The African Development Imperative is underpinned by the overarching ethos of agency from which our other core principles emanate.  These unalloyed values, which our experiences in the voluntary sector, inter-governmental organizations (IGOs), and the private and public sectors have both shaped and refined, are delineated below

+ Agency

The African Development Imperative believes that people of African descent, with the support of their partners, must shape the contours of the narrative concerning the African continent and the diaspora, and the solutions proffered to tackle putative challenges; the assistance which outsiders, however well-intentioned, offer should be filtered through this critical prism. In addition, we eschew the development of pre-packaged solutions in search of ‘problems’ for which they routinely are ill-suited, and do not view people on whose behalf we are working as extraneous to both problem identification and solution development.

+ Communication

The African Development Imperative is invested in appropriate and accessible communication tools to educate, inform, empower and embody thought leadership on key issues regarding economic, political and social development and inequalities. We believe that words, the manner in which they are expressed and the tools via which they are disseminated can liberate the disenfranchised, redress lingering grievances and promote inclusiveness.

+ Continuous Learning

The African Development Imperative deploys findings for monitoring, evaluation, analytical, opportunity identification, project management, mentorship and knowledge management purposes. Additionally, we promote a nuanced and holistic appraisal of the themes with which we and our partners are concerned, encourage the distillation of ideas, and entrench a culture which is rigorous, forward-thinking, creative, people-centred, productive and inclusive.

+ Disdain for Discrimination

The African Development Imperative identifies and bridges chasms which have hampered the ability to leverage the tremendous benefits which ethnic, regional, gender, class, linguistic, religious, sectarian and other forms of diversity present. As such, we do not tolerate or perpetuate injustice, stereotypes or marginalization of any sort; on the contrary, we work assiduously to celebrate the diversity of our partners, forcefully interrogate the status quo, ensure that the backgrounds and actions of staff members who comprise our organisation clearly align with our stated beliefs, and intentionally make the necessary corrections whenever compulsory in order to remain a credible and just enterprise.

+ Equality and Equity

We believe that a stated commitment to equality is not enough; hence we endeavour to incorporate both equality and equity into our pronouncements, activities and desired outcomes.

+ Ethics and Transparency

We, through our actions and our writings, model exemplary ethics and eschew corruption, malfeasance, nepotism and opaque dealings of any sort.

+ Inquisitiveness and Spirit of Enquiry

We are genuinely inquisitive, interested in ascertaining the issues which underpin development and aim to unleash the potential of youth. We do not presuppose that we know it all or have got perfect a priori answers to extant difficulties. Instead, we find the process of identifying pressing issues, alongside youth and other stakeholders, as intriguing as the deliberate and thoughtful interventions which are formulated to redress them.

+ judicious utilization of resources and minimalism

We employ the resources at our disposal judiciously and fairly, and ensure that unnecessary overhead costs are minimized to the extent possible. We also undertake periodic audits and incorporate globally-agreed best practices into our operations.

+ relationship cultivation and maintenance

We develop, deepen and leverage relationships with diverse stakeholders for the purposes of problem identification, solution development and outcome realization with young people, who often feel marginalized, being at the centre of this ongoing activity. We also partner with organizations in Africa, the Americas, Europe and the Global South which share our values and possess similar interests.