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Here I am Send Me : The Historical and Long-Term Impact of Christian Missionaries in Zambia 1924-2018


Summary, in English

Towards the close of the nineteenth century and into the twentieth century, there was a proliferation of Christian missionaries in Africa. Upon settling in Africa, missionaries initiated and became the main providers of Western-styled education and health care. For this reason, the historical and enduring impact of missionaries in Africa cannot be overlooked. This thesis examines the synchronic and diachronic impacts of missionary investments in these two key aspects of human capital development on educational and health outcomes in Zambia. To this end, I build historical and contemporary spatial datasets that allow me to analyse the expansion of the missionary enterprise, the development of education and health care systems, and the long-term impact of missionary exposure on educational and health outcomes in Zambia.

The findings of this thesis show that various economic, geographical, and agricultural factors influenced the rate of missionary expansion in Zambia. Moreover, although the development of missionary education in Zambia was slow and uneven across gender lines, throughout the colonial period, medical missionaries made great strides towards meeting the medical needs of the majority of the African population with the help of autochthonous auxiliaries. Further, the thesis finds that the historical exposure to missionaries has continued to significantly impact both education and health outcomes in Zambia.

Publishing year




Document type



Printed in Sweden by Media-Tryck, Lund University


  • Economic History


  • Christian Missionaries
  • human capital development
  • education
  • Health
  • Longterm
  • Zambia




  • ISBN: 978-91-87793-83-7
  • ISBN: 978-91-87793-82-0

Defence date

29 August 2022

Defence time


Defence place



  • Shane Doyle (Professor)