West Africa is a leader on the continent in Economy, Sports, Finance, and of course Education. The best universities in West Africa no doubt play an important role in the quality of the education in the region which is notably good. Some of West Africa’s best universities have consistently been listed as some of the best in the continent; they have made serious contributions to society in various aspects of life, and serve as a source of pride to Africa.

West Africa’s leading universities also attract the most number of students, both locally and internationally. On the local level, these are some of the most popular universities in the region; while on the international level they have the highest number of exchange students; graduate students from all over the continent find these universities attractive to study at and to gain cultural experience.

Top 10 Best Universities In West Africa

1.  University of Ghana

Location: Legon, Ghana

The University of Ghana is rightly adjudged to be the best university in West Africa. Founded in 1948, this is the most prestigious university in Ghana and is also the oldest. This is one of the most historic institutions in the country; when it was first opened all those years ago, it was known as the University College of the Gold Coast; and it was at that time a subsidiary college of the University of London.

The university achieved university status in 1961 and has since become one of the most prestigious in the country. That is why it is the institution of choice for many of the young people in the country. The University currently has about 40,000 students studying in various disciplines.

2.  University Of Ibadan

Location: Oyo State, Nigeria

The University of Ibadan is one of the most prestigious in Nigeria. As a matter of fact; this is a top institution; one that every student wants to go to in Nigeria. It is important to understand that Nigeria is a very big and populous country; meaning that the school receives several thousands of admission requests every year.

The University of Ibadan was established in 1948 and has produced a large number of the people that today make up the academic community in Nigeria. The University of Ibadan also played a part in transforming the City of Ibadan into a centre of academics; scholars from all over the country, including places like South Africa, Ghana, and all over the continent come to Ibadan to study.

The courses offered at this university are wide and varied; but UI is mostly noted for art, engineering, social sciences, medical science, science, and so on.

3.  Covenant University

Location: Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria

Covenant University was established in 2002, but it has already become notable as one of the finest universities in the country. This is a Private University; one that appeals to the upper class in the country who would normally take their children abroad to study. One thing that works for this institution is that it promises to raise the children in a morally sound way; it was founded by a Christian religious leader; Bishop David Oyedepo.

Covenant University also has some of the best equipment in the country; the school also has a very highly regarded curriculum, as well as frequently brings in popular lecturers and captains of industry to teach the students from time to time.

Covenant University is already a leader in Nigeria in the fields of technology and finance. This is widely accepted to be the best private university in Nigeria.

4.  University Of Lagos

Location: Lagos, Nigeria

The University of Lagos was founded in 1963 and is the most popular university in the country. This is one of the most historic universities in the country; one of the birthplaces of unionism and political activism in Nigeria. The institution known as UNILAG is also one of the most glamorous and prestigious schools in the country. It is a public school and receives more than 10,000 candidates a year.

The University of Lagos teaches all kinds of courses, including banking and finance, insurance, medicine, law, psychology, and so on. However, the institution has become synonymous with the entertainment industry. Mass Communication, Theatre Arts, Music, and such courses are the most sought after at the University of Lagos.

5.  Ahmadu Bello University

Location: Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria

Ahmadu Bello University is one of the oldest and most respected universities in Nigeria. It was founded in 1962, which makes it the oldest University in the northern part of Nigeria. Ahmadu Bello University is also considered one of the largest on the continent; only behind Cairo University in Egypt.

This was one of the earliest citadels of learning; this is one of the institutions that produced many of the intellectuals in the north.

This is a great place to study education, cultural studies, Islamic studies, mathematics, and so on. This is the first university of choice for students in northern Nigeria, and also some parts of the Middle East.

6.  University Of Ouagadougou

Location: Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

The University of Ouagadougou is the premier university in Burkina Faso. It was established in 1974 and is located in the area of Dagnöen Nord, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. As far back as 1979, this was already a prominent place of learning in Burkina Faso, and West Africa.

The institution has a strong leaning towards research; it consists of seven Training and Research Units (UFR) and one institute. This University has a campus for professional education and another one for teacher training and retraining.

The university has more than 40,000 students, which constitutes around 80% of the national population of university students. This is the most popular and most prestigious place of learning in Burkina Faso.

7.  Obafemi Awolowo University

Location: Ile Ife, Osun State, Nigeria

Obafemi Awolowo University, also called OAU is one of the most prestigious places of learning on the continent; without a doubt one of the best Universities in West Africa.

The institution was established in 1961 and is located in Ile Ife, Osun State, Nigeria. OAU is one of the few schools that have consistently ranked highly among students and academics alike. This is the birthplace of many of the brilliant minds that have become top intellectuals in the country today.

This is not just a popular university; it is the preferred location for scholars to undergo their postgraduate studies, and also for research to be conducted. This is a top place for the study of medical science, microbiology, infectious diseases, engineering, as well as art, and social sciences.

8.  Cheikh Anta Diop University

Location: Dakar, Senegal

Cheikh Anta Diop University is also known as the University of Dakar. This institution was established in 1957 and has gone on to become the biggest and most prominent citadel of learning in Senegal, with about 60,000 students.

It is located in Dakar; the capital of Senegal, and because of its reputation as the biggest learning institution in the country, it receives the largest number of admission requests.

The University of Cheikh Anta Diop is so named as a tribute to a Senegalese anthropologist, historian, and physicist.

9.  Kwame Nkrumah University Of Science And Technology

Location: Kumasi, Ghana

Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) was founded in 1952. This is a public university that focuses on science and technology; it was formerly called Kumasi College of Technology; it was a dream of the rulers of the Ashanti Kingdom to have this citadel of learning built in their community.

The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology has been at the heart of the fight to make Ghana technologically viable.

KNUST is one of the foremost places of learning in the sub-region; and a great place to develop one’s potential as a scientist.

10.  University of Nigeria

Location: Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria

The University of Nigeria, commonly referred to as UNN, was established in 1955. It is a public, research institution located in Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria. This was the first fully autonomous university in Nigeria (others were subsidiary colleges of foreign institutions) which is why it took the name.

Over the years, it has been a centre of intellectual greatness; it has produced a high number of academics and professionals and made giant strides in research pertaining to agriculture, medical science, and so on.



The best universities in West Africa all have excellent reputations for academic excellence gained after years of service to humanity. It is common to find students from other regions and countries studying in any of these schools, only to find out that there are schools of equal reputation in the student’s home country or region.

Travel is part of education; it allows one to assimilate different cultures and thought processes; thus making one a more complete person.

4 Replies to “Top 10 Best Universities In West Africa 2023

  1. Am surprised ABU isn’t on this list especially when we consider that she is among the top most Nigerian Universities in ranking of African Universities for 2017, 2018.

  2. ABU ranks no 19 in Africa, only below Unilag at 12 and Unilorin at 16 and how come it not in the best 10 in West Africa?

  3. Why Ahmadu Bello University zaria is mention in the listed 10 top best universities in west africa in 2019

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