Sierra Leone’s iconic university; Fourah Bay College is Thursday celebrating its 189th year of existence amidst concern over its dwindling influence.


FBC is thought to be the oldest higher learning institution in West Africa. During its heyday, it played a great role in educating West Africans that it earned itself the tag; ‘Athens of West Africa’.

These days the college is only a shadow of its past glory, riddled with all sorts of issues, from exams malpractice to cultism.

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In terms of infrastructure its student hostels have been out of use for years. Classroom shortage means the students struggle to take lectures.

These are all issues that require urgent redress as part of efforts to restore the college’s lost glory, said Badamasi Savage, head of the Engineering Department.

“One of our immediate concerns is to fix the issue of classrooms,” Savage said Thursday morning as part of a media engagement on the celebrations. He said laboratory equipment and computer facilities will need to be installed to strengthen the college’s post-graduate education ability.

“We have so many potential post-graduate programs but we can’t run them, post-grad programs are research-based and lab equipment are needed,” he stated, urging the intervention of the alumni or former students to help in the effort.

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FBC is one of three constituent colleges which make up the University of Sierra Leone.

The others are the College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences and the Institute of Public Management.

As part of the commemoration, the college on Wednesday evening hosted a documentary aimed at highlighting its past.

A symposium is also scheduled for Saturday to discuss exams malpractices.