Briefing Paper

Privatisation of Health and Education Services in Zimbabwe

The privatisation of education and health services in Southern Africa is taking place at a rapid pace. Private actors are taking over the role of governments in providing these two indispensable services. Non-state provision (NSP) of education and health is delivered by a mix of NGOs, faith-based, philanthropic, community and private providers and takes a myriad of forms including low-fee private schools, hospitals and clinics; for-profit private schools and health centres; community schools, educational public-private partnerships (ePPPs), private tutoring; and religious based institutions in schools and hospitals. In modern state governance, there is a push to establish more private institutions as opposed to the central government administration approach which takes the overall responsibility for the provision of education and health care services. The main drivers for this shift are contained within a neo-liberal agenda and the discourse of State failure. The neoliberal argument posits that central governments are not as effective and efficient enough to provide enhanced quality education and health outcomes than the private sector.