In the recent years, university education has grown to become an essential aspect of the African social and economic sectors.
As such, today, many African countries set aside funds to facilitate smooth running of these higher learning institutions spread across different countries.
In no particular order, here are the top 10 best universities in Africa with South Africa dominating the list.
University of Witwatersrand
Situated in Johannesburg, the University of Witwatersrand offers both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees through to PhDs.
The institution was founded in 1896 as the South African School of Mines in Kimberley before it was later renamed to University of Witwatersrand in 1922.
As of 2018, the school had an enrolment of 40,259 students – 63 percent of the enrolment is for undergraduate study, while 35 percent being postgraduate and rest are occasional students.
In 2018, Wits University was feted as the highest ranked university in Africa in the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) awards, also being ranked as the top university in South Africa in the Center for World University Rankings (CWUR) in 2016
The Northwest University is a South Africa-based research university with three campuses in Potchefstroom, Mahikeng and Vanderbijlpark.
The university was founded in 2004 following the merger between the Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education merger and the University of Bophuthatswana.
The institution is known for its invention of the worldwide usable model to control the Fall Army Worm pest which was backed up by a natural process to deal with it using a parasitoid.
The university which is located in Giza was founded in 1908 as the Egyptian University before it was renamed to King Faud in 1940 and Cairo University in 1952.
Cairo University which appears to be the second oldes higher learning institution was founded committee of private citizens in 1908, 17 years before it became a state institution under King Fuad I.
The institution’s School of Medicine is amongst the first schools of medicine to exist in Africa, and its school of Law stands out as being amongst the best on the continent.
Notables alumni of the school include former Iraq president Saddam Hussein, twice Prime Minister of Egypt Abdel Pasha and first female lawyer in Egypt Naima Ilyas.
The university was established in 1972 as the East Delta University before it was renamed to Mansoura University a year later in 1973.
Located in Egypt’s middle of the Nile Delta, the university is famed for its contribution to the country’s cultural and scientific life.
Ranked as among the top research institution in Africa, the Mansoura University boasts the largest urology and nephrology center.
Notables alumni of the university include top-rated Egyptian urologist Mohamed Ghoneim and El Ghad political party founder Ayman Nour among others
University of Johannesburg
The University of Johannesburg was established in 2005 following a merger between the Rand Afrikaans University, the Technikon Witwatersrand and the Soweto and East Rand campuses of Vista University.
After the merger, the institution became one of the largest public universities in South Africa with over 50,000 students which more than 3000 are international students.
The University of Johannesburg is known as one of South Africa’s finest research hub having being ranked 417th in the world and 6th in Africa.
University of Ibadan
The university which is situated in Oyo State, Nigeria was founded in 1948 as University College Ibadan, under the University of London.
It became an independent institution in 1962.
Notably, the University of Ibadan was the first institution to award an academic degree in Nigeria and became the first Nigerian university to make the top 1000 in Times Higher Education rankings in 2016.
It’s alumni include novelist Chinua Achebe, investigative journalist Fisayo Soyombo and visual artist Vivian Browne among others.
University of KwaZulu-Natal
The University of KwaZulu-Natal was established in 2004 following a merger between the University of Natal and the University of Durban-Westville.
Ranked 371 in the world and 4th in Africa, the university has five campuses spread across South Africa offering both postgraduate and undergraduate degrees.
This include the main campus, Westville Campus, Nelson. R. Mandela School of Medicine, Howard College Campus, Edgewood Campus and Pietermaritzburg Campus.
Its notable alumni include World Cup winning South African Rugby Union captain John Smit and media personality Lize Heerman among many others.
University of Pretoria
The University of Pretoria is a top-rated public university for research and learning established in 1908.
The university was first a Pretoria-based campus of Transvaal University College and it originally had 32 students which grew to about 53,000 in 2019.
The university’s main campus and central administration offices are situated in the suburb of Hatfield, Pretoria and houses six of the nine faculties.
The campus, bordered by the suburb of Brooklyn to the south and Hatfield to the north, was built over 59 acres and has more than 60 buildings of historical value.
Situated in Stellenbosch, South Africa, Stellenbosch University is research university with four campuses spread across South Africa.
Being the oldest university in Africa, the university awards both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and houses up to 150 departments, shared between 10 faculties.
The university was founded in 1864 and officially opened in 1866.
The institution became the Stellenbosch College in 1881 before the college was renamed Victoria College in 1887.
However, when it acquired the university status on 2 April 1918, it was renamed once again, to Stellenbosch University.
University of Cape Town
The University of Cape Town is a public research university in Cape Town, South Africa established in 1829 as the South African College.
It was granted full university status in 1918, making it the oldest university in South Africa and the oldest university in Sub-Saharan Africa in continuous operation.
Its notable alumni include Christiaan Barnard who performed the first human heart transplant and former UCT Vice-Chancellor and Managing Director of World Bank, Mamphela Ramphele.
Five alumni of the University of Cape Town have been awarded Nobel Prizes.