Private Sector Investment in South Africa's Education Sector

Submitted by jyuan@worldbank.org on Mon, 04/11/2016 - 12:50
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South Africa is an exceptional case study with regards to the private sector’s engagement in the education sector. This has deep historical roots and is linked to the role education plays in South Africa’s social and political transformation, and in providing the critical skills needed for the country’s economic growth. Numerous public–private partnerships have been established over the years to address the weak schooling system. Corporations and their affiliated foundations have invested significantly in South Africa’s education sector, through manifold types of interventions in support to the public system as well as through supplementary parallel activities. Funding from domestic private sector to education has now reached levels beyond the funding provided by traditional donors. Corporate social investment is increasingly more aligned to company areas of operation and facilitates a social function while also fulfilling business interests. The success of South Africa’s public–private partnership and corporate investments in education is greatly due to strong policy frameworks and government incentives developed in the past decade. The experiences, frameworks and lessons from the South African context can be useful to guide the growing global debates around the private sector’s contribution to development results in Africa and worldwide.

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