Journal of
Public Administration and Policy Research

  • Abbreviation: J. Public Adm. Policy Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2480
  • DOI: 10.5897/JPAPR
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 151

Full Length Research Paper

Evolution of public-private partnerships in Zimbabwe's state universities

Charles Massimo
  • Charles Massimo
  • Department of Public Administration, Zimbabwe Open University, P.O. Box MP 167, Mount Pleasant, Zimbabwe.
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Paul Mavima
  • Paul Mavima
  • Labour and Social Welfare, Zimbabwe.
  • Google Scholar
Jeffrey Kurebwa
  • Jeffrey Kurebwa
  • Department of Peace and Governance, Bindura University of Science Education, P. Bag 1020, Bindura, Zimbabwe.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 11 November 2022
  •  Accepted: 22 August 2023
  •  Published: 31 January 2024


Despite persuasive heuristics and pragmatic promotion for the use of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) to infuse dynamism into public sector infrastructure development, little is known about their progress in Zimbabwe's state universities. This study traces the evolution and validation of PPPs as an alternative funding option for the development of educational infrastructure in Zimbabwean state universities and compares it with other traditional funding options. This descriptive qualitative research methodology, grounded in constructivist research philosophy and bolstered by a multiple case study research design collected data through in-depth key informant interviews. Nineteen key informant participants were selected through criteria and critical purposive sampling techniques, while secondary data was sourced from relevant literature. This study established that there has been a low uptake and implementation inertia of educational infrastructure PPPs in Zimbabwean state universities since their adoption and standardization in 2010. Although the concept was introduced back in 1998 and initial PPP frameworks were developed in 2004, it wasn't until 2010 that serious emphasis was placed on adopting them in Zimbabwean state universities. Various justifications were identified for the adoption of PPPs in this sector and PPPs emerged as a viable alternative to traditional funding sources such as the national budget, institutional funds and loan financing. PPPs were viewed as a sustainable approach that could help state universities bridge their infrastructure gaps. The study recommends that state universities adopt a business oriented approach and operate as social enterprises if they are to attract a significant pool of quality private investors in PPP arrangements.


Key words: Public-private partnerships, Zimbabwe, higher education.