This paper attempts to elaborate on changes in the way the higher education system in Africa is governed, and institutions are managed, based on the case studies carried out in some of the countries in the region. The paper discusses the global changes in higher education and their effects on the expansion of higher education. It also deals with the development of higher education in Africa focusing more on the initial concerns and orientations, and a discussion on reforms and expansion of higher education in Africa. In addition, the effects of reform measures in the case study countries are discussed, with an analysis on whether or not these reforms improved the sector as a whole. The paper concludes by generalizing some trends seen in the case study countries.