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How we work

It is one thing to recognise the tremendous latent value that inheres in Africa’s youth, economies and societies. To unlock that value requires realism about stubborn obstacles. Our approach is summarised in this graphic:


Context – the social, cultural, political, institutional and natural particularities of a place – is a critical determinant of success or failure. This is true of development interventions and business models alike. Further, deep technical insight is usually required for the work we do, but it too is not sufficient. It needs to be combined with robust problem-solving techniques that remove the real obstacles.

The answer to a complex problem sits with many people, and diverse perspectives drive creative and effective solutions. Our joint-solutions philosophy achieves this by applying four principles.


We actively seek out opportunities – and drive them all the way to scaled impact

An increasing part of our work is actively opportunity driven – kicked off not by passive receipt of a terms of reference, but by identifying a transformative opportunity, often in partnership with our clients.

The Genesis Pathway to Value, illustrated below, is our approach to taking opportunities from the initial spark all the way to scale. While it was originally designed for soup-to-nuts interventions, the Pathway to Value is also helpful for projects that fall within only one part of the process, such as design or adaptive implementation, as it is a reminder of the motivation for that component (the original opportunity) and its ultimate intent (usually scaled impact).


We apply particular approaches to each of the stages. These techniques iteratively improved through the scores of projects we do annually.

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