RFP: Consultancy for the support of Implementing the Youth and Women in Agribusiness Flagship Programme in Malawi

Synopsis of the Request for Proposal (Individual Consultants) 

Solicitation Reference No.RFP-040-SC-2021
Title of SolicitationConsultancy for the support of Implementing the Youth and Women in Agribusiness Flagship Programme in Malawi
Issuing Office & AddressAlliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) Website:
Point of contact for clarifications, questions and amendmentsAGRA General Procurement,
Email Address for submission of Proposals/QuotesAGRA General Procurement,
Solicitation Issue DateJuly 22nd,  2021
Deadline  for  submission questions and clarificationsJuly 27th, 2021,5:00PM, East African Time.
Deadline for  Answering questions and clarificationsJuly 30th, 2021,5:00PM, East African Time.
Deadline  for  Submission  of ProposalsAugust 6th, 2021, 5:00PM, East African Time. Please include the subject line “RFP-040-SC-2021” of the email.    
Type of Consultant Individual Consultancy
Anticipated Award Type Consultancy Agreement
Submission and Evaluation CriteriaBidders are encouraged to register (if not already registered) as a vendor via the link provided below and submit the below mandatory requirements in their proposal:    

Mandatory pre-registration documents:
– Curriculum Vitae
– Copy of ID/Passport

Mandatory Eligibility Requirement:
– Detailed Curriculum Vitae including at least 3 referees.
– Copy of academic certificate.
– Copy of your passport or National Identification Card.

Evaluation Criteria summary:
1. Qualifications and Competencies………………………………..20%
2. Experience of the Consultant………………………………50%
3. Consultant’s methodology, work plan and understanding of the assignment………………………………………………….30%   

NB. Only the candidate with the best technical proposal equal or above 75% shall be considered for financial negotiations


The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), is an African-led, African-based organization founded in 2006, focused on putting smallholder farmers at the center of the continent’s growing economy by transforming agriculture from a solitary struggle to survive into farming as a business that thrives. AGRA aims to ensure that smallholders have what they need to succeed; good seeds and healthy soils, access to markets, information, financing, storage and transport and policies that provide them with comprehensive support. Through developing Africa’s high-potential breadbasket areas, while also boosting farm productivity across more challenging environments, AGRA works to transform smallholder agriculture into a highly productive, efficient, sustainable and competitive system, while protecting the environment. AGRA works across several African Countries including Burkina Faso, Gana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

AGRA’s work in Malawi complements that of the government and its other partners in bringing about an agricultural transformation. In addition to supporting the Government of Malawi in creating a policy environment that encourages private sector participation in agricultural value chains, AGRA has made major investments in systems that give farmers easy access to better inputs, advisory services, more markets and financial support.

AGRA is providing technical assistance to the implementation of the Youth and Women in Agribusiness flagship programme. The goal of this programme is to contribute to improved well-being and livelihoods of women and youth engaged in agriculture in Malawi. To achieve this goal, the main objective of this programme is to increase women and youth economic empowerment through enhanced engagement in priority agriculture value chains which will result in significant growth of the agricultural sector, increased incomes, and improved food and nutrition security for all.

Specific Programme objectives to be achieved include the following:

  1. Increased women’s and youth’s access to, ownership of, and control of productive agricultural assets.
  2. Increased access and use of new agricultural technologies, innovations and services (advisory and finance) by women and youth farmers.
  3. Effective and increased engagement of women and youth in priority and profitable value chains and value chain processes.
  4. Increased agricultural production and consumption (crops, fisheries and livestock) by women and youth.

As one of the support activities to the Government of Malawi, AGRA wishes to recruit a Senior Private Sector Engagement Specialist, as a consultant for a period of seven months. The Specialist will support the Government of Malawi to mobilize private sector groups and entities for effective implementation of the flagship.  

Objective of the Consultancy

To support the Government of Malawi (the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Trade) in implementing a comprehensive approach to private sector engagement and partnerships to maximize flagship impact and sustainability.

Scope of Work

A. Private Sector Engagement

  1. Be the main counterpart/focal point for developing proposals and initiatives designed to build private sector mobilisation into a programmatic business line for the flagship;
  2. Provide expertise on private sector development relevant for acceleration of agricultural transformation in Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) and Ministry of Trade (MoT);
  3. Provide policy advice to MOA and MoT on private sector issues;
  4. Identify, assess and recommend potential private sector partners and partnership opportunities;
  5. Support the MoT in designing and conducting background assessments under COGA to inform trade policies;
  6. Provide technical input in leading private sector engagement design and implementation components for government flagships including liaising with private sector actors to identify engagement opportunities and key entry points;
  7. Provide technical support to the country for the design, formalization, and management of innovative public-private partnerships (PPPs);
  8. Provide technical assistance to MOA and MOT on the structuring of PPPs and outreach to the private sector;
  9. Ensure and strengthen the alignment of private sector initiatives of the flagship and government strategic documents and programmes;
  10. Maintain a database of public-private partnership activities in the agricultural sector implemented in Malawi;
  11. Provide technical support to the government in the coordination of interventions to support involvement of youth and women in agriculture;
  12. Develop and implement outreach strategies to the private sector;
  13. Support the MoA and MoT in coordinating private sector participation in sector engagements.

B. Support the government in resource mobilization

  1. Support the government in resource mobilization for the different flagship intervention areas leveraging on a broad range of public, donor and private sector funding and technical opportunities. This will involve assisting government with development of funding proposals in support of specific components of the flagship. It will also involve systematic and continuous engagement of different current/potential partners to secure their buy-in and commitment to provide technical and financial support for the implementation of the flagship. Specific focus will be to bring more private sector engagement to strengthen partnership with government and tap on private sector funding for the flagship investments.
  2.  Facilitate government to have sustained focus on and ensure the necessary alignment within flagship framework during sector short-term, medium-term and long-term planning. This will include alignment with the government budgetary framework such as the MTEF planning process. 
  3. The consultant will also support the establishment of a live map of all partners investing in the flagship program. The consultant will therefore be required to carry out activities to engage private sector partners at national and sub-national levels. To effectively deliver on this mandate the consultant in close coordination with government will be expected to set clear resource mobilization targets for each of the value chains and meet the targets to ensure successful implementation.

Qualification and Experience

The ideal candidate is someone appreciative of and insightful about the role of the private sector in agricultural development. S/he is also familiar with private entities’ contributions to achieving development goals, such as the SDGs, CAADP and the Malabo declaration whether through directly engaging in collaborative processes or by providing innovative technology or solutions. The candidate should be interested in and passionate about mobilizing others and facilitating a new consensus, supporting the Ministry’s engagement approach at the global to national levels, whilst also building a portfolio of projects and strategic partnerships with other related initiatives. 

A. Technical Requirements

  1. At least a Masters degree in a field related to agricultural economics, Trade and rural development. Specific areas of study could be: international development, development economics, economics, agriculture economics, trade, business administration, marketing, finance, or another relevant discipline from an accredited university.
  2. Experience in the Field of Agriculture as well as private sector engagement in agriculture demonstrated by previous active role in:
    – working with government ministries (particularly, ministries of agriculture, trade, livestock, industries, fisheries and other related ministries) in Sub-Sahara Africa. Excellent knowledge of agriculture and trade sector issues in Malawi will be a plus;
    – At least eight years of experience with private sector development and facilitation of public-private partnerships, preferably in the international development context;
    – Substantive knowledge and experience in working as part of a donor-funded project to facilitate partnerships with the private and public sector stakeholders;
    – In-depth knowledge or experience in investment climate and business regulation reform, strong theoretical base in the investment climate/private sector development area, combining a broad grasp of relevant theory and principles;
    – Understanding of public sector and government institutions’ role in private sector development and partnerships;
    – Experience in private sector/SME development initiatives;
    – Experience in building and brokering partnerships across companies/parties in Africa;
    – Professional connections and extensive private sector network in various industries;
    – Strong relationship building skills;
    – Demonstrated ability to work across teams and effectively promote information-sharing, collaboration and cooperation;
  3. Project Management: Proven capacity to design, implement and monitor portfolio of projects with tangible results. Strong project management and communication skills.  Highly developed interpersonal skills and demonstrated competence in negotiation at the highest level.  Experience of having worked in or with multi-cultural settings.
  4. Continental and Global processes: Proven understanding of and experience with global processes and financing such as the SDGs and donor funding, and private sector financing for sustainability (preferably agricultural related). 
  5. Leadership: Track record of facilitating collaborative processes and/or leading teams, as well as working with senior staff in partner organisations. 
  6. Communication in business terms: Strong ability to describe technical, policy or programmatic issues in a business oriented and intuitively understandable way; ability to integrate different experiences, methodologies, and approaches from a diverse range of stakeholders from multiple sectors and ability to communicate these convincingly, succinctly and appropriate to a business audience.
  7. Relationship Management: Evidenced ability to build effective and sustainable relationships internally and externally.
  8. Fluency in written and spoken English

B. Non-technical Requirements

  1. Professionalism: Demonstrating/safeguarding ethics and integrity. Demonstrates corporate knowledge, self-development and initiative-taking. Ability to work in a multi-cultural and international environment based on mutual respect and tolerance.  Ability to exercise good judgement, discretion and tact in handling sensitive issues. 
  2. Planning and Organizing:  Excellent organizational and task management skills, with appropriate attention to details and ability to prioritize work among multiple competing demands, and under tight deadlines.  Ability to manage multiple workflows at the same time. Ability to thrive in a fast-paced work environment where adaptability is essential.
  3. E-literacy: Excellent e-skills, including the ability to use modern office technology and related software. Practical knowledge of word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software is required. Ability to do internet research, compile information and find solutions online to information gaps is essential.
  4. Teamwork:   Support colleagues, contribute to team culture, and share responsibility for decision-making and results. Places team agenda before personal agenda. Supports and acts in accordance with final group decision; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility.   Ability to “lead from behind” and work without direct authority to deliver timely and high-quality products.  
  5. Personal: Willingness to ‘get the job’ done with a positive attitude to take on a wide range of tasks. Availability for longer travel to attend meetings.

Deliverables of the Assignment

DeliverablesMeans of Verification
1. Communication products on private sector role in financing the flagship programmeCommunication products (Presentation decks, briefs, blogs)
2. An Operational Framework for de-risking private investments in youth in agri-business activities in MalawiTechnical report/ An operational framework
3. 1-2 deals of Private Sector working with the Government in implementing the flagship programmePeriodic Reports of private sector engagements and outcomes
4. At least 2 proposals that include a strong private sector engagement component supportedProject Concept notes and Project Proposals
5. Technical assistance to the Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Trade in different aspects of planning and implementation of agriculture sector policies and programmes  Written contribution and technical advice to the activities of the Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Trade
6. Contribution to the Ministry of Agriculture in results measurement, learning and mutual accountability system (With a focus on tracking of priority activities implemented to implement flagship aligned activities)Evidence of contribution of the consultant to the result measurement and mutual accountability
7. Ministry of Agriculture supported to strengthen sector coordination platforms (Contribution to the organisation of the regular flagship coordination meetings)  Minutes of coordination meetings with other government Ministries, Private sector, Civil Society
8. Database of public-private partnership activities in the agricultural sector implemented in MalawiDatabase/ progress reports of database development
9. Capacity development of government staff (Moa and MoT) in terms of incorporating PSE components into the design of projects to implement the youth and women in agribusiness flagship programmeMinutes/ reports of capacity building events

Reporting Arrangement

The consultant will report to the Head of State Capability Unit of AGRA, while ensuring continuous reporting to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture in Malawi.

Duration of the Assignment

The assignment is expected to take seven months, estimated to start in mid-August 2021 or early September 2021.  

Evaluation criteria

The proposals for this contract will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  1. Qualifications & Competencies…………………………………………………………….20%
    – Relevant academic qualifications as indicated above
  2. Experience of the  consultant…………………………………………………..50%
    – Meet requirements as outlined under qualification and experience
    – Detailed reference list indicating the scope and magnitude of similar assignments carried out.
  3. Consultant’s methodology, work plan and understanding of the assignment……30%.

NB. Only the candidate with the best technical proposal equal or above 75% shall be considered for financial negotiations.

Application Submission Requirements 

A. Technical Proposal

  • Detailed Curriculum Vitae.  
  • Detailed reference list indicating the scope and magnitude of similar assignments carried out.  
  • Demonstration of possession of qualification and experience required.  
  • Methodology, work plan and understanding of the assignment (not exceeding 5pages).  

B. Financial Proposal 

  • The consultant shall provide a monthly fee in USD, number of months and total cost  for carrying out the assignment. Use the templates provided under Annex A and B for the financial proposal.
  • Reimbursable costs if applicable shall be quoted separately.  These will be reimbursed based on actual cost incurred.
  • All applicable taxes (withholding taxes & VAT) should be quoted separately. If the financial proposal is silent on taxes, AGRA shall assume that these are inclusive.
  • Prices must be quoted in USD ($).
  • Financial proposal shall be sent as a separate attachment and MUST be password protected.

Guidelines for Preparations and Submission of Proposals 

  1. The proposals SHALL be submitted to by the deadline indicated in the synopsis.
  2. The proposal and ALL Attachments submitted via email SHALL NOT exceed 10MB.
  3. VALIDITY of the proposal shall be for a period of 90 days from the date of bid closure. 
  4. Financial proposal shall be sent as a separate attachment and MUST be password protected. The password shall be requested from the best technically qualified individual (s).

Download full RFP: