Imani is a kiSwahili word meaning faith and confidence – our approach to our development projects and clients.

About us

Imani Development is a private economic and development consultancy firm that facilitates the process of economic growth and poverty reduction in the developing world. Imani has been active in East and Southern Africa, the Caribbean, South East Asia and the Pacific for over 30 years, advising policy makers, governments, development agencies, regional and international organisations, and the private sector in our core areas of work.

Clients include national governments and institutions, including government departments, national trade development organisations, banks, and chambers of commerce and industry; regional institutions including the Secretariats of the South African Customs Union, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, East African Community and Southern African Development Community; development institutions and donor agencies including the Commonwealth Secretariat, European Union, World Bank, African Development Bank, Development Bank of Southern Africa, ACP Secretariat, European Commission, Department for International Development, United States Agency for International Development, the United Nations Development Programme, amongst many others; business organisations and private companies.

We are committed to pioneering innovative new ways of working, whereby we draw primarily on the knowledge and expertise of our partners, staff, associates and other stakeholders who live in developing countries.




Agriculture Finance Scoping Study in Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi and Eswatini (2020 – 2021)

“As the project manager for the Agriculture Finance scoping Exercise in Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho and Malawi. I found the Imani team to be completely thorough and innovative in their approach to the assignment. They delivered a quality product that we’re incredibly proud of. We are very grateful to have worked with such a competent team and look forward to the opportunity to work together again.”

Specialist: SADC Financial Inclusion, FinMark Trust

Support for the Republic of South Sudan’s Negotiations for Accession to the East African Community (EAC) (2014 – 2016) and Technical Assistance to Support the South Sudan – East African Community Accession Secretariat (2018 – 2019)

“Imani Development and its successes are the pride of our nation. The work they did for the Republic of South Sudan in general and EAC Secretariat is immeasurable. They supported the accession process right from its conception to its inception, from inception to negotiations and negotiations to admission and from admission to the official signing of the Treaty of Accession, it’s ratification by the National Assembly, to Presidential Assent to delivery of instruments of ratification to the EAC Secretary General, to preparation of roadmap to fast- track RSS’s integration into the EAC down to serious work of capacity building, sensitization and now the implementation stage. Without their support which is immensely documented, we would not have achieved much. Indeed, they are a lifeline to the EAC Office and would be much more when the new Ministry responsible for EAC Affairs is established in November 2019.”

Undersecretary for EAC Affairs

Design of GTP SACU+M Trade Capacity Building Programme (2018-2019)

“Imani development undertook a programme design and business case writing assignment for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in early 2019. From the moment the team began the project it was clear the team had both the expertise and dedication to ensure the best possible outcome. Over and above the call of duty the team invested significant additional time in the process; which was hugely appreciated by all involved in the assignment. Their expertise was first rate; as was the understanding of the task requirements. Our team wouldn’t hesitate to recommend their services and are grateful for all the hard work and dedication that went into an exciting programme of work. Thank you on behalf of us all”

Design of a Monitoring and Evaluation System for the SADC Economic Partnership Agreement Member States to Track the Operationalisation and Impact of the EU-SADC EPA (2017 – 2018)

“On behalf of GIZ, I would like to thank Imani for the great work in helping to develop the SADC-EU EPA M & E system. We now await further SADC/EU processes on the designed system and hope we will be able to continue working together on further aspects of the M & E system as well as other projects in the future.”


Design of a Regional Programme for COMESA on Small-Scale Cross-Border Trade (2016 – 2017)

“On behalf of EU, I would like to thank Imani Development for the great work in helping to design the COMESA Cross-Border Trade initiative. The design study was thoroughly executed which was demonstrated by the quality of work they delivered. We hope we will be able to continue working together on other trade-related projects in the future.”

European Union

Developing an Effective Mechanism to Monitor and Ensure Compliance to SADC Protocols and Other Legal Instruments and Commitments (2018 – 2019)

“As the coordinator of the assignment on “Developing an Effective System to Ensure Compliance to SADC Protocols and other Legal Instruments, I would like to thank Imani Development for the great work. I was very impressed by the professionalism and intelligent approach adopted by the Firm. The Team took the time and effort to really understand the assignment and the product that was delivered exceeded my expectations. I look forward to working with Imani Development on future assignments.”

Senior Programme Officer- Policy and Strategy Development Directorate of Policy, Planning and Resource Mobilization

Support to the Ministry of Trade and Industry in Consolidating Interventions on Non-Tariff Barriers Elimination in South Sudan (2018 – 2019)

“As the member of “National Monitoring Committee” on NTB. I do appreciate the efforts put in by Imani Development, the team are professional and knowledgeable, all the documents and the presentation are a facts and a guide for a clear reform, with no doubt I will be happy to work with the organization in future project.”

Chairperson, South Sudan Shippers Council


Challenge funds as a form of impact investing by Andy Simpson

Here’s my latest brain dump, borne from some significant personal and organisational experience in Challenge Funds – some of it will have wider application than just challenge funds.
So, what is a Challenge fund? 
Typically, a large […]

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Latest News: Eswatini Trade Information Portal (ETIP) to go live in September

Despite the challenges of getting back to business-as-usual as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the establishment of Eswatini’s first-ever trade information portal is progressing as planned and scheduled to go live at the end […]

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Latest News: The AfCFTA and Compliance: lessons and innovations from an analysis of African RTAs

Imani Development has designed an innovative and bespoke Compliance Mechanism for SADC which was recently approved and adopted at the 40th Annual SADC Summit. In relation to this and leveraging on learnings and research done […]

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Leveraging opportunities to accelerate Agri-tech in COVID-19 times by Caroline Kensett

Traditional aid and sustainable development
World Humanitarian day is held annually on the 19th August to pay tribute to humanitarian workers across the globe and to increase public understanding of humanitarian assistance activities. Traditionally (and correctly) […]

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Latest News: Approval and Adoption of the SADC Vision 2050, RISDP 2020-2030, and Mechanism

Imani Development is proud and grateful to note the official communique from the recent 40th SADC Summit.

The Heads of SADC States approved and adopted Vision 2050, which articulates the shared development objectives of the region […]

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Unlocking MSME growth in Sub-Saharan Africa by Katlego Nkgudi

Private sector development – micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) – as envisaged by SDG 8, typically follows a state-led approach, where national agencies conduct a variety of activities in order to i) improve the […]

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Supporting South Sudan to cope with the trade impact of COVID-19 by Charles Data Alemi

Like every other country, the spread of COVID-19 is proving to be a double tragedy with effects on both health and economic well being. Despite taking a while to confirm its first case, which happened […]

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During these challenging and unprecedented times, we all find ourselves in uncharted territory. Here at Imani Development, we wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the tremendous difficulties being experienced by many of our clients, […]

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Contact Us

We cooperate with a wide range of consultancies, academic institutions and NGOs on development projects. If you would like to get in touch with us regarding potential collaborations, please forward your request to


Imani Development recognises that our success is built upon the talents and motivations of our people. If you are interested in working with us please forward your CV to


Whether applying for an advertised position or simply wishing to register your interest in potential job opportunities, please be assured that information you send will be treated in the strictest confidence.

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