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


The potential impact of COVID-19 on African trade by Andrew Parker, Nick Charalambides and Jay Grunder

There will be a number of changes to African trade due to COVID-19, but it is acknowledged that at this stage there is a very high degree of uncertainty around scenarios.

Not just global supply chain […]

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Identifying additionality in an established market system: A market system review of the Avocado & Mango sector in Kenya by Martin Eichhorn


The AgriFI Kenya Challenge Fund Initiative aims to support productive and market-integrated smallholder agriculture in Kenya, improving the capacity of farmers to practice environmentally sustainable agricultural businesses in inclusive value chains (VCs). The anticipated impacts […]

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Latest News: Richard Hess retires as Group Chairman of Imani Development International

Today we would like to take this opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge Richard Hess as he retires from his position as Group Chairman of Imani Development International.

Richard Hess started Imani in 1982 in Zimbabwe, from […]

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Job Position: Junior Economist

Junior Economist/Researcher

Cape Town | 5 days | Closes 31 December 2019 

Based in Observatory, Cape Town in a vibrant business park. We are looking for a passionate and enthusiastic Junior Economist.

Primary Responsibilities:
You will work in close […]

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Key outcomes from COMESA policy dialogue on STR implementation by Charles Data Alemi

COMESA recently held a technical policy dialogue in Nairobi Kenya on implementation of the COMESA Simplified Trade Regime (STR) from the 8th to the 9th of October. Organized by COMESA under the 11 European Development […]

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The poverty, growth and inequality triangle by Sean Schwager

Poverty, Growth and Inequality

Poverty reduction is a social imperative that society largely agrees on. From this agreement emerges two starkly divergent schools of thought which dominate news headlines and public discourse. We often hear the term “trickledown […]

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Formulation of SADC Vision 2050 and (RISDP) 2020-2030

Imani Development has been contracted by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat to formulate the SADC Development Vision 2050 and  Regional Indicative Strategy Development Plan (RISDP) 2020-2030. Dr. Nicholas Charalambides travelled to Gaborone, Botswana […]

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Latest News: In memory of Murdoch Gatward

It is with great sadness that we learnt that Murdoch Gatward had passed away on Monday the 16th September, after a long period of illness.

Murdoch had retired from his role as Director at Imani Enterprise […]

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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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