The interface of power, politics, and education as an arena for the exercise of influential and authoritative decisions of global, regional, and national actors seeking to control African educational processes constitutes a key area for more critical reflection and needed research. Indeed, the persistent challenges and the search for development paradigms in the Africa call for the production of critical knowledge produced by scholars who can effectively locate their analyses of the local and national in the broader framework as the site of contention and negotiation between these actors with their common and also competing interests. This is the context in which this book, with a focus on Southern Africa and using Mozambique as an illustrative case study, can be localized.
The policies formulated within the structural adjustment and the stabilization programs of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), respectively, with their imbedded conditionalities impacted negatively the provision of social services; this included the education sector as a whole, with a focus on higher education, especially the universities. Although these policies were adopted, partially or more comprehensively, by governments in different sequences starting in the mid-1980s through the 1990s, the sweeping economic crisis and these subsequent programs had a profound impact on the exercise of national sovereignty. Indeed, these programs directly influenced the formulation and implementation of domestic public policy in setting development priorities and allocating appropriate public resources for social services.