This study investigates the effects of the quality of governance, namely corruption, political instability and democracy, on the
public budget allocation to education by using data for a panel of 28 African countries over the period 1995–2004. The estimation results show that education expenditure is affected by the level of corruption, with highly corrupt countries devoting a smaller share of their budgets to this vote. Political instability impacts negatively on education, but the level of democracy does not seem to have a prominent effect in this regard. However, International Monetary Fund programmes favour expenditure on education as part of its intended capacity-building effort.