is also a nickname in Germany for girls with names beginning with Ime and the old Greenlandic spelling of the modern name Imi, meaning “water.”
Kadiatou is a form of the Arabic name Khadija, meaning “premature child.”
Kadiatou is most often used in parts of French-influenced western Africa, specifically those countries colonized by the French who had been influenced by Arabic during their occupation of Northern Africa.
Kahina is a Northern African name, meaning “the diviner” or “the fortune teller.”
During the 7th century Arab expansion into Berber, the Arabs gave the label Kahina to the queen, Dihya, because of her startling ability to predict what they would do next. Over many centuries this label evolved into a name.
The Yoruba name Kayin means “celebrated child.”
Pronounced KAY-in, this gender-neutral Yoruba name has the same spelling as an Ancient Hebrew form of the biblical boy name Cain, meaning “acquired.”
Kirabo means “gift” in Luganda.
Kirabo is a good choice if you feel pressured to name your child after a relative named Ted, Theodore, Theodorea, Dorothy, Dora, Dolly, or any other variant of those names, as they all also mean “gift.”
The Amharic name Konjit means “beautiful.”
Konjit Zewge is the author of “Ethiopian Cookbook: Pinnacle of Traditional Cuisine,” in which she shares vegetarian and meat-based dishes using traditional ingredients and recipes from Ethiopia.
Lerato means “love” in Sotho.
Business journalist Lerato Mbele currently works with BBC World News, where she is the presenter of the show “Talking Business Africa.”
The African girl name Lindiwe means “waited for, awaited.”
The name Lindiwe is traditionally used by Zulu, Xhosa, Ndebele, Swazi, and South African families. It’s an excellent name choice for those who have waited a long time for their child.
The Amharic name Lulit means “pearls.”
Lulit has a beautiful lilting sound and rhythm, making it a strong contender for those who can trace their ancestry back to the Amharic people of eastern Africa.
In Zulu and Ndebele, Lungile means “good, right, correct.”
Lungile Mhlanga is an entrepreneur and the founder of Treats Club, a dessert company that flourished during the COVID-19 pandemic by pivoting from in-person sales to the next-day delivery of kits.
The Chewa name Madalitso means “blessings.”
Madalitso is the name of a band from Malawi that has recently brought their own unique form of firecracker energy to a tour of Europe. The duo has been playing together for over a decade.
Makena is a Kikuyu name, meaning “happy one.”
While this gorgeous name from modern-day Kenya is a traditional choice for a new generation of African American girls, it is sometimes mistakenly seen as a misspelling of McKenna.
Marjani is a Swahili name, meaning “coral.”
Majani is also a Sanskrit name that means “purification, cleaning, cleansing.” In this context, Marjani was an attendant of the goddess Durga.
The Tumbuka name Masozi means “tears.”
Tumbuka names are most often chosen in Malawi, Zambia, and Tanzania. The Tumbuka were almost wiped out by the Ngoni tribe, who invaded their lands, enslaved them, and inter-married in an attempt to eradicate them.
Mbalenhle is a Zulu name, meaning “beautiful flower.”
As well as being an African girl name and a popular black girl name in the U.K., Mbalenhle is also an excellent girl flower name.
The meaning of Mchumba is up for debate.
The Swahili girl name Mchumba is listed in many places as meaning “sweetheart.” However, the direct translation from Swahili is “fiancé,” and the Swahili speakers we spoke with explained that the concept is more of an unofficial fiancé, one who plans to be married, but hasn’t fully committed yet.
Minenhle is a Zulu name, meaning “beautiful day.”
South African actress, model, and philanthropist Minenhle Jones née Dlamini is better known by the common diminutive of her name, Minnie. The Minnie Dlamini Foundation started a program to feed children and the elderly suffering due to COVID-19.
Mirembe means “peace” in Luganda.
Those who do not speak the Ghanda language struggle with pronunciation. English speakers tend to say meer-EM-BE, but the correct pronunciation is the much more beautiful Mi-LEM-beh.
In Tswana and Sotho, Mpho means “gift.”
London-based singer-songwriter Mpho Skeef was born in South Africa to a white mother and black father at a time when their relationship was illegal. When her mother was jailed at an anti-apartheid protest, the one-year-old Mpho went with her.
Mukami is a Kikuyu name that may mean “the one who milks the cows.”
Mukami McCrum is a policy manager in the Equity Unit of the Government of Scotland. McCrum has worked extensively to educate others about race and gender justice while offering potential solutions to institutional racism.
Mũmbi is a Kikuyu name that means “she who shapes.”
The Kikuyu creation story tells of the first man, Gikuyu, and his wife Mũmbi, who were placed on earth by the supreme being Ngai. Mũmbi and Gikuyu had nine daughters, who went on to produce many more children, spreading throughout the Mount Kenya region.
Nafula is a Luhya name, meaning “born during the rainy season.”
Nafula Wafula is an author at African Feminism, a pan-African collaborative project that aims to facilitate open dialogue on feminist issues across the entire continent of Africa.
Naliaka is a Luhya name, meaning “born during the weeding season.”
The Luhya consists of 19 distinct Bantu tribes without a common origin. They were politically united in the mid-twentieth century. For those able to trace their ancestry to the Luhya, this name could be an ideal choice for a daughter.
The Luhya name Nanjala means “born during famine.”
Hopefully, you’ll never choose this name because your child was literally born during a famine, but it is a gorgeous example of an African girl name we couldn’t pass up.
Nasimiyu is a Luhya name, meaning “born during the dry season.”
The dry season in Kenya is from June to October and December to March, so you have a wide timeframe in which your daughter could be born and receive this fitting name.
Neo means “gift” in Tswana.
Although the Tswana name Neo is a gender-neutral name that means “gift,” this name is more commonly used in many other cultures as a male name that means “new.”
The Kikuyu name Njeri means “traveling one.”
In the Kikuyu origin mythology, Njeri is the name of one of Mũmbi and Gikuyu’s nine daughters. Consequently, Njeri is a relatively popular Kenyan girl name that we feel is ripe for a wider audience.
The name Njinga is from a Bantu root, meaning “to wrap or twist.”
It is thought this name was given to babies born with the umbilical cord wrapped around their neck. Njinga (also spelled Nzinga) was the queen of Ndongo and Matamba from 1626 to 1663. She was the mother of Angola, a remarkable political leader, and a military strategist.
The Xhosa name Nkosazana means “princess.”
Politician, anti-apartheid activist, and doctor Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini-Zuma is known in South Africa by her initials NDZ. NDZ has served in South Africa’s government since 1994 and was the first female chair of the African Union Commission.
Nneka is an Igbo name, meaning “my mother is supreme.”
This short two-syllable girl name has a youthful, feminine ring but would not be out of place when your child is older. Besides, what mom could resist such a fabulous meaning?
The Igbo name Nnenna means “father’s mother.”
This name is sometimes used for a child who is believed to be the reincarnation of her paternal grandmother. We think it’s also an incredible name that could honor a grandmother who is still living.
Nnenne is an Igbo name, meaning “mother’s mother.”
As with Nnenna, Nnenne is often used to honor a grandparent who has passed, in this case, a maternal grandmother. Again, we think such a gorgeous name should be used, even if her mother’s mother is still alive.
Nomusa means “merciful.”
The languages of the Ndebele, Swazi, Xhosa, and Zulu people are collectively known as Nguni languages. “No” denotes mother in Nguni languages, so this could be read as “mother of kindness and mercy.”
The South African girl name Nontle means “beautiful girl.”
Nontle is pronounced NON-telh. Nontle Majola is a character in the South African soap opera “Generations: The Legacy.” The role is played by up-and-coming actress Buntu Petse.
The Xhosa and Ndebele name Noxolo means “peace.”
The name Noxolo evolved from the word uxolo, meaning “peace,” and the feminine prefix “no.” Some would interpret this as “lady of peace,” “peaceful woman,” or something similar.
Ntombifuthi is a Zulu name, meaning “a girl again.”
We are still on the fence about this name, but we decided to include it and let you make up your own mind. Some thought the name had overtones of disappointment, while others felt it was fun — a celebration of having multiple daughters.
The Igbo name Oluchi means “God’s work.”
The ethereal feel of Oluchi, coupled with its meaning, makes this our African girl name of choice for those whose religious beliefs are central to their lives.
Rudo means “love in Shona.”
Rudo is one of those near-perfect names with a beautiful meaning, obvious pronunciation, suitable for young and old, and unique — but not oddly so. It’s almost worth having another child so that you can use this winning name.
Rufaro means “happiness” in Shona.
Rufaro is not only an elegant and appealing name in its own right, but it would also make the perfect pairing with Rudo if you have twins or two female siblings.
Sauda is a Swahili name, meaning “dark complexion.”
We see Sauda as a celebratory name, one that takes pride in the color of a child’s skin and the rich cultural history reflected in our physical attributes.
Sekai is a Shona name, meaning “be humorous.”
When so many names are chosen in the hope of bestowing wealth or wisdom, it is refreshing to find a name that seeks to impart the gift of humor.
The Akan name Thema means “queen.”
The name meaning “queen” is a constant find across many cultures. This Akan example is most frequently found in Ghana and the Ivory Coast or in families who can trace their ancestry back to that region.
Wairimu is a Kikuyu name that means “giant.”
Dr. Wairimu Kiambuthi was a film lecturer at Kenyatta University and a media consultant to New York’s Columbia University. She debuted her documentary “Africans and African Americans in the U.S.” at the African Film Festival of New York.
The East African girl name Zuri means “beautiful” in Swahili.
Zuri first hit the US top 1,000 girl names charts in 2010 when 259 girls were given the name. It has steadily grown in popularity, making it to #277 in 2019 when 1179 newborns were named Zuri.