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Top 20 Smartest Countries In Africa (2024)

There is a distinct relationship between the smartest countries in Africa, and the most educated countries on the continent. Education- the availability, and the quality- plays an important role in the ability of the people to reach their full potential in life. Perhaps culture may also encourage a people to be intelligent; some cultures are more open to trying new things than others; and when a people are encouraged to try new things, they can be more creative.

The continent is still far behind in terms of education, but Africans are some of the most creative people on earth. Africa’s smartest countries have been able to push the limits of that creativity; try new things, and new ways of doing things.

As time goes on, there will be greater cooperation between African countries; which will include sharing ideas with their neighbors. This will bring a greater awakening to the whole continent.

Top 20 Smartest Countries In Africa

1. South Africa

South Africa is in a class of its own Africa; it is the most advanced country on the continent in terms of economy, technology, social engineering and safety nets for the poor, this is the country with the highest number of Nobel Laureates, top educational institutions, and medical facilities.

On the continent, nobody does medical research like South Africa, and the country has actually made some great contributions to medical science. South Africa has even designed its own space satellite.

The country is well managed, and performs quite well on the human development index. South Africa is the place where most young people in Africa prefer to go for their studies so they can pick up some smarts.

2. Mauritius

Mauritius is a small island country in the Indian Ocean; to the east of Africa. The country is well managed; and that has helped it attain an unprecedented literacy rate of 92.7%. This makes the people better equipped to explore their potentials. The results have not come in terms of technology development, but the economy is quite balanced; and the rate of growth is quite impressive.

Mauritius was ranked 52nd in the Global Innovation Index in 2020, and the people exhibit their creativity in many ways; including business.

Mauritius will undoubtedly continue to grow in terms of human development; this is because the country offers free education to its citizens from pre-primary to tertiary level- thus building their capacity for innovation.

3. Tunisia

Tunisia is the third most intelligent country in Africa; it has an adult literacy rate of 78%. However, this figure goes up to 97.3% when only young people from 15 to 24 years old are considered. This shows that there has been a recent drive to improve the availability of education in the country.

This country has certainly benefited from the mass of new knowledge available; it has improved the productivity and efficiency with which things are done.

For example; the country has improved the area of land available for agriculture. That in turn has boosted the country; capacity for food productivity. The country therefore scores high on food security, and also on the human development.

The country has compulsory education for children between the ages of 6 and 16 since 1991. It has an Intelligence Capital Index (ICI) of 24.81.

4. Botswana

Botswana is a small but impressive country in southern Africa; it only has about 2.3 million people. Despite that small population the country is one of the most developed in terms of economy; it is now described as an upper middle income country- with a relatively good GDP per capita.

Botswana has been a case-study growth and development, and the role of government is clearly defined as to look after the interests of the people.

The people of Botswana are some of the smartest people in Africa; this is only possible because of the forward thinking of the country’s leadership; which has put education on the high priority list of the country.

5. Morocco

Morocco is a country in North Africa; one that has been blessed with both political and economic stability. The country has had to grow; the desert is not a forgiving place to live, and in order to live in such a harsh environment.

Morocco is a place of culture and tradition; it has centuries old castles, mosques and medinas which draw in people from all over the world. The country is one of Africa’s biggest hubs for tourism.

Morocco has a literacy rate of 72%, and this has been attained through a government policy which makes free and compulsory through primary school.

6. Egypt

Egypt is a country that is mostly located in the northeast corner of Africa and then also on the southwest corner of Asia. Most of Egypt’s money comes from abroad; tourism, remittances from Egyptians abroad, and payments from the Suez Canal.

The money is put to good use; education is right for every child from the age of six. Egypt has an Intelligence Capital Index (ICI) ranking of 21.55; making it one of Africa’s smartest countries.

Egypt’s brilliance is shown by the superior social structure of the country. Egypt is dominant in the area of sports in Africa; and Egyptians have this attitude of never quitting half way- a superior mental attitude which helps them achieve more.

7. Kenya

Kenya has a population of around 50 million people, and an economy that makes it the most important country in east Africa, and one of the most important in Africa. Since the early 1900’s Kenya has been making giant strides (thanks to the missionaries) in education, and now education is available to every child in the country.

Kenya has an educational system in which formal education starts at age six and lasts for 12 years. Primary education may be obtained for free in public schools.

The result is that Kenya has a Human Development Index (HDI) of 0.555, and the country is making strides in the area of technology. Politics in this country is also very interesting to watch; positions are keenly contested; and the debates are based on burning issues. Unfortunately though the country still grapples with corruption and poverty.

8. Algeria

Algeria is the biggest country in Africa by land area; it is also one of the best countries to live in North Africa. It has the highest position in the Human Development Index of all mainland countries in Africa.

Algiers is often called the Paris of Africa; it is a favorite retirement city for middle and upper class French citizens, who come in to enjoy the low cost living options, while enjoying the weather and liberal culture of the country.

As a result; Algeria is quite an important country in Africa; it has been described as a European country located in Africa.

9. Zambia

Zambia is a landlocked country at the crossroads of Central, Southern and East Africa. The country is largely accepted to be part of Southern Africa. Zambia has a good reason to make education a priority sector in the country; it gets a good part of its GDP from tourism, and it is important to communicate effectively with the visitors, and to give them a good impression of the country.

Zambia is also a very intelligent country; it has an Intelligence Capital Index (ICI) ranking of 18.93.

Education is recognized as a factor that will help the country reach its full potential.

10. Namibia

Namibia is a country in southern Africa; much of its land is desert; but since ancient times the various tribes have learnt how to live in this harsh environment. Even now there are bush tribes that live in the wilderness without destroying their environment.

Those children who do not live in the wilderness, however, get free education for both primary and secondary education levels, which positions the country well for the future.

Namibia has an Intelligence Capital Index (ICI) ranking of 18.89. It is important to note that Namibia is very close to South Africa; culturally, and economically.

The following is a more extensive list of the smartest countries in Africa.

Rank Country Intelligence Index Location
1 South Africa 32.98 Southern Africa
2 Mauritius 31.70 East Africa
3 Tunisia 24.81 North Africa
4 Botswana 23.90 Southern Africa
5 Morocco 22.57 North Africa
6 Egypt 21.55 North Africa
7 Kenya 19.31 East Africa
8 Algeria 19.06 North Africa
9 Zambia 18.93 Southern Africa
10 Namibia 18.89 Southern Africa
11 Cameroon 17.75 Central Africa
12 Ghana 17.40 West Africa
13 Lesotho 16.07 Southern Africa
14 Tanzania 14.37 East Africa
15 Nigeria 13.88 West Africa
16 Senegal 13.16 West Africa
17 Benin 12.83 West Africa
18 Uganda 12.41 East Africa
19 Zimbabwe 11.69 Southern Africa
20 Mauritania 11.65 East Africa



The smartest countries in Africa have made education their priorities; but even when this is done, it important to note that the results are not immediately visible. Countries become great not by resources dug up from the ground, but from the things their people can create.

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