Posted by: Dr. Y. | September 4, 2009

Timbuktu, one of the world’s first and oldest university



Oh wow… I always knew Timbuktu (Tombouctou in Mali) because of the story of the great emperor of the kingdom of Mali, Mansa Kankan Musa. I knew it was the center of his empire, but it is only lately that I realized that it was one of the world’s first and oldest thriving university! Students came from all over the world to study at Timbuktu. Imagine that, students from the middle east, and Europe coming to Africa to study! oooohhhh … Goodness Gracious, that sight only would make me proud! Well, to those who say Africa only has an oral tradition, go and check out the 700,000 manuscripts at the great Sankore University in Timbuktu, and tell me what you think! Oh la la…

In one documentary, the speaker mentions that they translated one of the manuscript on Algebra from Arabic to

Sankore University in Timbuktu

Sankore University in Timbuktu

French, and sent it to France to be evaluated educationally; well, that manuscript revealed that the mathematics it contained was currently studied in 2nd year of university in France, and the speaker then says “and that was taught at universities in Timbuktu before the 16th century“!  Wow… my Goodness!

Timbuktu also houses some of the world’s oldest mud mosques, and every year the people of the city unite to re-do the walls of the mosque. It was added to the UNESCO world’s heritage list in 1988  (

Read about it on Wikipedia:


  1. Oh my god loved reading this blogpost. I submitted your feed to my blogreader!

  2. […] is a city of Mali whose history is closely linked to that of Timbuktu. It is well-renowned for its mud brick architecture, and today most of the city is considered a […]


  4. civilization started right here on the African soil so no doubt about timbuktu

  5. Your site looks good. Have you thought about upgrading your design? I think that will make it loads better.

  6. I am from jamaica and my wife didn’t actually know that there is such a university. The minute I researched and showed it to her she was really taken aback and was proud that our motherland has the first university in the world

    • I am delighted that I helped her find out about this, by publishing this article. Thank you for visiting my blog.

  7. […] like Pathe’O and Chris Seydou, has revolutionized African fashion.  Alphadi was born in Timbuktu Mali from parents who were traders.  Alphadi’s gift was born from applying makeup on his […]

  8. […] is with horror that I watched and read about Timbuktu‘s desecration these past weeks, and I could not /would not stay silent as African treasures […]

  9. I will like to know the full history of university of Timbuktu.

  10. I quite appreciate ur gesture of of making me knw that my continent house one of the oldest univeristy. Thks

  11. […] before Nikola Tesla or Alessandro Volta).  Just like the great Library of Alexandria, or the University of Timbuktu … we, Africa, also had electricity.  Enjoy… and Applaud … and above all be […]

  12. Africa was made poor by the westerners “white men countries”, because they were greed and selfish. Africa was exploited for its own harmony.damn!

  13. […] fabric.  The explorer Ibn Battuta does mention the presence of weavers in the Mali empire, and in Timbuktu, in the 1300s.  As Islam was introduced in West Africa, many began wearing today’s version […]

  14. Thanks for sharing such a fastidious thought, article is pleasant, that’s why i have read it entirely

  15. Hi, I see all your articles, keep them coming. Interesting post.

  16. If you are going for finest contents like me,
    only go to see this web page everyday because it offers quality contents,

  17. I have read several excellent stuff here. Definitely value bookmarking for revisiting.
    I wonder how so much attempt you place to create any such fantastic informative web site.

  18. WOW just what I was searching for.

  19. […] artist born in Oran, Algeria, on 25 August 1895.  He was originally from Mali, and lived in Timbuktu throughout his childhood.  He then moved to France for studies.  After high school, he wanted to […]

  20. I love your blog.. very nice colors and theme. Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?

    Plz reply as I’m looking to design my own blog and would like to know where u got this from. thank you

    • Thanks for visiting my blog Karine. I made my website entirely by myself, and I run it alone.

  21. […] among his camels were 80 that each bore 300 lbs. of gold. … he turned the fabled city of Timbuktu into a trading center and a refuge for scholars.   … But the legend lived on of the warrior […]

  22. […] OUR HISTORY because our history didn’t start with SLAVERY. Civilization, Astrology, Geometry, Education, Laws, Spirituality, Agriculture and this is part of OUR HISTORY. Please Click Each […]

  23. […] Musa was a great builder. He had several mosques and madrasas built in Timbuktu and Gao. The most important of its constructions is the University of Sankore. In Niani, his […]

  24. Appreciation to my father who informed me regarding this website, this website is truly amazing.

  25. […] Kelley, Barbara Ransby and Angela Davis. But let’s not confuse university with White. The University of Timbuktu was just one of the structures with remains. Diverse formations of deep thought and study have […]

  26. wao i feel very great reading such information concerning Africa please lets work hand in gloves to keep the African continent upgraded. thanks

    • Sweet! I am so glad Formanji that you find the blog interesting. Indeed… let’s all work together to bring out all great information about Africa.

  27. Hey readers! As you probably already know, Match Day has come and gone, and I am still very excited this is noted here.. we haven’t yet watched the university of timbuktu in a video . You can see it for yourself here:Mali is very old civilisation .This name University of timbuktou should be the name of Mali university now.It will make people proud of their soil.
    The country leaders should not forget the renew old names.

  28. […] fabric.  The explorer Ibn Battuta does mention the presence of weavers in the Mali empire, and in Timbuktu, in the 1300s.  As Islam was introduced in West Africa, many began wearing today’s version of […]

  29. Hello my name is Mr. Gilbert as given by my parents slave master and I do not know who my grandparents are maybe because my father Gerald Gilbert was born in 1929 and his father was born in I year that I don’t know. I have very personal concerns about my identity. and this search began after my father was murdered in 1998 in St Croix USVI. So I began a ancestry search for my family line and trying to find out who am I and where did I come from. October 1st is my birthday and so I wanted and completed a DNA test and I got the results a few days ago which says that I am Nigerian, Ivory Coast Ghanian Cameroon Congo Bantu among other minor African roots and that I was also 9% European. Can anyone please help me find my grandparents and their parents please???????
    I can be reached at

    • Hello Gilbert, I am saddedned by the events you related about your father. However, I am glad you took a DNA test which told you about your ancestry. I am not sure how to help. What are the percentages of these communities in you? You could check out the website of Dr. Lisa Aubrey who works on finding more information on the slave fort of Bimbia in Cameroon. There are other researchers who focus on Ghana, Nigeria, and others. All the best in your quest.

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