Private equity firms are scenting opportunities for big money in African education.

According to a in Business Day Live, private capital is planning on making mega profits by opening elite private schools across Africa. In a context of galloping neo-liberal policies across the continent, more and more members of the upwardly mobile middles classes, ex pats and the elite are in need of schools for their children. As in many parts of the world, public schools in most countries of Africa are being systematically run down, starved of funds and their teachers paid starvation wages and continuously denigrated. This of course only exacerbates the divide in education between rich and poor, separates the political class from public schools and entrenches such divisions in society.

But for capital this is just one more opportunity for profit. One private equity executive is quoted in the article:

“There are a lot of rich people in Nigeria, in Dar es Salaam, Nairobi, Accra, who would like their children to get a great education. It ranks way up in the hierarchy of needs for people who are making $5,000 a year. If we had the right partner we could put up 20 great private schools in African capitals in three years.”

Such investments are not confined to Africa however, capital has seized opportunities to make a profit in the ‘education market’ across the Global South – including Brazil, China and India – where $1 billion of private equity has been invested in the last four years.

To read the Business Day article in full go .