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Private Sector Development

It is now widely recognized that a vibrant private sector can play a pivotal role in stimulating economic growth by reducing poverty, creating employment, and increasing access to quality goods and services. As governments increasingly implement policies that foster a conducive and enabling business environment, the private sector needs support to become more flexible, efficient and competitive.


As such, Imani works with both the public and private sector to contribute to the development of favorable business climates in developing countries while also providing hands-on support and technical assistance to enable private sector actors to thrive. We do this by identifying barriers and opportunities along value chains and developing policies and interventions that stimulate business growth and generate positive change throughout the system. 



Featured projects:


DFID - Business Innovation Facility (BIF1 2010 - 2013) & (BIF2 2013-2018) 

Imani has become one of the pioneers of the Market Systems approach in Malawi and is the country director for the DFID funded Business Innovation Facility (BIF). This long-term, ground breaking project launched in 2010 aims to identify and support inclusive business project opportunities, through strengthening stakeholder links across the value chain. Given the predominant agricultural sector in Malawi, many of these projects have been based on the challenge of market linkages between smallholders to the private sector in markets such as rice and pigeon peas.

See the BIF Website here


UNDP - Malawi Innovation Challenge Fund (MICF) (2013-2018)

Recognising the need to support and foster innovation in the private sector in Malawi Imani, together with our partners Nathan Associates, collaborated to design and run the Malawi Innovation Challenge Fund (MICF). Funded by UNDP, DFID, IFAD, and KFW, MICF is a US$ 20 million competitive, transparent and responsive mechanism that provides grant finance for innovative projects proposed by the private sector active in Malawi’s agricultural, manufacturing and logistics sectors.

See the MICF Website here


GIZ - Value Chain Analysis for More Income and Employment in Rural Areas (MIERA) (2017)

Using a value chain development approach, MIERA promotes inclusive business and new marketing models, by building the capacity and resilience of local systems, leveraging incentives and resources of the private sector, and insuring beneficial inclusion and participation of the poor. As part of the programs scale-up phase, funded by the EU through their KULIMA initiative, Imani was commissioned to undertake an in-depth analysis of potential value chains and develop strategies for MIERA to support the proposed value chains. 

COWI - Coordination for New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition Activities in Malawi (2016-Present)

Imani is currently coordinating the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition Activities within the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Water Development. The main objectives are to support the ministry development partners and the private sector in bringing key stakeholders together around existing bottlenecks for responsible and inclusive private sector investment; embedding the fifteen New Alliance policy commitments in existing structures as much as possible, and strengthening communication and reporting on New Alliance progress at all levels.


Malawi Private Sector Development Strategy (2011)

Imani led the project to develop a private sector development engagement strategy for Christian Aid (CA) and ICCO, a Dutch development NGO, through developing innovative solutions to poverty coupled with sustainable wealth creation through meaningful partnerships between the private sector and other key stakeholders. This was a pilot project for Africa. The objective of this project was to permanently reduce poverty in Malawi by supporting the pro-poor development of the private sector.

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