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University of Lovanium

Buildings of the former University of Lovanium in the modern University of Kinshasa

The University of Lovanium was a Catholic Jesuit university in Leopoldville (now Kinshasa) in Belgian Congo. Established in the final years of colonial rule, the university continued to function after independence until it was merged into other universities in the early 1970s. It can be considered an antecedent of the University of Kinshasa.


The university was established in 1954 at Kimwenza.[1] Lovanium was founded by the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, and was named after it (Lovanium being Latin for Leuven).

Africa's first nuclear reactor, TRIGA I, was established here in 1958, in conjunction with the U.S. Atoms for Peace program.[2]

In August 1971, the university was merged with two other universities in the Congo to form a part of the federalised National University of Zaire (Université Nationale du Zaïre, UNAZA). Between 1980 and 1991, the universities were again divided into three institutions, the University of Kinshasa, Kisangani University, and the University of Lubumbashi.

Notable alumni

Notable faculty


  1. ^ Muketa, Jacques Fumunzanza (2008). Kinshasa. Editions L'Harmattan. p. 215. ISBN 2-296-07658-0. 
  2. ^ Williams, Susan (2016). Spies in the Congo. New York: Public Affairs. p. 258. ISBN 9781610396547. 

External links