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Insight & Analysis - June 7, 2022

Top 5 Universities in Africa

Although thousands of universities abound in Africa, the continent’s educational system faces several issues. This, in turn, resulted in the underperformance of these higher educational institutions in terms of capability.

Due to the importance of education, the challenges have seen the intervention of both national and international education stakeholders.

Despite this, some African institutions are still unable to meet up with their educational counterpart across the globe.

Since development is based on educational research, many institutions lack sufficient funds such as research grants, government grants, charitable contributions, and concessionary loans since they are restricted.

This has seen to a scant number of scholars on the continent, as well as innovations and inventions and international outcomes.

Despite these challenges, some universities are pulling their weight on the continent. According to the 2022 rankings from webometrics, here are some of the best universities in Africa.

University of Cape Town – South Africa

The university was established in 1829, making it the country’s oldest university and Africa’s second-oldest university. Its campus is at the base of Table Mountain, with breathtaking views of Devil’s Peak and the city.

The multicultural and multinational university has over 5000 academic and professional employees, administrative support and service personnel, and over 29,000 students from over 100 countries.

The university has six faculties: Commerce, Engineering & the Built Environment, Health Sciences, Humanities, Law, and Science.

The graduate school of business, on the other hand, operates independently from the faculty of commerce. Every year, it graduates 7,200 students.

The teaching faculties, the central library, and some residence halls are located on the university’s main campus.

The student dormitories, sports facilities, and academic departments are located on the middle and lower campuses.

Other notable best universities from South Africa are the University of Witwatersrand, Stellenbosch University and the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Cairo University – Egypt

It is one of the oldest universities in the country and was established in 1908 in the city of Giza. With its structure overlooking the Nile, the university has over 230,000 students, with roughly 3% as international students.

The ancient university has over 25 faculties with undergraduate programs ranging from pomology to physical therapy. While Arabic is Egypt’s official language, English is the primary language in the university.

The Grand Celebration Hall, with its domed ceiling and many cultural and artistic events, serves as the emblem of Cairo University. The structure can also accommodate roughly 4,000 people.

Other universities include Alexandria University and Mansoura University.


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University of Nairobi – Nairobi

It was established as a Royal Technical College in 1956. In 1970, it was renamed the University of Nairobi and became a university.

It operated as Kenya’s only higher education institution for many years, focusing on the training needs of Nairobi’s workforce.

With years of development, the institution evolved and created specialised programmes in the sciences, applied sciences, social sciences, technology, humanities, and the arts.

The university is also diversified, with about 900 programmes for more than 80,000 students.

It has six colleges spread out across seven different areas around the city. This includes colleges of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences, Architecture and Engineering, Biological and Physical Sciences, Education and External Studies, Health Sciences, and Humanities and Social Sciences.

University Cardi Ayyad Marrakech – Morroco

It was founded in 1978. Despite being one of the youngest universities in Africa, it has grown into a prominent institution. 

The university has 13 academic institutes, with the bulk of them based in Marrakech, Morocco’s capital.

Outside of the capital are the Faculty of Technology in Essaouira, the University Cente in Kelaa of Essraghna, and the Technology, Multidisciplinary, and Applied Sciences Schools in Safi.

Aside from physical lectures, the institution features an e-learning programme that offers a variety of courses online, allowing some of Morocco’s poorest and most rural locations to get access to education.

University of Ghana – Ghana

The University of Ghana was initially known as the University College of the Gold Coast in 1948. The university is the oldest and largest institution, affiliated with the University of London college.

In 1961, the institution was vested with degree-awarding status.

The institution is organised into four colleges: the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, the College of Education, the College of Health Sciences, and the College of Humanities. 

The four colleges are managed based on a collegiate system. The African university serves as home to thousands of national and international students.


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