1. Muhammadu Buhari
Nigeria’s Buhari attended primary school in Daura and Mai’adua in Katsina State, northern Nigeria. Then, he started at a Model School in 1953, followed by Provincial Secondary School (now Government College Katsina) from 1956 to 1961. He joined the Nigerian army later on.
2. Isaias Afwerki, Eritrea
Isaias almost got a college degree but dropped out of school. He grew up in Asmara and graduated from Prince Makonnen High School in 1965. Scoring good grades in the General School Leaving Certificate Exams enabled him to secure admittance to the highly competitive College of Engineering at Haile Selassie I University (now called Addis Ababa University), Ethiopia. However, a year later he interrupted his studies to join the Eritrean liberation struggle.
3. Dennis Sassou Nguesso, Republic of the Congo
Sassou Nguesso was born in Edou in the Oyo district in northern Congo in 1943. He however joined the army aged 17 in 1960 just before the country was granted independence. He was marked for prominence and received military training in Algeria and at Saint Maixent, France before returning to join Congo’s elite paratroop regiment.
4. Yahya Jammeh, Gambia
The powerful President of Gambia Jammeh is well known for his all round military training, which he began in 1984 just after completing secondary school at the Gambia High School in Banjul. He was commissioned a Lieutenant in 1989, and in 1992 became commander of the Gambian Military Police.He received extensive military training in neighboring Senegal and at United States Army School of the Americas.
5. Paul Kagame of Rwanda
Paul Kagame started his primary education in a school near an Ugandan refugee camp, where he and other Rwandan refugees learned English. When he was 9, he moved to the respected Rwengoro Primary School, and graduated with the best grades in the district.
He subsequently attended Ntare School, one of the best schools in Uganda but his father’s death in the early 1970s led to a decline in his academic performance and an increased tendency to fight those who belittled the Rwandan population. He was eventually suspended from Ntare and completed his studies without distinction at Old Kampala Secondary School.