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Top 10 Most Educated Presidents In Africa (2024)

In the perspective of Africans the most educated presidents in Africa should be the ones with the most impressive lists of academic qualifications. Such people should bring uncommon competence to their positions, and better serve the people.

They should be able to device forward thinking ideas and strategies to make life better not just today but also in the time to come. Sometimes politicians are not just as simple as they appear; they do not always practice what they preach. However these ones are among the most lettered.

Top 10 Most Educated Presidents In Africa

1. Ali Bongo

President of: Gabon

Ali Bongo is the president of Gabon; he replaced his father who was also president from 1967 till his death in 2009. He attended a private school in France, and then studied law in Sorbonne (University of France). He received an Honorary Doctorate of Law Degree from the University of Wuhan in china.

He has a wide range of experience in statecraft; he has served as a deputy representing the people of his constituency in parliament; he has served as a minister of defense from 1999 to 2009.

He won the election in 2009, and then in 2016 he was reelected for a second tenure as president. He is a lover of music; in 1977 while living in France he released a funk album titled Brand New Man, and then he organized a visit to the country by Michael Jackson in 1992.

2. Sahle- Work Zewde

President of: Ethiopia

Work Zewde- Sahle is the president of Ethiopia- she is the first woman to hold that position. Of course the reason she has the honor of the position is that her qualifications are unassailable. She was born in Addis Ababa in the Ethiopian Empire and she did both her elementary and secondary schools in the country. However, when it was time for higher education she went to France to study natural science at the University of Montpelier

She is a career diplomat; she served as ambassador to Senegal, Mali, Cape Verde, Gambia, and guinea. She was then appointed to the United Nations; she served as UN special envoy for peace building in central African republic CAR.

She then served as director general of the United Nations office in Nairobi Kenya. From there she was appointed as special representative of the United Nations to the African union. It was on the background of these qualifications that she was elected president of Ethiopia in 2018.

3. Nana Akufo Addo

President of: (Ghana )

Nana Akufo Addo was in Accra, Ghana, and he attended the Government Boys School, Adabraka, and later Rowe Road School, both in Accra Central. After that he went to England to study at Lancing College, Sussex for his O-Level and A-Level examinations.

He returned to Ghana in 1962 to teach at the Accra Academy, but soon left that engagement to study economics at the University of Ghana, Legon. He then trained as a lawyer under the apprenticeship system, and was called to the English Bar, and then subsequently the Ghanaian Bar.

He worked an American law firm before founding his own in 1979.

His qualifications include years of service to the Ghanaian people in various capacities. He served as a member of parliament for three terms, and vied for president a few times, and while the bids were not successful he gained a lot in clout and experience. He finally became president of Ghana in 2017, and served as the Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States from 2020-2022.

4. Cyril Ramaphosa

President of: South Africa

Cyril Ramaphosa is the president of South Africa. He was born in Soweto, and attended Tshilidzi Primary School and Sekano Ntoane High School in Soweto. He then studied law at the University of the North (Turfloop) in Limpopo Province. It was there that he joined the anti-apartheid movement, where he became quite prominent.

This student activism landed him in trouble; he served 11 months in solitary confinement; the law at the time allowed for such punishment if a person was charged with terrorism.

After he was released he was offered a job as a clerk in a Johannesburg law firm; which allowed him to complete his education via correspondence. After he gained his law degree he went on to join the council of unions, and then start a union specifically for mineworkers. The union became successful; it galvanized mineworkers and helped them to press for better working conditions.

This made him quite famous; and opened the doors for politics. He became close with the ANC, and even accompanied them as they sought the release of political prisoners. He soon formally joined the ANC, and then became the Chairman of the Reception Committee, and the General Secretary of the party. On the platform of the ANC he became a member of parliament; that was when democracy came to South Africa, and nelson Mandela became president.

He later resigned from politics to pursue a business career; and he became quite successful; with a net worth estimated at R6 billion. Then later he returned to politics and is now president.

5. Lazarus Chakwera

President of: Malawi

Lazarus Chakwera is one of the most handsome presidents in Africa. He was born in Lilongwe, the capital city of Malawi. He attended primary and secondary school in Lilongwe, and then he studied Philosophy at the University of Malawi in 1977, and then he studied Theology at the University of the North in South Africa. He then obtained a master’s degree in Theology from the University of South Africa. Lazarus Chakarewa also has honorary doctorate in Theology from Trinity International University in the United States.

Lazarus Chakarewa had a good career as a Theologian; he served as an instructor at the Assemblies of God school of Theology, and rose to be Principal of that institution. From there he became President of the Assemblies of God in Malawi.

That Presidency turned out to be a stepping stone for a bigger Presidency; in a shock move he announced his intention to run for President of Malawi under the opposition party Malawi Congress Party. He contested the Election in 2014 while still at the helm at the Assemblies of God.

He didn’t win that election as declared, but then he resigned from the Assemblies of God, and then focused his time and energy in politics. He then defeated the incumbent president at the 2020 elections, and so he became President.

6. Prithvirajsing Roopun

President of: Mauritius

Prithvirajsing Roopun has been serving as President of Mauritius since 2019. He was born in Mauritius, and comes from an Indian family. He grew up in Morcellement St. Jean, which is a neighborhood in Quatre Bornes.

He attended secondary school at New Eton College in Rose Hill and then he found work as a teacher at Eden College. He studied international business law (LLM) from the University of Lancashire, and worked as a lecturer at the Faculty of Law at the University of Mauritius. He is also on the board of Examiners at the Council of Legal Education in Mauritius.

He has served as member of Legislative Assembly, and speaker of the National Assembly. He represented Mauritius as a member of the Pan African Parliament from 2010 to 2014. In that capacity he was deputy chair of the Committee of Transport, Industry, Communications, Energy, and Science.

He has served Mauritius in many other important positions leading up to his Presidency. He has been a keen advocate for the fight against extreme poverty.

7. Samia Suluhu Hassan

President of: Tanzania

Samia Suluhu Hassan has been serving as President of Tanzania since 19 March 2021. She is the first female to hold that position. She was born on 27 January 1960, in Makunduchi, an old town on Unguja Island, in the Sultanate of Zanzibar, which is in Tanzania.

She attended secondary school in Tanzania, and then found a job immediately afterwards. She did a number of short courses, most notably an advanced diploma in public administration from the Institute of Development Management.

She later attended the University of Manchester and earned a postgraduate diploma in economics, and then she further strengthen that with an MSc in Community Economic Development via a joint-programme between the Open University of Tanzania and the Southern New Hampshire University.

She joined politics around 2000, and was elected to the Zanzibar House of Representatives, and at the same time she was appointed as a minister by the President. She continued to grow in stature; she was reelected, and became quite significant. She was then chosen in 2015 by Presidential Candidate John Magufuli as his running mate, and so she became Vice President.

She was reelected with him and so served a second term as vice president. John Magufuli died in February 2021, and she was sworn in in March as his successor.

8. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud

President of: Somalia

Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has been president of Somalia since May 2022. He was born in Somalia, and attended primary and secondary schools in his hometown Jalalaqsi. When it was time for higher education, he moved to Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, where he studied for three years at the local Somali National University. He then went to India to study at the Bhopal University (now Barkatullah University), where he completed a master’s degree in technical education in 1988.

He also studied at the Eastern Mennonite University’s Summer Peace building Institute based in Harrisonburg, Virginia, USA. There he studied mediation, trauma healing, and designing learner-centered trainings.

On his return to Somalia he became an instructor and trainer at the Lafole Technical Secondary School, and then he later joined the Somali National University-affiliated Technical Teachers’ Training College in 1984, later rising to become the department’s head.

During the war he stayed in Somalia and worked as a consultant to various NGOs; some of whom were working to provide care for displaced people, and others who were working to find a solution to the conflict. It was on the background of this peace building that he launched his political career.

He had served the country in various capabilities, before becoming president, he became President in 2012, although he lost the position in the next election, before emerging President again in 2022.

9. Hage Geingob

President of: Namibia

Hage Gottfried Geingob has been serving as the president of Namibia since March 2015. He was born in Otjiwarongo, South West Africa, and he had his early education at Otavi in South West Africa under the Bantu Education System. He then joined the Augustineum; which was the higher education of the day.

It was during his time at Augustineum that he started activism and politics. He was involved in a student protest against the poor quality of education at that institution- an act that got him expelled.

He was taken back, and allowed to complete his training. He subsequently started work as a teacher. He didn’t stay long in that job; after a year he joined the ANC and went to Botswana, on route to Tanzania to study. An attack by South African forces compelled him to change plans.

He consolidated his political position in Botswana; he became prominent in South West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO). He then left to America to study at In 1964 Geingob left for the United States to study at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and then  Fordham University in New York City. He also studied International Relations at the Graduate Faculty of The New School, New York in 1974.

He has served the country in various capacities before he became President.

10. Alassane Dramane Ouattara

President of: Ivory Coast

Alassane Dramane Ouattara has been serving as President of Ivory Coast since 2010. He was born on 1 January 1942, in Dimbokro in French West Africa. He attended primary and secondary schools in Ivory Coast, and then he traveled to the United States, to study at the Drexel Institute of Technology (now Drexel University), in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and then the University of Pennsylvania, for both his Master’s and Doctoral degrees.

He worked as an economist for the International Monetary Fund in Washington, D.C. from 1968 to 1973, and then he was appointed the position of Chargé de Mission (head of Mission) in Paris of the Banque Centrale des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (West African Central Bank) from 1973 to 1975. He distinguished himself at that institution, and was then appointed Special Advisor to the Governor and also Director of Research.

He then became Director of the African Department at the IMF, and at the same time he became Counsellor to the Managing Director at the IMF.

On the background of his wealth of experience, and reputation as a hard worker, the IMF forced the Ivorian President, Félix Houphouët-Boigny, to accept Ouattara as Chairman of the top level Committee for Coordination of the Stabilization and Economic Recovery Programme of Côte d’Ivoire. That marked his entry into politics, and he soon became Prime Minister.

The political climate in Ivory Coast has been quite volatile, and after the death of Houphouët-Boigny, there was a full scale war. However, after an election, he was declared winner, making him arguably Africa’s most qualified president in terms of academics and experience in technical positions.



The most educated presidents in Africa earn their status not only within the four walls of a learning institution, but also with the experience they gain through the key positions they hold in major agencies and international bodies. With this wealth of knowledge, they hope to make their countries and their continent a better place for all.


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