The African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) was inaugurated in Dakar in  March 2015, bringing together sixteen (16) of the region’s leading universities. It is a network of universities from different countries and different historical backgrounds, but with a common vision. The network is generally about expanding and enhancing significantly the quality of research done in Africa by African researchers. This new network, from inception, was intended to be different from any other regional university networks. The difference was to come largely from the approach to be employed, namely bringing together a number of peer African institutions that were willing to work together by pooling their own limited resources, with a view to generating a critical mass that could more effectively support their limited, but growing numbers of researchers. Underlying this was the conviction that they could thereby leverage this effectively for additional resources from outside.


This initiative recognises the fact that partnerships and networking have become essential arrangements for universities throughout the world to leverage their resources for greater impact. There are several examples of universities with similar ideals and complementary endowments working together to achieve greater outcomes, and these include the Russell Group of the United Kingdom. It is a group that brings 24 of the leading UK universities together and they “are committed to maintaining the very best research, an outstanding teaching and learning experience and unrivalled links with business and the public sector”. Like the Russell Group, a major motivation for ARUA is to play a key role in the intellectual life of African countries, be it social, economic or cultural.

ARUA is intended to develop local research excellence through collaboration to find solutions to the development problems of Africa. It is set to become a pan-African network for bringing research and academic excellence to the fore throughout the region by developing strong and viable research universities.

Member Universities

University of Lagos, Nigeria

University of Ibadan, Nigeria

Obafemi Awolowo University lle-Ife, Nigeria

University of Ghana, Ghana

University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

University of Nairobi, Kenya

University of Cape Town, South Africa

University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

University of Rwanda

University Cheikh Anta Diop, Senegal

Makerere University, Uganda

University of Stellenbosch, South Africa

University of Pretoria, South Africa

Rhodes University, South Africa

University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa

Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia