Higher Education and Libraries in Africa

Several African countries are experiencing economic growth and political stability, giving rise to cautious optimism about the possibilities of sustained progress in a climate of increasing transparency, democratization, reduced conflicts and enhanced opportunities for advancement. These prospects are directly linked to Africa’s higher education sector, as a strong, dynamic and diversified higher education is central to the economic and political changes.  

Watch the videos of scholars presenting their work here—all fellows of the African Humanities Program—as they reveal the humanity of former child soldiers in Liberia; the interplay among the arts, religion, and gender in combatting HIV/AIDS in Tanzania; and the human ramifications of legal reform in Uganda.


With the fastest-growing rates of higher education enrollment in the world, Africa’s universities have the potential to become the continent’s primary development tool. Yet there are too few candidates to meet the growing demand for professors and many who do enter the field are ill prepared. At the same time, the continent’s initial cohort of post-independence academics is fast reaching retirement age. Consequently, Africa’s institutions of higher learning face a severe staffing crisis that threatens social and economic progress.  

The Higher Education and Libraries in Africa Program will support a limited number of core institutions and projects working to strengthen the human capital of selected countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The Program builds on a decade-long investment in the transformation of African universities and libraries, supported by the Corporation and other funders through a Partnership for Higher Education in Africa. To achieve this goal, the Higher Education and Libraries Program focuses on:

Program News

August 25, 2014

Higher Education and Diversity in South Africa Learn More

August 14, 2014

Phillip Griffiths Awarded Chern Medal Learn More

March 13, 2014

CGCS Launches New Website on ICTs in Africa Learn More

What We’re Following

Studying the Camellia Sinensis Plant is Malebe’s “Cup of Tea”

December 12, 2013—Pelly Malebe, a doctoral candidate in the University of Pretoria’s biochemistry department and member of the Carnegie Corporation-funded RISE-SABINA program, is studying the tea plant's DNA to identify potentially drought-resistant varieties. LEARN MORE

SciDev.Net Profiles RISE Grantee Dr. Sithabile Tirivarombo

November 26, 2013—Scholar at Botswana International University of Science and Technology came through Carnegie Corporation-funded program. LEARN MORE

Good News In The Fight Against Aids In Sub-Saharan Africa

October 30, 2013—Professor Yasien Sayed and his team at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in Johannesburg, South Africa Work, have won worldwide acclaim for their work on HIV, showing how modest investments can lead to bigger innovations. TWits awarded Professor Sayed a $20,000 research grant for his work, part of a $2 million grant from Carnegie Corporation to the university to support local academics. LEARN MORE

Wits Publishes Important Look at Apartheid in South Africa

October 22, 2013–The Wits University Press has published Race, Memory and the Apartheid Archive: Towards a Psychosocial Praxis, co-edited by Garth Stevens, Co-Assistant Dean (Graduate Studies) in the Humanities Faculty at the University of the Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg, South Africa, a Carnegie Corporation grantee. LEARN MORE