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Sub-Saharan Africa is home to the youngest (and fastest-growing) population in the world. A growing number of these young people need to be educated, with an increasing percentage of the youth expected to be educated in private schools and universities. By 2022, approximately one in four children up from one in five today may be enrolled in private schooling, suggesting the time for investing in the sector is today. All that said, private investment in schools is still limited by capital and operational engagement from investors. That has to (and will) change.

Kenya is poised for a strong 2018 with a lot of pent up excitement and capital. Investors will find an exploding opportunity in the education space both secondary and tertiary. Local and international businesses are asking for stronger middle management in the Kenyan market, as well as growth in entry level applicants in the medical and engineering fields, as well as in the tech space.

Cote d'lvoire generally makes good practice to invest in a sector in a country where officials demonstrate support for growth. Ivorian officials are doing just that with their budget. The government spent about $1.8 billion, or nearly five percent of GDP, in the education sector in 2016, according to the World Bank. Yet, Ivorian students still performed below the African average in reading and mathematics. The market, accordingly, is calling for higher quality in the education sector, with many families happily prepared to look to the private sector.

Nigeria's total dollar amount maybe up, but the investment opportunity for private education in Nigeria remains large despite the investment throughout the past several years. Approximately 40 percent of students in Nigeria are already in private schools across the country, with a higher percent observed in certain provinces (i.e., nearly 60 percent in Lagos States). The number continues to grow along with some complaints regarding quality and availability. 

 

The competition for high quality private education is the driving factor for more investment in the space. This would be a fantastic opportunity, for private education firms to take advantage of this emerging sector in Africa, which Oakmark can help to facilitate your entry.

For more information or consultation, please do get in touch.

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