• Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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Here are 10 African countries with best universities

Here are 10 African countries with best universities

It was the late Nelson Mandela, a former president of South Africa in one of his popular quotes that said; “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Following the philosophy of one of the greatest African leaders, African countries are increasing efforts to improve educational outcomes.

This has resulted in positive trends, with several universities in the continent rising in global rankings.


Addressing Africa’s youth’s educational needs is essential to drive the continent’s economy and lead to overall improvement.

With 70 percent of Africa’s population under the age of 30, this demographic represents a significant force that requires attention to contribute to high economic growth.

Stakeholders are, however, worried that currently, the continent faces challenges such as low admission rates in higher education, which is almost 80 percent lower than the global average of 42 percent.

At the fore of this development, coupled with a lack of quality higher education institutions, existing universities are strained. Besides, resources are required to provide better conducive learning environments and accommodate the growing number of students in the region.

Unfortunately, universities across the continent are severely underfunded in all countries, with an average investment of only 0.3 percent of GDP in research and development.

This is significantly lower than the 2.25 percent average in North America and Europe. However, some countries are making efforts to upgrade higher education systems in their regions. Here are 10 African countries with the best university system.

South Africa

It is no surprise that South Africa, the country of Nelson Mandela is Africa’s number when it comes to having the best universities.

The country is home to 19 institutions that rank among the top 100 in Africa. Additionally, the top four places in the rankings are held by South African universities, with the University of Cape Town leading the way.

The University of Cape Town which was established in 1874, maintains a 50 percent acceptance rate. It has contributed significantly to academic research, publishing 74,551 papers and accumulating 1,738,499 citations.


Egypt occupies the second position as a country with the best universities in Africa. It has an all-inclusive educational system that is better than many of its counterparts in the Middle East and North Africa.

In 2022, Egypt made significant progress in global education rankings, securing the third position in the Arab world, as per the US News.

The country rose from the 39th spot in 2021 to the 37th position in 2022 out of 85 countries worldwide. There are 19 top-ranking universities in Egypt.

Some of the renowned institutions in Egypt are; Cairo University, Alexandria University, Ain Shams University, and Mansoura University.


Nigeria occupies the third position in Africa. It has 17 universities ranking among the top 100 in Africa. Some of the most well-known institutions in Nigeria include; the University of Ibadan, the University of Lagos, Obafemi Awolowo University, and the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.


The University of Ibadan was founded in 1948. The university has published 26,744 papers and has received 287,198 citations.


There are seven top-ranked African universities in Kenya. These include the University of Nairobi, Kenyatta University, Moi University, Strathmore University, and Egerton University.


Morocco is home to five universities ranked in the top 100 in Africa. These institutions include Mohammed V University, Cadi Ayyad University, Hassan II University of Casablanca, Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University, and Abdelmalek Essaadi University.

All five universities have enrollment volumes of over 25,000. Mohammed V University has published 16,802 papers with 114,803 citations. Enrollment for this university stands at around 67,415 with a 50 percent acceptance.


Tunisia has five universities that rank in the top 100 universities in Africa. These institutions include the University of Sfax, the University of Tunis El Manar, the University of Monastir, Tunis University, and the University of Carthage.

Besides, Tunisia, like Morocco are also on our list of countries with best universities in Africa. The presence of companies like Coursera, Inc. (NYSE:COUR), Udemy, Inc. (NASDAQ:UDMY), ADvTECH Ltd (JSE:ADH), and Curro Holdings Ltd (JSE:COH) is an important factor shaping the educational landscape across many of these countries.


Algeria is known to be home to the four best universities in Africa. The four universities include the University of Sciences and Technology Houari Boumediene, the University of Tlemcen, the University of Constantine, and the Ferhat Abbas Setif University.


Ghana is listed eight on the list of countries with the best universities in Africa.

There are three top-100-ranked universities in Ghana. The University of Ghana has an enrollment of 67,914, with an acceptance rate of 28 percent.

It was founded in 1948. The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology has an acceptance rate of 54 percent.

The University of Cape Coast was founded in 1962 and its acceptance rate is 60 percent. The University of Ghana has published 17,246 research papers and has 217,942 citations.


Tanzania is in ninth place on our list of countries with the best universities in Africa. The University of Dar es Salaam, Sokoine University of Agriculture, and Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences.

The University of Dar es Salaam was founded in 1970 and has an acceptance rate of 71 percent.


Uganda has two high-ranking universities. Makerere University was founded in 1922. Makerere University has an enrollment range of 30,000 to 35,000.

Meanwhile, Mbarara University of Science and Technology was founded in 1989. It is a small university with an enrollment range of 2,000 to 3,000 students. Its acceptance rate is 8 percent, while that of the Makerere University is 50 percent.