Imani has a long history of working in both prominent strands of the private sector. The first is public sector development which involves support to developing a more favourable business climate within a country. This includes identifying barriers to business setup and growth and developing policies to overcome these. The second strand consists of hands on support to private operators (farmers, SMMEs, large businesses) and private sector associations. Imani has worked directly with governments and regional bodies (the PTA, COMESA, SADC, the EAC and PIPSO) as well as with industry (tea, coffee, aquaculture, textiles, agro-processors, SMMEs, inclusive businesses and business associations).

Identifying early on that the private sector needed to be included in this process of regional integration in Africa, Imani has helped governments develop policies that support private sector growth, such as credible pro-industry regulation, industrial development and investment promotion strategies. Our wealth of operational experience means we are able to offer practical support to businesses, business associations, government, civil society and public-private sector dialogues. Imani has undertaken many PSD studies and participated in numerous workshops and seminars across Africa and in the Pacific, helped governments formulate economic growth and export strategies, facilitated trade partnerships, and established high level discussion platforms for constructive engagement between government, private sector, civil society and the development community.

Download our latest Private Sector Development Capacity Statement by clicking here.

Private Sector Development services offered by Imani:

  • Competitiveness and Structural Transformation
  • Economic Growth and Export Strategies
  • Identifying Constraints to Business and Cluster Development
  • Industrial Policy
  • Enabling Environment Programmes and Policies
  • Doing Business Index Improvement Programmes
  • Public-Private Dialogue and Cooperation
  • Investment Promotion and Facilitation
  • Trade Policy and Negotiation
  • Trade Facilitation
  • Access to Finance Policies and Programmes
  • Institutional Capacity Development around Private Sector Development
  • Innovation challenge fund and innovation matching grant fund management

Project Highlights:

FinScope Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Survey (2019)
The MSME sector is recognised as a significant contributor to economic growth and development and mass employment. With this knowledge, the crucial role of MSMEs in the national economy anchors on the roles of government, the business community and the public at large to harness and optimise the sector’s development. The lack of recent, holistic and reliable information about the MSME sector was identified to be a significant barrier from past consumer surveys and the MAP process. It is in this pursuit that the Government of Malawi initiated the repeat FinScope MSME Survey Malawi 2019 to the first 2012 survey.

Southern Africa Trust – Development of a Sustainability Strategy (2016)
The Southern Africa Trust is a civil society support organisation that provides grants and technical assistance to civil society to strengthen their participation in SADC integration processes, dialogues, and mechanisms. SAT have since inception been funded by a single donor. The donor is phasing out its support in the country and SAT need to diversify their incomes stream. Imani Development worked with the SAT to develop a sustainability strategy that will assist the organisation in implementing the changes needed to maintain their existence. This involved an extensive assessment of their strengths and weakness as well as their competitive position in the market. The strategy proposes several core services areas for the organisation to take forward.

EU Delegation in South Africa – Project Management Consultancy and Technical Support Services (EU-SA Business Links) (2013 – 2015)
Imani Development worked in close collaboration with the delegation of the European Union to South Africa on the EU-SA Business Links project. The overall objective of the project was to better promote European interests in South Africa, with facilitated market access and an increased competitiveness for European companies in the country and the region. To meet this objective, the following key result areas were focused on: (i) Enhancing access to information for European enterprises on business requirements in South Africa; (ii) Improving communication, advocacy and lobbying of European companies’ needs to government; and, (iii) Improving coordination between EU bilateral Chambers of Commerce, business associations and EU embassies.

Department for International Development – Capacity Building on International Trade Negotiations Management (2015 – 2016)
Working with the Lesotho Ministry of Trade and Industry, Cooperatives, and Marketing (MTICM), the assignment’s primary goal was enhancing the Ministry’s capacity to coordinate and lead trade negotiations for the Kingdom of Lesotho. Through a range of technical assistance and capacity building activities the implementation team collaborated with Ministry staff to identify Lesotho’s key negotiating priorities, to establish the Lesotho Coordinating Committee on Trade (LCCT), and to coordinate trade negotiations through the LCCT. This included: (i) Mapping and prioritising trade agreements Lesotho is party to; (ii) Diagnostic assessments of Lesotho’s negotiating capacity and institutional frameworks; (iii) Delivering technical capacity building to improve the quality of negotiation submissions; (iv) Providing economic and legal assessments and positions papers to Lesotho’s negotiators; and, (v) the preparation of trade negotiation budgets.

World Bank – Study into Services as an Enabler to Competitiveness in Global Value Chains in Africa (2014 – 2015)
The world Bank looked to assess the development of regional supply chains in context of regional and global value chains, and in particular, the role of services enablers in shaping competitiveness, participation, and upgrading of firms within these supply chains. This project involved leading the development, implementation, and analysis of a series of surveys to assess the role of services enablers in regional supply chain development. This study looked at services as an enabler to Global Value Chain (GVC) competitiveness and regional and global supply chain development in Africa. It involved conducting firm-level surveys in 9 countries in the SADC region to understand what challenges they face in the provision of services (such as design, marketing, accounting, quality testing, engineering services etc.) specifically in the food and apparel sector and how these impact their business operations. Three surveys were developed for 1) multinational/lead firms, 2) local firms and 3) service suppliers. In total, 44 firm interviews were conducted in each country.

USAID – Zimbabwe Agricultural Competitiveness Programme (2011 – 2015)
The program objective was to increase the competitiveness of Zimbabwe’s agriculture private sector. In achieving this objective, the Zim-ACP program focussed on increasing the efficiencies in agricultural markets, developing and applying improved technologies and enhancing the capacity of institutions that support agricultural markets. It further enhanced the capacity of business service providers to deliver demand-driven trainings and technical assistance at a firm and farmer level.

United Nations Development ProgrammeDevelopment of a National Export Strategy for Malawi (2011 – 2012)
Imani helped the Government of Malawi to develop the Malawi National Export Strategy 2013-2018. Imani’s staff were embedded in the Ministry as Technical Assistants for the duration of the formulation phase, which lasted a year. Imani helped conduct rigours economic analysis to identify priority growth clusters and reform areas. The cluster work was based on an application of the Hausmann and Rodrik Product Space Model to Malawi. As part of this work, Imani conducted a review of Cross-Cutting Export Enablers and an Institutional Capacity Assessment. Imani also facilitated all consultations for the strategy, including the provision of support for the NES’ Steering Committee and its 6 Sub-Committees. On the back of these consultations, Imani worked with the Ministry’s NES Internal Team to develop resourceable and implementable action plans for the prioritized cross-cutting and cluster actions.

African Development Bank – Study to Develop a framework for interacting with the private sector on trade policy issues (2011)
The purpose of the study was to allow the AfDB to identify further steps to enhance the role of the private sector in influencing trade policy, negotiations and implementation of trade agreements. The study assessed the extent of involvement of business associations in trade negotiations, trade policy design and implementation; identified the constraints to effective participation of business associations in these processes; and designed a mechanism for improving the interaction between governments and business associations in trade policy issues.

EuropeAid – Trade and Private Sector Policy and Development (TPSPD) Reference Document for the European Commission (2010)
The purpose of this project was to review and update the 2003 Guidelines for EC Trade Related Assistance and the 2005 Guidelines for EC Support to Private Sector Development, taking into account the relevant developments which have taken place, both at policy level and in terms of approaches and practices in relation to support programmes in these areas. The final document covers the relationship between TPSPD and EU development cooperation and other external policies; an overview of Aid for Trade; the principles and arrangements contained in the Paris Declaration and Accra Action Agenda on Aid Effectiveness; aid delivery methods and cross-cutting issues (governance, gender, decent work, environment).

Southern African Development Community – Development of a Programme for Increasing the Participation of the Private Sector and Other Non-State Actors in the SADC EPA Process (2007-2009)
The aim of the project was to contribute to the integration of SADC Member States into the world economy and to reduce poverty through sustainable economic growth. The purpose of the contract was to consult the main private sector and non-state actors (NSA), leaders and opinion formers in the SADC EPA Member States, ensuring they were effectively included in EPA negotiations and implementation. The programme that was developed also assisted the private sector and other NSA leaders and opinion formers to contribute to raising the awareness of the wider society of the benefits and potential gains to be derived from the EPA and further regional integration.The consultancy also had numerous objectives. These included running of a series of regional and national workshops in all 7 SADC EPA countries in order to consult with the identified NSA leaders and opinion formers, enabling them to propose ways in which the private sector and other NSAs could be included in the EU-EPA negotiations, the design and implementation of trade and development policies under the EPA and other trade arrangements. Another was to develop a comprehensive programme of activities that will ensure that the private sector and other NSAs were as involved as possible in EPA negotiations and implementation and which will have ownership by the private sector and other NSAs. The consultancy also wanted a proposal for a coherent programme of monitoring the results of the implementation of the private sector and other NSA.