The Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund - HQ

Request for Proposals: Terms of Reference for Consultancy to Provide Technical Assistance to Funded Seed Enterprise Under the Seed for Impact Programme (SIP 2.0) in Tanzania – February 2024

Last update: Feb 28, 2024 Last update: 28 Feb, 2024


Application Deadline: 19 Mar, 2024 Deadline has passed and no more applications are accepted
Category:Consulting services
Sectors:SME & Private Sector, Agriculture
Contracting Authority Type:Development Institution
Date posted:28 Feb, 2024


Associated Awards

There are no awards associated to this tender.

Project cycle timeline



Request for Proposals: Terms of Reference for Consultancy to Provide Technical Assistance to Funded Seed Enterprise Under the Seed for Impact Programme (SIP 2.0) in Tanzania – February 2024

Closing date: 19/03/2024

1.     About AECF 

AECF (Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund) is a leading non-profit development organization 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.

2.     Programme Overview

The Tanzania-specific window of funding under the Seed for Impact Programme (SIP 2.0) funded by the Government of Sweden, seeks to address the challenges faced by smallholder farmers (SHFs) in accessing seeds of improved and high-yielding climate-resilient crop varieties. By providing catalytic funds to private seed enterprises through a grant coupled with technical assistance, this initiative aims to empower SHFs to increase agricultural production, mitigate the effects of adverse climate conditions, and promote the consumption of nutrient-dense foods.

In Tanzania, SHFs play a vital role in the country’s agricultural sector and food security. However, they often face limited access to high-quality seeds that are adapted to changing climatic conditions. This constraint hampers their ability to achieve sustainable productivity gains and adapt to the challenges posed by climate change. By focusing on improving seed access and availability, the Tanzania-specific window of funding aims to address these barriers and support SHFs in realizing their full agricultural potential.

The core objective of this funding initiative is twofold. Firstly, it aims to increase the availability of seeds of improved and high-yielding climate-resilient crop varieties specifically tailored to the agroecological conditions of Tanzania. This will be achieved through partnerships with private seed enterprises, which will receive catalytic funds in the form of grants. These funds will enable the enterprises to invest in product sourcing and development, production, and seed distribution of these climate-resilient crop varieties. Secondly, the initiative will provide technical assistance to the supported seed enterprises. This assistance will focus on enhancing their capacities in seed production, quality control, and distribution systems. By strengthening the operational and technical aspects of these enterprises, the initiative aims to ensure a sustainable supply of quality seeds to SHFs across Tanzania

To achieve the objectives of SIP 2.0, we are seeking a highly qualified consulting firm to provide technical assistance on range of gaps identified during the due diligence to funded seed enterprises in Tanzania for sustainable growth and profitability of the seed business.   The selected consulting firm will be expected to undertake desktop review on due diligence and financial reports from the business planning stage and develop an improvement plan for the investees on issues such as governance, staff management and retention, financial controls, and the formulation of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

3.     Objectives

To assist SIP 2.0 investees in Tanzania to enhance and sustain the growth of their seed business through the provision of technical assistance (TA).

4.     Scope of Work

The consultants will be responsible for the following tasks:

  • The consultant will be expected to conduct a thorough assessment of the current governance framework within the seed enterprise, identifying strengths and areas for improvement in collaboration with the management.
  • Support seed enterprises in formulating robust board management and succession plans to ensure continuity and growth, while also ensuring compliance with Tanzanian laws regarding shareholding.
  • Undertake a comprehensive review and enhancement of current staff contracts to bolster their effectiveness. Guide the investees develop and implement strategies for staff retention and professional development, including the introduction of performance-based incentive systems to recognize exceptional contributions.
  • The consultant will be tasked with aiding investees in optimizing financial processes, including the establishment of expenditure approval levels to ensure a robust system of checks and balances. Moreover, it will be part of the assignment to ensure that the seed companies comply with all Tanzanian tax laws, including those outlined by TRA, IBRA, NSSF, NHIF, etc.
  • Support in the digitization process of financial systems to incorporate the utilization of financial accounting software to enhance efficiency and precision in generating management accounts.

5.     Deliverables

The consultants are expected to deliver the following:

  • A comprehensive inception report on TA interventions, and business improvement plan for each seed company.
  • Governance policies for each seed company are developed and approved for implementation.
  • During the consultancy period, each company is expected to put in place a functional and professional board with initial board minutes being shared by the consultant.
  • By the end of the consultancy period, each shareholder of the seed companies funded should be having shareholders certificate and copies shared to AECF.
  • HR manual developed and approved for implementation by each funded seed company.
  • Professional management accounts prepared in consistency with IFRP procedures and shared with AECF/appointed Audit firm.
  • Prove of tax compliances and statutory payments for the staff
  • Company five-year strategic plan prepared and approved by the board

6.     Reporting

The consultant is expected to liaise regularly with AECF to report on progress, deal with any queries and highlight any challenges that threaten timelines. It is expected that this will involve a meeting every month at a minimum and the AECF contact person will be Senior Programme Officer, Seeds for Impact Programme.

7.     Duration

The estimated duration for the consultancy is 12 months, starting from the contract signing date. The specific timeline for each deliverable will be agreed upon during the contract negotiation phase. All work is expected to be concluded by 30th March 2025 at the very latest.

8.     Qualifications and Experience

Below are the qualification and academic requirements for the consulting firm:

  • A consulting firm should have prior experience providing technical assistance to local seed companies or Agribusiness SMEs in Africa.
  • The lead consultant should have over 10 years supporting seed/Agribusiness enterprises, Tanzanian National preferred because the official and widely used language in Tanzania is Swahili. In addition, the TA delivery will be preferably onsite for efficiency and better outcomes.
  • In-depth knowledge of the seed industry, agricultural value chains, and rural development in Tanzania will be added advantage.
  • Strong analytical skills and the ability to synthesize complex information into clear and actionable recommendations, especially financial management and reporting as well as governance.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English and Kiswahili, with the ability to present findings effectively to diverse audiences.
  • Must be based in Tanzania. 

9.     Proposal Submission

Interested consultants should submit a comprehensive proposal that includes the following:

  • Detailed understanding of the RFP.
  • Technical approach and methodology for conducting due diligence.
  • The technical and financial proposals will need to be submitted as separate documents.
  • Proposed timeline, work plan, and deliverables.
  • Updated curriculum vitae for the whole team
  • Cost breakdown, including fees, expenses, and any other relevant costs (in USD)
  • Examples of previous similar projects and client references.
  • As per the evaluation criteria below

10.  Pricing

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

11.  Evaluation Criteria.

An evaluation committee will be formed by the AECF. All members will be bound by the same standards of confidentiality. The consultant (s) should ensure that they fully respond to all criteria to be comprehensively evaluated.

The AECF may request and receive clarification from any Consultant when evaluating a proposal. The evaluation committee may invite some or all the consultants 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 a qualified bidder, the technical quality of the proposal will be given a weighting of 80% 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 20% and the proposals will be ranked in terms of total points scored.   The following will be considered in the evaluation process.

A.             TECHNICAL PROPOSAL 80
1.             An understanding of the terms of reference  
1. Demonstrate understanding of the assignment and expected outcomes. 5
2. Demonstrated understanding programme’s specific requirements for Technical Assistance 10
2.             Methodology and work plan that will deliver the best value on the assignment  
1. Soundness and feasibility of the technical proposal that provide comprehensive TA approach. 40
2. Realistic and well-structured timeline, clear identification of impact matrices to be monitored and deliverables as well as milestones, and coherence with the intended programme goals. 10
3.             Qualification and Experience  
1. Demonstrated experience in similar projects, quality of past project examples, and positive client references or testimonials. With at least 3 signed reference letters 15
B.             FINANCIAL PROPOSAL: Detailed showing level of effort of the team, Clarity, relevance, and reality to market value/ value for money of cost for the assignment (inclusive of any applicable tax, reimbursable, and travel where applicable). 20
Total Score 100

12.  Application details.

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, age, marital status, disability, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.

  1. Interested consultants are requested to submit their proposal to: by 19th March 2024, 5.00 pm (EAT).
  2. Please send your questions to the AECF procurement e-mail by 12th March 2024.
  3. The Subject of the email should read “Terms of Reference (TOR) for Consultancy to Provide Technical Assistance to funded seed enterprise under the Seed for Impact Programme (SIP 2.0) in Tanzania: RFP-TA-SIP -0012024”. The AECF shall not be liable for not opening proposals that are submitted with a different subject.

13.  Disclaimer.

The AECF reserves the right to determine the structure of the selection process, number of short-listed applicants, the right to withdraw from the process, the right to change timetables at any time without notice and reserves the right to withdraw this call for applications at any time, without prior notice and without incurring any liability to indemnify, compensate and/or reimburse any party.

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.