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.

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.

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.

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.

United Nations Development Programme – Development 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.