Decades ago, it doesn’t take much to be a successful business person — only a few people were in business since majority opted for white collar jobs. However, the narrative seems to have taken a new twist. Nearly everyone now is or wants to be an entrepreneur.

Africa today, is booming with businesses across all sectors and with this comes investors from all over the globe with glaring interests in the continent. It’s clear that the continent is ripe with opportunities, it takes a wise business person to know that reworking the economic narrative of Africa requires adequate knowledge of business information? This is where business schools come in.

As educational institutions, business schools do not only facilitate and nurture business leaders, they work in coalition with corporations, to create opportunities and tackle continental challenges. We have sorted a few of the many leading business schools in Africa.

Lagos Business School (LBS) – Nigeria

Top business schools

The Lagos business school was established in 1991. Starting out as a low establishment referred to as the ‘Centre for Professional Communications’ it solely offered management courses relevant to the Nigerian business niche. However, the college has fully grown to provide educational and government programmes.

In 2013, the Lagos Business School included the regular MBA programme in order to develop professionals with sensible management information relevant to the business world. Since birth, the college has crafted a solid name, supported the standard of learning and improved its ability to recruit high-quality workers and students, while making valuable international partnerships.

It’s no surprise then that the establishment is seen as a leading business school in West-Africa, having been graded among the most effective within the world by the Financial Times for the tenth year in a row since 2007.

Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) – South Africa

Founded in 2000, GIBS offers open programmes for individuals and custom programmes for organisations, with courses such as internationally approved MBA programmes, an academic degree in Business Administration, Post-graduate courses in Business Administration and so on.

UK’s leading publication, the Financial Times has featured GIBS almost yearly on its publication of annual leading business colleges within the world.

The 2016 rankings place the Gordon Institute of Business Science amongst the top 50 best within the world, making it a top business school to reckon with, not only in South Africa but in Africa as a whole.

American University in Cairo School of Business (AU) – Egypt

Founded in 1919, AUC is a leading English-language, American-accredited institution and center of the intellectual, social and cultural life of the Arab world. Chartered and accredited in the United States and Egypt, the American University in Cairo is an independent, not-for-profit, equal-opportunity institution.

The University offers 36 undergraduate, 44 master’s and two Ph.D. programs rooted in a liberal arts education that encourages students to think critically and find creative solutions to conflicts and challenges facing both the region and the world. It also offers a globally recognised professional community-based education in English to meet the needs of the dynamic Egyptian and broader regional economies.

AUC’s educational assets include the largest English-language academic library collection in Egypt, three modern theaters and 15 cross-disciplinary research centers. The University’s modern, 260-acre New Cairo campus constitutes a visionary investment in the future of Cairo, Egypt, and the region — a state-of-the-art facility for advanced research, innovative teaching, lifelong learning and civic engagement. Placing all of these together makes AUC indeed, one of the top African business schools in our time.

University of Dar es Salaam Business School (UDBS) – Tanzania

University of Dar es Salaam Business School (UDBS) is located at the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) main campus, about 13 km from City Centre. UDBS came into existence in 2008 as a result of the transformation of the then Faculty of Commerce and Management (FCM) which was established in 1979.

Measured by the strength of its staff in teaching, research, quality of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, extensive training and consultancy programs in business, entrepreneurship, and management, UDBS is one of the leading business institutions in the Sub-Saharan region.

The UDBS manages four approved teaching and research departments, which are Accounting, Finance, General Management, and Marketing.

The school has also five units which run management, entrepreneurship and business training and consultancy programs, including, Management and Development Consulting Bureau (MDCB) and Career Cancelling Centre.

Makerere University Business School (MUBS) – Uganda

Makerere University Business School (MUBS) was established by Makerere University (Establishment of Constituent College) order 1997 as a constituent college of Makerere University (MUK).

The School was created from a merger between the Faculty of Commerce (FOC) and the National College of Business Studies (NCBS).  The merger involved the physical movement of the faculty of commerce from the Makerere Campus to Nakawa where the NCBS was located.  The actual merger and movement took place in January 1998.

In the year 2000, the law was amended to give financial and administrative autonomy by the Makerere University. This amendment caused the school structure to change tremendously.

Till date, MUBS, offers Postgraduate, Undergraduate and Diploma programs which are designed to give students the opportunity to learn the past and latest developments.

Wits Business School – South Africa

Wits Business School is a spin-off of the University of the Witwatersrand and one of the top tertiary institutes in Africa. The school offers a variety of postgraduate academic programmes, executive education programmes as well as weekly public seminars.

WBS also designs tailor-made, in-company programmes, partnering with client organisations to develop management capacity. With a full suite of programmes, WBS delivers innovative, transformative, and immersive learning experiences using generative thinking methodologies.

WBS has an extensive Management Library, 24-hour meeting rooms and Africa’s largest Case Study Centre, housing over 200 real-life cases that bring relevant business challenges into the classroom.

Strathmore Business School (SBS) – Kenya

Since its inception in 2005, SBS’s has its mission to develop transformative business leaders.

SBS has recently been ranked third in the Webometrics ranking of b-schools in Africa which could pass as a reflection of its commitment to excel and surpass older and more established institutions in the continent.

Till date, SBS is staying true to its purpose and making it even more relevant in the contemporary world.

University of Ghana Business School (UGBS) – Ghana

The University of Ghana Business School (UGBS) is a premier business school focused on developing world-class human resources and capabilities to meet national development needs and global challenges, through quality teaching, learning, research, and knowledge dissemination.

UGBS is a member of reputable international networks of business schools such as AACSB – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), GNAM – Global Network for Advanced Management and AABS – Association of African Business Schools.

To solidify its essence, the School has collaborations with leading business schools in North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa in the areas of student/faculty exchanges, academic programme, case studies, and research development.

UGBS offers various undergraduate, masters and Ph.D. programmes in its six academic departments. The School’s executive education outfit, UGBS-Executive Development(UGBS-ED), offers executive education and tailored programmes to executives and senior management across various sectors while its Enterprise Development Service (EDS) specialises in providing business development, business advisory, and consulting to a wide range of enterprises.

It wouldn’t be far-fetched to name UGBS as one of the top African business schools in the 21st century.

HEM business school – Morroco

One can’t talk about top African business schools without mentioning Morocco’s HEM [Institut des Hautes études de management] Business School.

Founded in 1988, HEM is home to more than 2,000 students spread across its campuses in Rabat, Casablanca, Marrakech, Fez, and Tangier.

The school offers various master’s degrees and an MBA, with specialisations in Business Finance, Marketing, Accounting Control Audit, and Industrial Management. HEM has been attracting a slew of investors over the years. Its biggest to date is the World Bank affiliate, the International Finance Corporation, which invested $7 million in 2013.

The United States International University-Africa Business School – Kenya

The United States International University-Africa Business School enjoys the status as one of the continent’s finest. The institution is the oldest private university in Kenya, having been founded in 1969. It initially started as the Nairobi Campus of United States International University and became a separate university in 1999, under its new name The United States International University-Africa.

The university offers various master’s level degrees, including Master in Business Administration, Executive Master of Science in Organisational Development, and the Global Executive Master of Business Administration. The school boasts of several high profile alumni, including Vimal Shah, CEO of Bidco Africa, a multinational consumer goods giant based in Kenya.


What other top African business schools do you think should make this list?