How is East Africa performing in research output?


In 1991, Africa had only 2.7 million university students. By 2015, that number was projected to reach up to 20 million. –World Bank


Africa has come a long way.


Despite the many challenges faced in obtaining funding for research and innovation, research on the continent is performing well – in both citation quality and footprint. Between 2006 and 2016, the number of Highly Cited Papers featuring Africa-based authors increased by 400%. However, as underfunding of scientific research continues, increasing research growth, visibility and impact remain the top priorities for African institutions. It has never been so important to have presence, to be visible and to be relevant.


The East African Community (EAC) is one of the fastest-growing regional economic blocs in the world. It has a vision to deliver a ‘Common Higher Education Area,’ bringing together sovereign states to develop compatible, coherent and harmonized systems of higher education.  A nation in Africa that made a similar commitment to strengthen its education system has seen significant success; as one of the continent’s largest growing economies Egypt has shown steady signs of research impact growth over the last decade. We take a look at how the research output and impact of 6 East African countries compares to Egypt – and the growth trajectory that the EAC’s commitment to education may deliver.


See the infographic