Which Sub-Saharan African Universities Are Among World's Best?

© AP Photo / Schalk van ZuydamStudents at the University of Cape Town campus, South Africa, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016.
Students at the University of Cape Town campus, South Africa, Wednesday, Oct. 5,  2016.  - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 16.05.2023
Experts from the World Economic Forum (WEF) drew attention to the remarkable transformation in African higher education last month, noting that universities from across the continent are surging up into global rankings.
Twenty-nine Sub-Saharan African universities have been listed among the world’s top 2,000 in the recent rankings released by the Center for World University Rankings (CWUR).
Since 2012, UAE-based consulting organization CWUR has been publishing academic rankings of global universities, providing policy advice and consulting services to improve educational and research performance tertiary institutions.
This year, the center ranked 20,531 institutions. CWUR analyzed 62 million outcome-based data points to rank universities from across the globe on four factors: quality of education, employability, faculty, and research performance.
The first two indicators in particular are based on the academic and professional success of a university’s alumni, and measured by the number of alumni who have won prestigious academic distinctions or held top positions at large enterprises.
The top 10 of the rankings is dominated by universities from the United States, with over 300 institutions presented in the list. Harvard is the world’s top university with a score of 100%.
In this Feb. 26, 2018, file photo a visitor uses his phone during the Mobile World Congress wireless show, in Barcelona, Spain.  - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 03.05.2023
Education Level in Africa Has Increased Remarkably in Recent Years, Expert Says

In Sub-Saharan Africa, twelve universities out of 29 on the top list are from South Africa. Most of them make the top 10 in Africa, including such universities as Cape Town (267th globally), Witwatersrand (290th), Stellenbosch (450th), KwaZulu-Natal (478th), Pretoria (557th), Johannesburg (628th), and North-West (887th).

A total of five universities from Ethiopia were included in the 2023 edition of the Global 2000 list, with Addis Ababa University being one of the top 10 in Africa and ranked 862nd globally. Other Ethiopian universities presented in the ranking are Gondar, Jimma, Mekelle, and Bahir Dar.
Four Nigerian institutions also made it onto the list. According to the ranking, the best West African universities are the University of Ibadan, University of Nigeria, University of Lagos, and Ahmadu Bello University.
Ghana was represented in the ranking by two universities - University of Ghana and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.
The University of Nairobi is the only Kenyan university listed among the world’s top 2,000. Among other Sub-Saharan universities included on the list are the University of Yaoundé I in Cameroon, Ugandan Makerere University, University of Malawi, University of Zambia, University of Zimbabwe, and Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences in Tanzania.
The performance of African institutions on other global ratings is also getting better: the total number of African universities in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023, which included 1,799 universities across 104 countries, increased to 97 from 71 a year earlier. A decade ago, there were only four African universities in the rankings: the University of Cape Town, two others from South Africa, and one from Egypt.