Time Zones In Africa

Africa is the world’s second-largest continent, after Asia, spanning 30.4 million km2. It is bordered to the north by Europe and Asia, collectively known as Eurasia, and uses some time zones used in Europe. Africa observes six standard time zones, having an offset range of between UTC-1 and UTC+4. However, it uses 13 names to describe its standard time zones. The six African time zones are Mauritius and Seychelles Time (UTC/GMT+4), East Africa Time (UTC/GMT+3), Central Africa Time (UTC/GMT+2), West Africa Time (UTC/GMT+1), Greenwich Mean Time (UTC/GMT), and Cape Verde Time (UTC-1). No African country observes Daylight Saving Time except Morocco.

Africa time zones map
African time zone map. The different shades of color represent the different time zone areas.

Cape Verde Time Zone

Cape Verde Time (CVT) is a time zone observed only in Cape Verde, an Atlantic island off Africa’s west coast. This time zone is one hour behind the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC-1). Other time zones with similar offset as CVT are East Greenland Time and November Time Zone.

Greenwich Mean Time Zone

The Greenwich Mean Time (GMT/UTC) is also observed as Western Sahara Time Zone (WST) and corresponds to Western European Time Zone (WET). These three time zones do not have offset time from the UTC, meaning they are not ahead or behind the UTC. Greenwich Mean Time is observed by West African countries, including Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Liberia, and Togo. Morocco uses WET in winter and Western European Standard Time in the summer.

West Africa Time Zone

West Africa Time (WAT) is one hour ahead of UTC (UTC+1), making it the same as Western European Sumer Time (WEST) during summer and Central European Time (CET) in winter. This time zone is mainly observed by 15 African countries, located mainly in the tropical region. Some of these countries include Tunisia, the DRC, Cameroon, Chad, Benin, and the Congo.

Central Africa Time Zone

Central Africa Time (CAT) is two hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+2) during standard time, making it the same as Egypt Standard Time, South Africa Standard Time, and Central European Standard Time. It is observed by some Southern, Central, and Northern African countries, laying on the tropical and equatorial regions. Some of these countries are Egypt, South Africa, Botswana, South Sudan, Zimbabwe, Namibia, and Rwanda.

East Africa Time Zone

East Africa Time (EAT), also known as Eastern Africa Time is observed by nine Eastern Africa countries, including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Madagascar, and Somalia. Most of these countries are located on or around the equator. EAT is three hours ahead of the UTC (UTC+3), making it the same as Arabia Standard Time, Moscow Time, and Eastern European Summer Time.

Mauritius Time and Seychelles Time Zone

Mauritius Time and Seychelles Time are four hours ahead of the UTC (UTC+4) and are used by Mauritius and Seychelles in the Indian Ocean.

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