About the Program

The Lariba Cooperative and Community Wealth Development Program is a market-driven Program of the Africa Islamic Economic Foundation that fosters an alternative development path based on principles of Halal (ethical) paradigm of economic development. It offers a systematic approach that identifies enterprising opportunities in targeted communities and engages a wide range of partners (cooperative networks, local organizations; corporate bodies and support organizations) in turning those opportunities into results that both build and capture wealth. It complements or incorporate traditional economic development methods, but intentionally focuses on creating more value that becomes rooted in local people, places and firms. Its focus on community wealth development creates new possibilities for economic and community development that helps widen the development focus beyond the core of profit, income and job creation today – the typically stated targets for development – to include the essential factors that will sustain profit, jobs and income into the future.

The Program is a strategic response to Africa’s growing socio-economic challenges, such as perennial problems of poverty, persistent youth unemployment, excessive inequalities of income and wealth, high levels of inflation, large macroeconomic and budgetary imbalances, exorbitant debt-servicing burdens, inadequate and aging public utilities and infrastructure, and growing food insecurity, which have all combined to undermine current development efforts of African countries. With many losing faith in the efficacy of the conventional economic development model the potential role of this Program in providing a complementary or alternative framework for development efforts is being encouraged cannot be over-emphasized.

Through the Program, the aim of the Africa Islamic Economic Foundation (AFRIEF) is to act as a knowledge broker, establishing new relationships between countries, leading to business opportunities, solidarity and improvement of regional integration and cooperation. The Program also contributes to AFRIEF’s objective to promoting empathy, understanding and collaboration between African communities and nations.

For Africa, the Program comes at an important juncture. It comes at a time the public finances of African countries have taken a hard hit from the prevailing gloomy Global economic climate, driving difficult spending decisions but also creating opportunities for Africa to reframe and reinvent, chart its own course and shape its own success.

In developing the Program, AFRIEF has followed a rigorous scientific method. It has produced original ideas and developed expertise on methodological approaches which draw their elements from decades of innovation and experiences of countries and communities around the world. Activities will be developed with a blend of learning technologies, social innovation and engineering, supported by quality assurance. Design methods will cater for a holistic learning process combining knowledge (know-what); skills (know-how); and attitudes (know-why). Using a cross-sectoral and collaborative approach and within the framework of national priorities the Program will work internationally to:

  1. Pursue development policies that are connected to an endogenous (internally  driven), and import-replacing economic development model, which fosters a diversified economy of interdependent economic activities;
  2. Strengthen rural economies and stimulate production in rural communities in Africa, by converting unproductive assets into financial assets and empowering rural population to actively engage in the production process and using their resource endowment;
  3. Promote, coordinate and expand economic opportunity for low-income individuals, through a growing network of community-based enterprises;
  4. Promote public understanding of faith-based economic principles and how its community wealth development model functions;

  5. Mobilize and channel significant economic resources into disinvested and poor communities in Africa, in an effort to build equitable, sustainable and inclusive economies;

  6. Encourage and enable regions and communities throughout Africa to implement their own local programs, inspired by AFRIEF’s mission, vision, strategy and principles.


The organizational vision of the Program is built on faith-based cooperative and community wealth development strategies that increase asset ownership among individuals and communities, anchor jobs locally, strengthen the local tax base and ensure local economic stability and vitality.  


The goal of the Program is to advance the overall prosperity and self-reliance of African communities, strengthen existing and emerging sectors, and increase jobs and incomes for lower-income people and firms. The Program plans to co-develop bespoke cooperative and community wealth-development programs in at least five (5) African countries a year (which fosters dialogue with policymakers, inspires and nurtures community leaders and business entrepreneurs and the establishment of ethical cooperatives).







Mobilization and use of underutilized local assets for the benefit of members and community generally.





Promotion of broad-based and local ownership, rooted in cooperation and community as the foundation of a thriving resilient local economy.





Focus on job creation which provides economic security for all families.




Development of buy–local strategies to keep money circulating locally




Connection of training to real jobs, focusing on barriers to employment




Cooperation between stakeholders-non-profits, philanthropy, and anchor Institutions, businesses, groups and Governments





Creation of institutions and support Ecosystems to build a new “Normal” of political-economic activity.


Ethical Financing

The asset-based financing principles support real economic activity based on close linkage to financed assets and ensuring less “financialization” in the economy, while the risk-sharing or equity based financing principles on the other hand, promote profit and loss sharing between financiers and entrepreneurs, resulting in increased alignment of interests and increased risk sharing. They also foster entrepreneurship, especially of seed and early-stage start-ups, which rely purely on equity financing for their ventures.


Work with us in your Community

If you are interested in our new paradigm of economic development which emphases asset-based, risk-sharing and self-financing economic development programs, ethical business, community self-reliance and environmental standards then work with the Africa Islamic Economic Foundation in your Community. Together with our network of allied consultants and advisors in Islamic Finance, Social enterprise capital formation, impact investing, cooperative development, anchor institutions and community finance, AFRIEF offers a uniquely comprehensive and rigorously field tested set of programs for transformative community wealth development.

Our Support and Advisory Services include:

Community Vision and Strategy

We help communities create convening and approaches that guide the creation of community vision and strategy. We also create national forums to spread knowledge and build networks among diverse groups, such as foundations, nonprofits, policy makers and impact investors. 

Project Development Consultation 

We assist communities in strategizing on project development – sector analysis, project selection, stages of development, players needed at the table, capital formation, and so on.

Project Research and Feasibility Studies

We conduct technical research that helps identify strategic opportunities for building community wealth in the local context. From identifying the contributions of key stakeholders and mapping the economic assets and challenges faced by your community, to detailed analysis of possible sectoral strategies and evaluation of specific potential community based enterprises, our research and feasibility studies can help catalyze transformative approaches to economic development.

Anchor Institution Strategies

We assist the leadership of anchor institutions to understand how to leverage their economic impact to make sustainable long-term investments in their surrounding communities through field-tested, metrics-driven community wealth development strategies. We educate institutional stakeholders on the anchor mission, evaluate the performance of wealth building Programs, and help craft agendas for inclusive place-based development.

Capital Formation Strategy

We help organizations understand how to put together “capital stacks” with funds from a variety of sources – federal, state, donor agencies and private – that can be used to finance job creation, business development and wealth development in core rural and urban areas. We also convene Islamic Capital Teams of technical advisers, bringing together highly specialized Islamic financing knowledge.


We offer training in ethical paradigm of economic development and strategies for developing wealth-generating opportunities in low-income communities in various formats.