Many studies have proved that educated politicians tend to make better politicians than those who are not educated. Highly educated leaders can easily lead their nation towards prosperity. Not all African leaders received higher education. Some of them don’t even have high school certificate or diploma.

We look at the 10 least educated African presidents.

10. Denis Sassou-Nguesso (Republic of Congo)

Education Qualification : None (Military Training)

Denis Sassou-Nguesso has been the President of the Republic of the Congo since 25 October 1997.  He received military training between 1961 and 1963 at the officers’ schools of Cherchell in Algeria and at the Infantry academy in Saint-Maixent, France.

9. Isaias Afwerki (Eritrea)

Education Qualification : High School (Dropout)

Isaias Afwerki is the first President of Eritrea. He earned his high school diploma from Prince Makonnen High School in the year 1965. With his good grades, he managed to get admission at the highly competitive College of Engineering at Haile Selassie I University. After studying for one year at the university, he dropped out and joined the Eritrean freedom struggle.

8. Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz (Mauritania)

Education Qualification : None (Military Training)


Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz is the President of Mauritania. He was sworn into the office on 5 August 2009. Even though he did not have a high school certificate, he did well at the Royal Military Academy and had an excellent career at the Mauritanian military.

7. Paul Kagame (Rwanda)

Education Qualification : High School.

Paul Kagame has been president of Rwanda since 24 March 2000. He was born to a Tutsi family in south Rwanda. His family had to flee Uganda due to Rwandan Revolution when he was two years old. He spent his childhood in Uganda. He began his Grade education in a school near a refugee camp. He also joined Ntare School, but was suspended due to his tendency to fight anyone who spoke ill about the people of Rwanda. Later he completed his studies without distinction at Old Kampala High School and never received any higher education.

6. Abdelaziz Bouteflika (Algeria)

Education Qualification : High School.

Abdelaziz Bouteflika is the President of Algeria. He grew up in Oujda, he attended three schools there: Sidi Ziane, El Hoceinia and the Abdel Moumen high school. He was a good student but he did not receive higher education.

5. Omar al-Bashir (Sudan)

Education Qualification : High School.

Omar al Bashir

 Omar al-Bashir is the President of Sudan. He completed his basic education in middle north of Sudan and joined the Sudanese Army in 1960. He stopped at high school. He trained at the Egyptian Military Academy in Cairo. He quickly rose through the ranks and became a paratroop officer.

4. Ismaïl Omar Guelleh (Djibouti)

Education Qualification : High School.

Ismaïl Omar Guelleh

Ismail Omar Guelleh is the President of Djibouti. He attended a traditional Islamic school, later finished high school and joined the police before becoming head of the secret police and chief of cabinet. Guelleh became president in 1999.

Read also : Top five African Presidents with alarming sexual lust.

3. Salva Kiir Mayardit (South Sudan)

Education Qualification : None (Military Training)

Salva Kiir Mayardit

Salva Kiir Mayardit is the President of South Sudan. He could not complete his schooling due to war like situation in Sudan at that time. He dropped out of school and joined the Anya-Anya rebellion movement. Kiir then joined the Sudanese Armed Forces after the Addis Ababa Peace Agreement. He eventually rose to head the SPLM’s military wing when Dr. John Garang was killed in an helicopter crash.

2. Muhammadu Buhari (Nigeria)

Education Qualification : High School.

He attended Grade school in Daura and Mai’adua before proceeding to Katsina Model School in 1953, and to Katsina Provincial High School (now Government College, Katsina) from 1956 to 1961.

1. Jacob Zuma (South Africa)

South African President Jacob Zuma top the list as the only African president without formal education. He became involved in politics at an early age and went on to become the president of the nation on 9 May 2009. His lack of education has been a hot topic for years. His father was a policeman who died when Zuma was very young and his mother was a domestic worker. He received no formal schooling.