Request for Proposal – Competition Service Provider (CSP) Consultancy, June 2022

1.0 About The AECF 

The AECF is a development institution that supports businesses to innovate, create jobs, and leverage investments and markets to create resilience and sustainable incomes in rural and marginalized communities in Africa. It provides concessional capital, technical assistance, and support to the wider enabling environment for emergent and scaling SMEs. Over the past 12 years, AECF has supported almost 400 businesses in more than 40 value chains and 26 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. In the agribusiness sector, it has supported businesses across different value chains from improving seed varieties to livestock vaccines and introducing new farming systems and agribusiness models. In the renewable energy and adaptive climate change sector, we have supported businesses across home solar systems, mini and micro-grids, biogas, financial services, and adaptive climate change technologies. AECF focuses on agribusiness, renewable energy, and adaptive climate technology sectors while addressing the cross-cutting themes of gender, youth, and fragile contexts to reduce rural poverty, promote resilient communities, and create jobs.

2.0 The AECF Competition Process 

The AECF has a rapidly expanding portfolio of programs across more than 20 countries in the sub-Sahara. Over the next 12 months, the AECF anticipates running seven competitions in South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria, Benin, and Burkina Faso.  Through a competitive approach, the AECF surfaces businesses with high potential for development impact using a set criterion.  Competitions are open for a specified period, within which companies apply for funding based on a program-specific term sheet. Applications received are rigorously vetted by the AECF and proposed to the IC for the final funding award.

The AECF competition process is a six-step process which includes pre-screening of applications and long-listing based on the set criteria.  We are seeking the services of a firm (Competitions Service Provider- CSP) to assist in managing a part of the competition process, specifically pre-screening and due diligence.  The role of the CSP is to ensure a successful and efficient competition process within an agreed timeframe and budget, in compliance with the AECF competition policies and procedures.

3.0 Scope of Work

The scope of services shall include but is not limited to the following:

  • Desktop pre-screening of applications against the selection criteria and general quality standards of the documentation provided.
  • Screening and evaluation of concept notes as per eligibility criteria.
  • Long-listing of eligible concept notes and presentation of long-listed applicants to the AECF
  • Conduct due diligence in accordance with the templates and manuals covering among others; detailed interrogation of business plan and business model, risk and socio-economic analysis on the proposed project/s, environment, social and governance (ESG) review, in-depth analysis of the financials of the applicant company, examination of the financial model and sensitivity analysis thereof, etc.
  • Based on the due diligence assessment, recommend a final shortlist of businesses complete with a comprehensive summary report (in investment memo format) for each of the companies.
  • Working with the AECF portfolio team, structure feedback for the unsuccessful applicants.

4.0 Requirements, Qualification and Experience

The applicant should have a combined knowledge and evaluation techniques for investments, institutional governance, and risk management as well familiarity with agricultural value chains, energy, blue economy sectors, and previous involvement in due diligence assessment of businesses for investment.  The applicant will determine the structure and personnel complement required for the assignment (to be proposed approach and methodology for the assignment). However, the AECF requires a minimum of five experts which include the Team Leader. The table below summarizes the required key experts

Expert Qualifications
Team Leader Master’s degree in a field relevant to the role;

At least 5 years of experience from the last 10 years in a position managing/coordinating multidisciplinary teams in the financing of SMEs space, preferably in clean energy or agribusiness sectors in Sub-Sahara Africa; Proven track record of leading at least three projects of similar nature (i.e., due diligence, SME organizational capacity assessment, and SME grants/investments management)

Strong understanding of the SME financing landscape and due diligence process fit for grant capital and Sub-Sahara Africa.

Two Sector experts- Agribusiness and Clean Energy Clean Energy Expert: Master’s degree in a relevant field. Experience and understanding of clean energy financing, technology mix and current business models for reaching and benefitting poor households, women, and other vulnerable groups;

Agribusiness expert: Master’s degree in a relevant field. Experience in the agribusiness sector with an in-depth understanding of the financing of early-stage agri-business projects in Sub-Sahara Africa. Expert knowledge of the agribusiness supply chain and good knowledge of private sector development initiatives and issues, investment decisions, and major barriers to scaling up;


Both experts should have detailed knowledge and understanding of the SDGs and global and regional climate finance trends.


Investment/Financial Analysts Degree in Finance and relevant certifications on investment analysis. The specialist is required to have at least 6 years of experience including recent experience in financial due diligence, Cost Estimates, Financial Analysis, Financial Performance Indicators, and financial modelling. Assessing the financial management risk rating and identifying and confirming measures for addressing identified deficiencies. Propose relevant financial performance indicators be incorporated in financial covenants.
Social, gender, and environmental safeguards specialist The specialists will have a graduate degree or relevant qualification in social safeguards, social development studies, and/or gender studies, and at least 10 years of work experience in social development, gender mainstreaming and ESG risk analysis and integration.


In this regard, applicants must submit the curriculum vitae of the proposed personnel responsible for implementing this assignment and a list of previous projects and activities performed related to this assignment.

5.0 Duration of service

The duration of the assignment is 12 months from the start date, expected to be around July 2022.

6.0 Reporting

The selected consultant will be accountable to the Director of Investment and Portfolio

7.0 Proposal submission

Interested and qualified (individual or institutional) consultants are invited to submit their proposal(s) comprising the following:

  • An understanding of the consultancy requirements.
  • Methodology, work plan and time allocation for each activity for performing the assignment together with seniority of staff assigned to each activity
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV) for the entire team composition
  • Detailed reference list indicating the scope and magnitude of similar assignments.
  • Relevant services undertaken in the past three (3) years.
  • Letters of reference from 3 previous companies/assignments.
  • Registration and other relevant statutory documents (applicable to firms).
  • The Technical and Financial proposal to be submitted separately

8.0 Evaluation Criteria

An evaluation committee will be formed by the AECF and shall include employees. All members will be bound by the same standards of confidentiality. The vendor should ensure that they fully respond to all criteria to be comprehensively evaluated.

The AECF may request and receive clarification from any Vendor when evaluating a proposal. The evaluation committee may invite some or all the Vendors to appear before the committee to clarify their proposals. In such an event, the evaluation committee may consider such clarifications in evaluating proposals.

In deciding the final selection of qualified bidders, the technical quality of the proposal will be given a weighting of 70% based on the evaluation criteria. Only the financial proposal of those bidders who qualify technically will be opened. The financial proposal will be allocated a weighting of 30% and the proposals will be ranked in terms of total points scored.

The mandatory and desirable criteria against which proposals will be evaluated are identified in the table below.

An understanding of the terms of reference
Demonstrate the unique and critical success factors of carrying out this assignment 10
Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of this assignment 15
Methodology and work plan that will deliver the best value on the assignment
Demonstrate the capacity to deliver the task in a timely and efficient manner.

Provide a realistic work plan on the key deliverables within the timelines of the assignment.

Qualification and Experience
·        Demonstrate strong capacity to deliver the assignment on time.

·        Relevant services undertaken in the past three (3) years



·        CVs for the team recommended

·        Detailed reference list indicating the scope and magnitude of similar assignments

·        Letters of reference from 3 previous companies/assignments, signed

·        Registration and other relevant statutory documents (applicable to firms

A.     FINANCIAL PROPOSAL: Clarity, relevance, reality to market value/ value for money of cost for the assignment (inclusive of any applicable tax, reimbursable, and travel). 30
Total Score 100


10.0 Pricing

AECF is obliged by the Kenyan tax authorities to withhold taxes on service contract fees as well as ensure VAT, at 16%, is charged where applicable. Applicants are advised to ensure that they have a clear understanding of their tax position with regards to provisions of Kenya tax legislation when developing their proposals.

11.0 Application

The AECF is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The AECF considers all interested candidates based on merit without regard to race, gender, colour, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, disability, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law

  • AECF invites qualified firms to send a proposal to clearly marked “TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR CONSULTANCY SERVICES- COMPETITION MANAGEMENT” The AECF shall not be liable for not opening proposals that are submitted with a different subject.
  • The proposal should be received no later than 1st July 2022, by 5.00 pm East Africa Time (GMT +3) addressed to: The AECF, Procurement Department. All clarifications and or questions should be sent to by 15th June 2022 and responses will be provided by 20th .  Kindly note bids received will be evaluated on a rolling basis due to the urgency.

12.0 Disclaimer  

AECF reserves the right to determine the structure of the process, the number of short-listed participants, the right to withdraw from the proposal process, the right to change this timetable at any time without notice and reserves the right to withdraw this tender at any time, without prior notice and without liability to compensate and/or reimburse any party.




About AECF

The Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) is a leading development finance organisation that supports businesses to innovate, create jobs and leverage investments in order to create resilience and sustainable incomes in rural and marginalised communities in Africa. Launched in 2008, AECF has invested in 292 businesses across more than 40 value chains and 26 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. We focus specifically on agribusiness, renewable energy and climate technologies, while also addressing the cross-cutting themes of gender, youth and fragile contexts. In just over a decade, we have impacted more than 27.7 million lives, created close to 24,000 jobs, and leveraged over US $740 million in matching funds. AECF is headquartered in Kenya, with offices in Côte d’Ivoire and Tanzania.