Based at the UCT Graduate School of Business (GSB), the centre aims to build a solid training and research platform to inspire and facilitate the growth of local and international development finance expertise and support the creation of innovative financial models for sustainable development solutions in Africa and other emerging markets.

Inspiring environment

Robust academic programmes, short professional programmes, acclaimed faculty, and a culturally diverse student body make DEFIC an inspiring place to learn, share ideas and gain new perspectives on emerging development needs. Research is focused on pertinent issues relating to development including agricultural value chain finance, housing, trade, energy and green finance, as well as social impact bonds, to name a few.

Degree programme

The Master of Commerce (MCom) in Development Finance, presented through DEFIC, is a partnership programme between the GSB and the Africagrowth Institute (AGI), an independent organisation providing research and consulting on growth opportunities in Africa. Introduced in 2011, the programme aims to ensure that Africa and other emerging countries produce expert development finance practitioners to meet the growing needs of a growing continent. Around 70 students drawn from Africa and around the world are accommodated each year.

International accreditation

The GSB is one of a small number of universities globally offering a Master's degree in Development Finance accredited by the Chartered Institute of Development Finance (CIDEF). CIDEF is a global professional membership and certification body for development finance specialists. DEFIC is an active member of the CIDEF global development finance network with institutional members from major development finance institutions including the African Development Bank, Development Bank of South Africa, Afreximbank, AERC, Industrial Development Corporation, SADC-DFRC, KPMG, South African National Treasury, to name just a few.

Strength in partnership

Local and global academic partnerships add a dimension to the depth of debate on finance issues in emerging markets and enhance the impact of DEFIC's contributions to the broader community. Spheres of influence include government policy, private and NGO programme development and implementation in the broader area development finance.

Partners include:

  • University of Cape Town, South Africa
  • University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
  • University of Ghana, Ghana
  • Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa
  • KCA University, Kenya
  • University of Manchester, United Kingdom
  • University of Reading, United Kingdom
  • The School of Oriental and African Studies, United Kingdom

To enquire about our activities, please contact any of the following staff members:

Ms Tarin Cupido
MCom Coordinator (Coursework)
021 406 1401

Ms Candice Marais

MCom Coordinator (Minor Dissertations)
021 406 1437

Prof Nicholas Biekpe

Director of DEFIC
021 406 1401

Dr Latif Alhassan

Head MCom Minor Dissertations
021 406 1180




Attend one of our fascinating and informative events and engage with thought leaders from across South Africa.

Information Sessions

An opportunity to meet the GSB recruitment team and alumni, and have all your course-related questions answered.

Our Credentials

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