Request For Proposals – Terms Of Reference: Consultancy For Communication Consultant Firm For AECF’s FIG Programme In Somalia

1. About AECF

The Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) transforms lives by providing investment funding and technical assistance to commercially viable businesses that improve the lives of rural communities. It mobilizes donor funding to support early and growth-stage businesses in agriculture and renewable and clean energy sectors, with a focus on improving incomes and employment for rural and marginalized groups. AECF is a non-profit organization, headquartered in Nairobi with operational centers in Somalia, Ethiopia, Dar-es-Salaam, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Sudan, and Côte d’Ivoire.

Since launching in 2008 at the World Economic Forum, AECF has built the resilience of rural and marginalized communities by catalyzing innovative private sector business models with patient capital and growth support services across Sub-Saharan Africa.

2. About the FIG programme

Funded by the European Union, Finance for Inclusive Growth (FIG) in Somalia is a component of the Inclusive Local and Economic Development (ILED) programme, whose objective is to revitalize and expand the local economy with a focus on livelihood enhancement, job creation, and broad-based inclusive growth for Somali women, youth and producers through:

  • Designing and offering appropriate and sustainable financial products and services to clients through Somali Financial Institutions (FI) and ensuring targeted clients are growing and becoming more bankable.
  • Catalyzing sustainable increase in lending to economic actors in Somalia, especially youth, women, and working in the productive sector.
  • Building the capacity of the partner financial institutions to increasingly provide appropriate financial services for a wider scope of customers living in urban centres, and rural and decentralized areas in Somalia.
  • Building the capacity of targeted end clients to profitably use the financing for business growth.

3. Objectives:
The main objectives of the Communication Consultant firm are as follows:

  1. Support the programme in effectively communicating its impact and achievements through the production of success stories both videos and written with photos.
  2. Collect success stories from the end clients of the programme from partner MFIs and develop a success stories booklet that will be updated with new success stories on a quarterly basis for two years throughout the duration of the programme.
  3. Support the programme team in organizing and managing four Microfinance fairs and access to finance events over the programme duration (until end of 2025) to promote financial inclusion and facilitate networking opportunities and visibilities.

4. Scope of Work:

The Communication Consultant firm is expected to perform the following tasks:

  • Work closely with the FIG programme team to identify and document 12 success stories in each quarter that showcase the impact of the programme.
  • Conduct interviews and gather relevant information from beneficiaries/end clients of the partner MFIs, partners, and stakeholders to develop compelling success stories.
  • Prepare and produce a success stories booklet, ensuring high-quality content, design, and overall presentation.
  • Update the success stories booklet on a quarterly basis, incorporating new success stories and maintaining a consistent format.
  • Organize and manage four Microfinance fairs and access to finance events across targeted regions, ensuring smooth logistics, participant coordination, and effective event promotion.
  • Develop communication materials, such as brochures, banners, and presentations, to support the Microfinance fairs and access to finance events.
  • Liaise with relevant stakeholders, including MFIs, partner organizations, and event participants, to ensure their active involvement and engagement in the events.
  • Create compelling broadcast media content for television and radio platforms to effectively promote and raise awareness about the newly developed financing products offered by the MFIs.
  • Strategically plan radio and TV programmes that specifically centre around entrepreneurship, access to finance, and job creation, ensuring that the content produced is engaging and aligns with programme objective.
  • Design, print, and produce the required promotional materials for the programme, including:
  1. Printing 400 publications/manuals and promotional materials (both for the programme and MFIs) to provide comprehensive information about the programme and its offerings.
  2. Creating and printing 50 roll-up banners for effective visual representation and promotion of the programme at various events and locations.
  3. Designing and producing 12 large banners to maximize visibility and create awareness about the newly developed financing products for the MFIs on the streets in key target locations.
  4. Produce quarterly editions of the programme’s success stories booklet, totalling seven editions.
  5. Create 12 branded videos of success stories featuring the impact of the progranmme on the SMEs, accompanied by 12 written success stories with high-definition photos.

5. Deliverables:
The Communication Consultant firm is expected to deliver the following:

  • A success stories booklet produced and updated quarterly throughout the programme duration, showcasing the impact and achievements of the FIG programme.
  • Well-organized and successfully executed Microfinance fairs and access to finance events, including the development of event materials and reports.
  • Regular progress reports on the documentation of success stories, booklet production, and event organization.

6. Timeline and Duration:

The consultation will be for a period of 18 months. The consultant will be required to adhere to the agreed-upon timeline for delivering the various activities and deliverables.

7. Qualifications and Experience:
The Communication Consultant company should possess the following qualifications and experience:

  • Proven experience in communication and documentation, particularly in the development of success stories and the production of booklets or similar publications in English and Somali.
  • Demonstrated expertise in organizing and managing events, preferably in the field of microfinance or financial inclusion.
  • Excellent communication experience with the ability to gather information from various stakeholders and transform it into compelling stories.
  • Strong project management experience, including the ability to meet deadlines and deliver high-quality outputs.
  • Familiarity with the microfinance sector in Somalia and an understanding of financial inclusion challenges in targeted locations.
  • Previous experience working with international development organizations or similar programmes.
  • Fully registered and able to operate in Somalia.

8. Reporting and Coordination:
The Communication company will report to the Programme Manager of the FIG programme and closely collaborate with the FIG programme team. Regular coordination meetings will be scheduled to review progress, discuss challenges, and provide guidance.

9. Proposal Submission

  • Interested applicants should submit a full proposal as a response to the TOR.
  • CVs of technical team members
  • A proposed methodology for the assignment, including data collection methods and tools.
  • A proposed work plan with timelines.
  • Technical and financial proposals must be submitted separately.
  • Financial proposal in USD


The consultancy firm/team will report to AECF, the FIG programme Manager.


Depending on the contracting mechanism, 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 concerning provisions of Kenya tax legislation when developing their proposals.


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. 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.

No. Criteria for Assessment Marks
1 Understanding of the terms of reference 10
Detailed description of the service to be provided 5
Understanding of what AECF is expecting from the assignment 5
2 Methodology and work plan 20
Relevance of the methodology proposed to conduct the communication support to the programme. 10
Adequacy of the work plan, including key deliverables and capacity to deliver within a realistic timeline based on the consultancy days designated for the task 10
  3 Technical experience of staff offered 40
Relevant tertiary level qualification and years of professional experience of the proposed team; demonstrated Team Leader’s expertise in one of the technical areas as well as expertise and demonstrated experience in the communication support to the programme, implementation methodology and tools and demonstrated experience in implementing similar assignments. 5
Prior experience in conducting Somali financial sector communication support with a similar nature and scope; including a reference list indicating the scope and magnitude of similar assignments. 10
Experience in supporting donor-funded programmes communications materials and branding including demonstrated experience in collecting and compiling success stories and report writing. 10
Evidence of similar previous experience, at least 5 years, in providing communication support to the financial sector in Somalia. At least 3 signed reference letters of similar work done. 15
4 Financial Proposal

Clarity, relevance, reality to market of value/value for money of cost for the assignment (inclusive of any applicable tax)

Total Score 100


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.


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

AECF invites qualified consultants/firms to send a proposal to marked “CONSULTANCY FOR COMMUNICATION CONSULTANT FIRM FOR AECF’S FIG PROGRAMME IN SOMALIA.” AECF shall not be liable for not opening proposals that are submitted with a different subject.

The proposal should be received no later than 20th June 2024 by 5.00 pm East Africa Time (GMT +3) and addressed to the AECF, Procurement Department. All clarifications and or questions should be sent to

All clarifications and or questions should be sent to by 12th June 2024.


NB: The AECF does not charge an application fee for participation in the tender process and has not appointed any agents or intermediaries to facilitate applications. Applicants are advised to reach out directly to the AECF PROCUREMENT DEPARTMENT. 







About AECF

AECF (Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund) is a leading non-profit development organisation that supports innovative enterprises in the agribusiness and renewable energy sectors with the aim of reducing rural poverty, promoting resilient communities, and creating jobs.

We catalyze the private sector by surfacing and commercializing new ideas, business models and technologies designed to increase agricultural productivity, improve farmer incomes, expand clean energy access, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve resilience to the effects of climate change. We finance high-risk businesses that struggle to access commercial funding; we are committed to working in frontier markets, fragile contexts, and high-risk economies where few mainstream financing institutions dare to go.

To date, we have supported over 400  businesses in 26 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, impacted more than 30 million lives, created over 27,000 direct jobs, and leveraged US $771 million in matching funds.