Imani Development has been in the employment of economic policy projects at national, provincial and local government levels, taking into consideration local contexts and accounting for factors unique to each case.

For equitable and sustained economic growth, negotiating good trade strategies must be complemented with the implementation of macroeconomic policies and private sector support. This, along with a focus on local economic development, enables developing countries to reap the benefits of trade liberalisation and integration into the global economy. Improved conditions for economic growth and employment can be created when the public, business and non-governmental sectors work together.

Imani’s services in Economic Policy and Local Economic Development:

  • Critical assessments of macroeconomic policy
  • Assessments of the role of the private sector in national economies
  • Assessments of sectorial policies such as transport and education
  • Assignments in local economic development in Eastern and Southern Africa, the Pacific and less developed areas of the EU
  • Analysis of the opportunities for social and economic infrastructure development
  • Analysis of small and medium enterprise investment proposals relating to investment climates and finding alternative sources of finance for various sectors

Project Highlights: 

Imani Development Foundation – Social Enterprise Academy – Africa (ongoing)
The Imani Development Foundation, in partnership with the Scottish Social Enterprise Academy, has established a Social Enterprise Academy in Africa (SEAA). SEAA offers leadership, enterprise, and social impact training aimed at supporting and encouraging innovation and personal development of African social entrepreneurs. The Academy will deliver courses to the public, private, as well as the social economy sector with specially tailored programmes to promote in-house learning.

AgriFI Kenya Challenge Fund (2018 – 2023)
The AgriFI Kenya Challenge Fund was designed and implemented by Imani Development and Self Help Africa (SHA). The objective is to improve the capacity of 100,000 smallholder farmers and pastoralists to practise environmentally sustainable and climate-smart agriculture and a business in inclusive value chains. Through an innovative challenge fund approach, the project will sub-grant approximately €19 million through a competitive call for funding. Target sectors of the grant will be the agriculture, livestock, and fisheries sectors, including their respective down-stream industries.

Malawi Innovation Challenge Fund (MICF) (2014 – 2017 & 2018 – 2022)
The Malawi Innovation Fund (MICF) is a $8 million funding mechanism that provides grant finance for innovative projects proposed by private sector firms in agriculture and manufacturing. In partnership with Nathan Associates, Imani Development manages the challenge fund and provides technical and financial appraisal services, conducts due diligence on grantees, and implements performance monitoring.

AGRA – Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (2008-2011)
This multi-donor challenge fund was based in and focused on Africa. The Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) awarded grants and non-recourse loans – through an open competitive process – to private firms or consortia for pro-poor, innovative, commercially sustainable projects for development and implementation by those firms or consortia. The goal of the AECF was to promote pro-poor growth in Africa, thereby increasing employment, livelihood opportunities and incomes, and reducing poverty. Its purpose was to catalyse private sector entrepreneurs in Africa to innovate and find profitable ways of improving market access and functioning for the poor – particularly in rural areas.

Transport and Infrastructure services

Imani also specialises in transport and infrastructure as key pillars of development. In developing countries, the lack of efficient and effective transportation and infrastructure, combined with bureaucratic regulatory impediments, is adversely affecting economic development by raising transport costs as well as causing significant delays which, in turn, hamper effective supply-chain management. Imani Development has undertaken various studies on national transport and infrastructure policies, investment strategies, and the design and appraisal of individual projects.

Imani’s projects have included focus areas on: national transport policies in South Africa, Swaziland and Malawi; regional co-operation in transport, energy and telecommunications in Southern and Eastern Africa; feasibility studies of road, rail, air, port, water and sewerage projects in various countries in Southern and Eastern Africa; and multimodal regional transport and development corridors, notably the Coast-to-Coast, Walvis Bay, Nacala and Mtwara Development Corridors.

Transport and Infrastructure services offered by Imani:

  • Feasibility Studies (Financial and Economic Cost-benefit Analysis)
  • Social and Economic Impact Studies
  • Supply-chain Analysis
  • Quantitative Modelling
  • Investment Strategies
  • Transport Policy Development
  • Comparative Research

Project Highlights:

African Development Bank – Benchmarking Customs and Border Management Performance in COMESA Member States (2016 – 2017)
Measuring of the time required for merchandise crossing border is an important element to assess country’s competitiveness and to identify the situation and the needs of trade facilitation in the country. This assignment applied the WCO Time Release Study to measure and benchmark customs and border management performance in 10 COMESA Member States and their contiguous neighbour nations. Additional to this the assignment also included assisting the COMESA Secretariat and Member States in building capacity to design collection mechanisms, collect data , and improve their ability to conduct analysis and draft policy recommendations.

African Development Bank – Development of One-Stop Border Posts Policy of South Africa (2014 – 2015)
The South African National Treasury received a grant from the African Development Bank to develop a national policy on One Stop Border Posts (OSBPs) for South Africa. This project is part of the government’s regional integration efforts and seeks to ensure a coherent, harmonised and consistent South African approach to road and rail border management. The policy should be designed to assist and guide the development and standardisation of OSBPs between South Africa and it’s neighbouring countries. Included amongst the activities are: mapping out the current problems around land border management and assessing whether OSBPs can assist in addressing these challenges; reviewing current border operational requirements and establishing a foundation for South Africa’s engagement with the continent on OSBP development in relation to corridors, consulting with stakeholders in and outside of government on elements of an appropriate OSBP policy, amongst others.