Africa is well known around the world for many things. Among them are its wealth of natural resources, rich cultural heritage, and, arguably best of all, amazing ecological attractions. However, the continent has made a name for itself in another field for the past few decades, and that has been in the realm of higher education. Currently, there are dozens of universities spread all over Africa, which provide Africans with a chance of getting a good quality higher education, thus transforming them into valuable members of the society.
7. Makerere University, Uganda -
Makerere University is located on Makerere Hill in Uganda’s capital city of Kampala. It was founded in 1922, making it one of the oldest higher learning institutions in Africa. Initially, it was just a technical school designed to offer courses in building, carpentry and mechanics. However, it now offers a broad range of higher education courses in various disciplines such as medicine, agriculture, business studies, veterinary science, engineering, and education. Makerere University is one of the most prestigious universities in Africa, which has managed to produce notable alumni such as Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o Kenyan novelist, Mwai Kibaki, former president of Kenya, Patrick Mazimhaka, Julius Nyerere, former president of Tanzania, Oginga Odinga politician, and many others.
6. University of Ghana, Ghana -
The University of Ghana, which was established in 1948, is the oldest institution of higher learning in Ghana. It is based in the town of Legon, approximately 12 kilometers from Ghana’s capital, Accra. The University of Ghana has a student enrollment of approximately 40,000. Initially, it focused on offering liberal arts, social sciences, agriculture, and medicine courses. However, it has since expanded its curriculum to include technology-based courses. The university also has a graduate school for nuclear and allied sciences, making it one of the few African universities that offer nuclear physics courses.
5. University of Nairobi, Kenya -
The University of Nairobi was one of the leading pioneers of higher education in Kenya. It was established in 1956 as the Royal Technical College, but it did not become a full-fledged, independent university until 1970. It is located in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, but it has several other campuses around the country. As one of the oldest universities in Kenya, the University of Nairobi is a prestigious institution that has produced famous alumni such as William Ruto, a Kenyan Deputy President, Willy Mutunga, a former Chief Justice of Kenya, Wangari Mathai, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, and several others.
4. University of Marrakech Cadi Ayyad, Morocco -
The University of Marrakech Cadi Ayyad, also known as the Cadi Ayyad University, is one of the major institutions of higher learning in Morocco. Located in Marrakesh, the university was established in 1978, and it is one of the youngest universities in Africa. It has one of the highest enrollment rates in Africa, currently boasting of about 70,000 students, out of whom 700 are international students. It has 13 institutions, which offer a variety of courses in disciplines such as science, human sciences, law, economic and social sciences, applied sciences, commerce, technology, and most notably, astronomy.
3. University of Ibadan, Nigeria -
The University of Ibadan is one oldest university in Nigeria, having been founded in 1932 as Yaba College. It is located about 8 kilometers away from the city of Ibadan and is made up of 12 faculties that offer various courses in medicine, arts, agriculture and forestry, education, technology, law, public health, science, pharmacy, dentistry, social sciences, and veterinary medicine. As one of the most prestigious higher learning institution in Nigeria, the University has produced several famous alumni such as Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Emeka Anyaoku (the Commonwealth Secretary-General), and several others.
2. Cairo University, Egypt -
Cairo University is one of the premier African universities, having been founded in 1908. Despite its name, the university’s main campus is located in the city of Giza, about 5 kilometers away from Cairo. It has one of the largest enrollments in Africa, with about 155,000 students taking courses in 22 faculties. Notable alumni from the University include Mohamed Morsi (a former Egyptian president), Boutros Boutros-Ghali (a former United Nations Secretary General), and Nobel Prize winners Mohamed ElBaradei, Yasser Arafat, and Naguib Mahfouz.
1. University of Cape Town, South Africa -
The University of Cape Town is one of the top higher learning institutions in all of Africa, commanding respect both on the continental and international level. Founded in 1829, it is the oldest university in South Africa, and one of the premier higher learning institutions in Africa. Ranked as the best African university by several ranking organizations, the University of Cape Town is one of the most prestigious universities in Africa, and it has produced several famous alumni, including Ralph Bunche, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate.