List of African scientists, inventors, and scholars

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This is a list of African scientists, inventors, and scholars who were born or active on the African continent.

North African[edit]

  • Rachid Yazami (1953-), a Moroccan and French Scientist, the inventor of lithium ion batteries used in portable phones, PC, I-pads, ...
  • Imhotep (fl. 27th century BC), an Egyptian polymath
  • Euclid, a Greek mathematician active in Hellenistic Alexandria during the reign of Ptolemy I (323–283 BC).
  • Muhammad Abduh (1849–1905), an Egyptian jurist, religious scholar and liberal reformer, regarded as the founder of Islamic Modernism.
  • Abū Kāmil Shujā ibn Aslam
  • Sameera Moussa (1917–1952), an Egyptian nuclear scientist.
  • Al-Jahiz (781 – 868/869), a Afro-Arab scholar of East African descent.
  • Arius (AD ca. 250 or 256 – 336), a Christian priest from Alexandria, Egypt.
  • Saint Cyprian (died September 14, 258), was bishop of Carthage and early Christian writer.
  • Abbas Ibn Firnas
  • Nur ad-Din al-Betrugi
  • Tertullian (ca. 160 – ca. 220 A.D.), a Christian Berber author and writer of Christian Latin literature.
  • Augustine of Hippo (354 – 430), a Bishop of Hippo Regius and Romanized Berber philosopher and theologian.
  • Al-Idrisi (1100–1165 or 1166), an Andalusian geographer, cartographer, Egyptologist and traveller.
  • Al-Suyuti (c. 1445-1505 AD), an Egyptian writer, religious scholar, juristic expert and teacher.
  • Muhammad al-Maghili (died c. 1505), an Islamic scholar from Tlemcen in modern-day Algeria.

Sub-Saharan African[edit]

  • Chinua Achebe, a Nigerian novelist, poet, professor and critic. Author of highest selling book in modern African literature, Things Fall Apart. He is often referred to as the father of modern African literature.
  • Ibrahim Njoya, a Cameroonian King credited with developing a semi-syllabic Bamum script which evolved from the rudimentary pictographic script to a more advanced logo graphic script, which he later refined to the famous semi-syllabic script known to the world today.
  • Arthur Zang, a Cameroonian Engineer has pioneered the first Medical tablet PC of Africa that would enable cardiovascular examinations to be performed remotely and transmit the results to the surgoens. With only 30 surgeons in the major cities of Yaounde and Douala this innovation save patients the hassle of having to travel to the major cities from other Cameroonian cities.
  • Dr. SIMO, Ernest, a distinguished Cameroonian scientist was a Finalist to NASA astronauts’ selection process in 1994 and 1996. In 1994, His co-finalists included space Heroes Rick Husband and William McCool who were respectively Commander and Pilot of the Space shuttle Columbia which was tragically lost in Feb-2003.
  • Mohammed Bagayogo (1523–1593), an eminent scholar from Timbuktu, Mali.
  • Modibo Mohammed Al Kaburi a scholar, Cadi and Jurist, and university professor, from Timbuktu, Mali.
  • Cheikh Anta Diop (1923–1986), a Senegalese historian, anthropologist, physicist and politician.
  • Ahmad Baba (1556–1627), a medieval West African writer, scholar, and political provocateur.
  • Felix A. Chami, an archaeologist and university professor from Tanzania.
  • Berhane Asfaw, an Ethiopian paleontologist.
  • Giday WoldeGabriel, an Ethiopian scientist geologist.
  • Haile Debas (b. 1937), an Eritrean who achieved national recognition as a gastrointestinal investigator and made original contributions to the physiology, biochemistry, and pathophysiology of gastrointestinal peptide hormones.
  • John Ogbu (1939–2003), a Nigerian-American anthropologist and university professor.
  • Douglas Osei-Hyiaman (b. 1964), a Ghanaian-American endocrinologist and geneticist who was the first to establish a role for endocannabinoids in fatty acid synthesis and oxidation in the pathobiology of liver disease, obesity, and diabetes.
  • Wangari Maathai, (b. 1940), a Kenyan environmental and political activist who won the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize.
  • Seyi Oyesola, a Nigerian doctor, who co-invented hospital in a box.
  • Trefor Jenkins, a human geneticist from South Africa, noted for his work on DNA.
  • Mo Ibrahim, (b. 1946), a Sudanese-born British mobile communications entrepreneur.
  • Bisi Ezerioha, (b. 1972), a Nigerian engineer, racer and pharmaceutical executive who has built some of the world's most powerful Honda and Porsche engines.
  • Thomas R. Odhiambo (1931–2003), a Kenyan entomologist and environmental activist.
  • Gebisa Ejeta (b. 1950), an Ethiopian American plant breeder and geneticist who won the 2009 World Food Prize.
  • Noah Samara, an Ethiopia American scientist and Chief Executive Officer of WorldSpace Corporation.
  • Andries Van Aarde professor of theology at University of Pretoria.
  • Cheick Modibo Diarra, (b. 1952), Malian-born aerospace engineer who contributed to several NASA missions such as Mars Path Finder, the Galileo spacecraft, and the Mars Observer.

South African[edit]

  • Thebe Medupe (b. 1973), a South African astrophysicist and founding director of Astronomy Africa.
  • Allan McLeod Cormack (1924–1998), a South African-born American physicist, who won the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
  • Aaron Klug, (b. 1926), a Lithuanian-born British chemist and biophysicist, who won the 1982 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He moved to South Africa at the age of two and studied at the University of Witwatersrand and the University of Cape Town.
  • Sydney Brenner (b. 1927), a South African biologist, who won the 2002 Nobel prize in Physiology or Medicine.
  • Christiaan Barnard (1922–2001), a South African cardiac surgeon, who performed the world's first successful human-to-human heart transplant.
  • Mark Shuttleworth (b. 1973), a South African entrepreneur.
  • Himla Soodyall, a South African human geneticist, known for genetic research into the peoples of sub-Saharan Africa.