Top 20 African Countries with the Best Education System

The best Education System in Africa
Best Education

Education is essential to most African countries as governments offer their citizens opportunities to access free and the best education to increase development and growth. The education system has strategically improved and designed favorable structures to implement better educational purposes for its citizens. 

In its order, this list has the top 20 African countries with the best education ranked in Africa and globally. They make the rankings on various platforms such as the Legatum prosperity index, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), World Economic Forum, and Global Education System.

1. Seychelles

With an estimated population of 98,347 people, the archipelago island nation that lies in the Indian Ocean, Seychelles’ education is compulsory and free up to age sixteen at the secondary level. The country has a literacy rate of 95.87% and ranked in the 28th position worldwide in teaching and critical thinking. It is also the first among the African countries with the best education with 69.3 points.

2. Tunisia

Tunisia has focused on its educational system as it has invested 20% of its budget into the sector. It’s ranked 71st among the global education systems with a rating of 61.4%. Tunisia’s education has been ranked occasionally and carries great numbers. For instance, it’s the 51st in the entire world in primary education. It holds the 49th position with a literacy rate of 81% and is 3rd in the quality of Mathematics and Science Education by the World Economic Forum.

3. Mauritius 

Schooling in Mauritius is compulsory up to the age of sixteen years old. The country has an estimated population of 1,265,000. The government offers free transport to all its students. Mauritius is ranked 2nd by the World Economic Forum in terms of Mathematics and Science education.

They also rank the country 3rd in Africa with the best education system, at a rate of 61 points. It is also the 47th regarding the quality of vocational training and 40th in staff training globally. The country’s students are ranked among the best in Cambridge International Examinations worldwide.

4. South Africa

South Africa’s educational sector is developed and well invested in with an estimated expenditure of 18% from the country’s budget, making it competitive on the world’s market through its universities and other faculties. According to UNESCO, South Africa is ranked the 4th country in Africa with 58.4 points, 84th on the Global Education System, 55th on staff training, 53rd on schooling globally, and 94% literacy rate.

5. Algeria 

The Algerian government offers free education to its children, makes it compulsory for all its citizens aged six to fifteen, and enrolls them halfway to higher education (secondary). Algeria is the second Northern African country with the best education system in Africa. The country’s ranked 88th on the Global education system,65th in school life expectancy globally, 5th in Africa, and with a literacy rate of 75% with 57.4 points.

6. Botswana

Botswana is ranked 6th in Africa, 92nd by the Global education system, 76th schooling life expectancy, 67th in staff training globally with a literacy rate of 88% and a score of 56.7 points from its efforts of making education compulsory for its citizens aged 4 to 18, hence encouraging most of the people living in Botswana to attain an education.

7. Kenya 

For an East African country like Kenya, its growth in the various sectors has brought recognition to its efforts. This includes their education system that is ranked 95th Global education system with a 78.7% literacy rate. Education is compulsory for Kenyans that are aged 6 to 17 years.

Kenya is also ranked 43rd in digital skills, 21st on finding skilled employees, and getting them a score of 55.4 points for its education efforts. The Kenyan government invests in its educational sector with an estimated 17.58% of its budget according to different reports stated in the year 2017.

8. Cape Verde

Cape Verde is an island in the central Atlantic Ocean, and its government offers free education to its people to 12 years old and mandatory to its citizens aged 6 to 14 years. The country is scored with an 80% literacy rate, 8th in Africa with 533 points plus 71st on finding skilled employees, and 53rd in teaching and critical thinking globally.

9. Egypt

Egypt is ranked 9th in Africa, 99th by the Global education system, with a 71% literacy rate with 52.8 points, 70th digital skills by UNESCO. Egypt’s government offers compulsory and free education to Egyptians aged six to 15 years as it looks forward to making education in the secondary level compulsory to its citizens.

10. Namibia 

Namibia is ranked 10th in Africa with a score of 52.7%, 88.2% critical thinking and teaching 82nd and 43rd in staff training globally, not forgetting the 100th by Global Education System that shows effectiveness in the educational sector. Namibia’s government funds education for its citizens for a long period for its citizens aged 6 to 16 years old and still plans to extend and offer its citizens the best educational systems and infrastructures.

11. Nigeria

Nigeria’s education system is divided into different sectors that include basic, senior, secondary, and tertiary education, and its system has attracted international students that helped grow their education. Nigeria’s literacy rate was 62.02% in the year 2018, an increase from its 10.94 in 2008; the country is ranked 124th globally and 25th in Africa as the best education.

12. Ghana

Ghana has been ranked 104th globally, and 12th in Africa, with a literacy rate of 79.04% among the citizens aged 15 and above that can understand, read, and write.  They divided the Ghanaian education system into basic, secondary, and tertiary education as basic education is free and compulsory to children aged 4 to 15; however, the offer lasts up to 12 years old.

The education system, especially the university level, is very competitive in the different work fields such as law, business, pharmacy, engineering, and medicine that have helped the country stand out and led to their education system.

13. Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe’s education system in 2016 was ranked the 4th in Africa by the World Economic Forum Global Information Technology in terms of quality in science education and mathematics behind countries like Tunisia, Mauritius, and Ivory Coast. Zimbabwe’s literacy rate of 83.58 as the educational system mandates seven years as the urban primary schools teach in English before joining secondary school. However, the schools use two primary languages, such as Shona and Ndebele English.

14. Rwanda

Rwanda’s literacy rate is 73.22%, and 128th in the world as a country with the best education as its educational system runs on a 6-3-3-4 system that includes Primary school that lasts for 6 years, the junior secondary takes 3 years, the secondary level takes 3 years. The high level (University) takes 4 years. As part of the government’s policy to improve school enrollment and attendance of deprived children, Rwanda introduced free education to provide more equitable educational opportunities to its citizens in 2003 with an estimated population of 12,300,000 as it is also ranked 26th African country with the best education systems.

15. Malawi

Malawi is ranked 148th globally with a literacy rate of 65.75% as the first eight years of education are compulsory as the first four years of teaching are done in the country’s local language and shifts the foreign language English to balance the educational system in Malawi. The Malawian government offers free education to primary school, regardless of the few challenges the education sector faces.

16. Tanzania

Tanzania is ranked 112th and has a literacy rate of 77.89% among its youth because of its educational system. The nation has made it possible for its citizens to access free education for up to 15 years. They divide their educational levels into primary, secondary, secondary, advanced, and university level education.

17. São Tomé and Príncipe

São Tomé and Príncipe is an African island nation close to the equator that offers a primary education that is compulsory for only four years. The country with an estimated population of about 211,028 is ranked 114th. It looks forward to offering higher and technical education opportunities and free 12-year education to the children in this nation.

18. Cameroon

Cameroon’s education system’s government offers an education that lasts for 6years from the age of 6 and to the age of 11 and has an adult literacy rate of 77.07% as the male literacy rate of 82.63%. Cameroon’s general literacy is 77.07%, ranked 115 in the rankings of literacy rate that grew with the recent years, and positioned 113th with countries with the best education system.

19. Gabon

Gabon’s educational system is compulsory for its children aged 6 to 16 under the Educational Act. They are required to attain education from all the different levels that include nursery, kindergarten, primary, and secondary. Ranked 104th, its literacy rate among its citizens aged 15 and above is 84.67%, a slight increase of 2.38% from 2012.

20. Equatorial Guinea

With a population estimated to be 1,309,000 million, Equatorial Guinea has a general literacy rate of 95%, whereas the male literacy rate is 97.29% and 92.4% female’s literacy rate. The country is named one of the African countries with the highest literacy rate.

Equatorial Guinea is ranked 126th as education in the country is free and compulsory up to age 14. The education system is divided into different levels, such as preschool, primary, secondary, and the university level.


The growth of African countries’ educational sectors ensures hope for better education requirements to be implemented to grow a literate nation. The last ten countries’ ratings are mainly from that of the Legatum prosperity index that indicates countries’ general performances around the world and sub-Saharan Africa.



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