Abstract This paper examines some international influences on formal education in Africa. It concentrates on the nature of influences since Independence, and points out that links following old colonial routes remain strong, but have been supplemented by American and international agency ones. China and Russia are less influential, although the last decade has witnessed increased activity. Finally, the paper notes, the flow of ideas is predominantly a one-way process. African educators are influenced by dominant ideas in other continents, but the reverse flow of thought is very slight.