10 Best Universities in West Africa


An African proverb goes thus, “what you’re looking for in Sokoto (a faraway land) might just be right in your Sokoto (Pocket). This means some opportunities we search for faraway might just be within our reach.

“I want to study abroad” This is the anthem of many African youths.

10 Best Universities in West Africa

The essence of this article is to debunk the idea that until you study abroad, you somehow cannot learn as much as those who study back at home. Home for us is Africa.

In this post, I will take you through the best Universities in West Africa (2019); their systems, reputations and what they have to offer you. You just might be fascinated.

So, Welcome to Africa!

10 Best Universities in West Africa    


1. The University of Ghana, Accra

The University of Ghana is the first and largest university in Ghana.

On August 11, 1948, it was founded as the University College of the Gold Coast for the purpose of providing and promoting university education, learning and research.

The vision being ‘to become a world-class research-intensive University. The University set out to create an enabling environment that would make them increasingly relevant to national and global development. The University of Ghana has established several research organizations and centres for learning which includes the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIR), Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Institute for Environmental and Sanitation and much more. The University engages in International collaborations to enhance their output. It also focuses on key areas such as Malaria Research, Enhancing Food Production and Processing, Development Policy and Poverty Monitoring and Evaluation and so on.

With a population of over 38,000 students and an alumnus which include Presidents of the country, there is nothing better than a learning Institution that sets global standards.


2. Covenant University

Covenant University is a fast advancing private institution in Nigeria. Opened in 2002, it has earned an accredited membership in the Commonwealth of Universities. It became the highest ranked Nigerian university in the world universities ranking of the Times Higher Education (THE). Covenant University was also recently selected as one of the Africa Centres of Excellence for Development Impact (ACE Impact).

Covenant University has four colleges, mostly dedicated towards vocational studies: The College of Business and Social Sciences; College of Leadership and Development Studies; College of Engineering, and the College of Science and Technology. Research is regarded as one of the twin missions of the Institution, especially in fields such as Engineering and Computer Sciences.


3. The University of Ibadan, Nigeria

U.I., as it is fondly called, was established in 1948. Prior to 1962, it was a college of London till it became an independent University. The University admits students into sixteen faculties which include; Technology, Renewable natural resources, Environmental Research and management. There are other academic units which are a part of the such as Institute of Child Health, Institute of Education, Institute of African Studies, Centre for Child Adolescent, Mental Health Centre for Petroleum, Energy, Economics and Law (CPEEL), Centre for Sustainable Development (CESDEV). The University of Ibadan is even looking to include a school of Business soon. This Institution is set to meet the needs of the African continent while using global methods. The University aims to be a world-class institution for academic excellence geared towards meeting societal needs. It has contributed to the Political, Industrial, and economic development of Africa.

4. Université of Ouagadougou (University of Ouagadougou)

Universite of Ouagadougou is a non-profit public higher education institution located in the urban setting of the large city of Ouagadougou. It consists of seven Training and Research Units (UFR) and one institute. These Research units include UFR Languages, Arts and Communications; UFR Human sciences; UFR Legal and Politic Sciences and so on.  It is recognized as one of the best Universities in Burkina Faso with an enrolment range of 30,000-34,999 students. The University uses the modular education system which is based on academic credits, combining basic and professional training.


5. Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST)

KNUST is a university in Ashanti, Ghana. It is the second public university to be established in the country, as well as the largest university in the Ashanti Region. It was originally founded as the Kumasi College of Technology in 1952 but was later transformed to what it is in 1961. The University is globally recognized as the premier centre of excellence in Africa for teaching in Science and Technology. It has produced high calibre graduates with knowledge and expertise that have contributed to the industrial and socio-economic development of Ghana and Africa. The University also maintains collaboration with International institutions and leads research in matters concerning physical and biosciences.

6. Obafemi Awolowo University

Founded in 1962, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife was the brainchild of Chief Obafemi Awolowo. The student population of the institution has risen steadily from 244 in 1962/1963 to over 30,000 at present. OAU, as it is fondly called, is recognized as one of the best and most competitive Universities in Nigeria. The University aims at producing graduates of International standards in their respective fields. It also provides high-quality research and development activities that will promote the growth of the Nation. Throughout its history, OAU has pursued a strong commitment to the highest level of scientific research and teaching in fields such as Atmospheric Research and Information Analysis Lab (ARIAL), Centre for Energy Research and Development (CERD), Center for Gender Studies (CGS) and so on. It also provides admission for students in various fields such as medical sciences’, Humanities, social sciences etc.

7. Cheikh Anta Diop University

It is also known as the University of Dakar in Senegal. It has an enrolment of over 60,000 students.  In 1918, the French created a medical school to serve only whites and only a few educated elites but a new campus was created and combined to the University of Bordeaux and University of Paris and this formed the University of Dakar in 1957. The University of Dakar offers courses in the Humanities, Sciences, Engineering, Medicine, Finance, Accounting, and Law. It also oversees a language school specializes in French language studies aimed at foreign students in preparation for regular courses taught in French. It remains the largest and most prestigious university in French West Africa


8. University Of Lagos

The University of Lagos, popularly known as UNILAG is another Federal owned research Institute alongside OAU and University of Ibadan. Established out of a need to enhance rapid industrialization and development in Nigeria, the University was established in 1960 in Western Nigeria. With a student population of 57,000 students as of 2013, it is often acclaimed, ‘the University of First choice and the Nation’s pride’. It provides education for students in fields such as Economics, Commerce, Business Administration, Higher Management Studies and so on. Based on the university’s research activity, the National Universities Commission (NUC) rated the University of Lagos as the best university in Nigeria at the Nigerian University System Annual Merit Award (NUSAMA) in 2008.


9. University Of Nigeria, Nsukka

Come with me to the first full-fledged indigenous and first autonomous university in Nigeria, modelled after the American educational system with 15 Faculties and 102 academic departments. The University, in spite of its age still leads key positions in Research with the Space Research centre established in 1962. Roar Nigeria Hub located in the University is one of the full-fledged ICT Hubs in West Africa.


10. Ahmadu Bello University

Ahmadu Bello University is located in Zaria, Nigeria. It has five institutes and six specialized centres, a Division of Agricultural Colleges as well as extension and consultancy services which provide services to the wider society.

At its inception, ABU, as is fondly called, was remarkable for the breadth of its ambition. ABU created a range of programmes that only the very most comprehensive of U.S. state universities could have matched. The university extends beyond the standard fields of the arts, languages, social sciences and sciences; to include engineering, medicine with the ABU teaching hospital, pharmacy, architecture, and a wide variety of agricultural departments including veterinary medicine. As it approaches its 50th anniversary, ABU still has claims to the largest and the most extensive of universities in Sub-Saharan Africa.








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