Request for Information (RFI): ATI-001 Technical and Management Support to USAID Southern Africa Trade Market Systems Activity

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In support of the Prosper Africa, Feed the Future, and other Presidential initiatives, the USAID  Africa Bureau, Africa Regional Missions, and the Middle East Bureau have established the USAID  Africa Trade and Investment (ATI) Program. The purpose of this Program is to mobilize enterprise driven solutions that increase trade and investment in Africa, including North and Sub-Saharan Africa. ATI will support the strengthening of Africa’s markets by developing new trade and  investment relationships, particularly between the U.S. and Africa, and achieve development  outcomes across sectors in line with USAID’s Private Sector Engagement Policy and the USG  Prosper Africa initiative.  

DAI, on behalf of the ATI Program, is seeking information and organizational capabilities from  organizations regarding the possible procurement of a subcontract or subcontracts to provide  technical and management support to an upcoming multi-year regional activity in Southern Africa  covering 10 countries — Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique,  Namibia, South Africa, and Zambia. We are seeking information from non-governmental  organizations, which can be either U.S. or non-U.S. registered organizations. If services are  procured, the subcontractor would provide technical and operational support services in support of an upcoming ATI’s Southern Africa Regional Trade Market Systems Activity.  

The intent of this RFI is to conduct market research to gain a better understanding of the number of  qualified and interested Parties who are able to provide either all of a portion of the services  described in the attached draft Statement of Work (SOW). The attached SOW describes the currently contemplated scope of services and may vary from any final SOW that may be issued. 

ATI Engagement  

In support of this activity, ATI seeks information from a partner or consortium of partners  interested in providing technical and management support to implement the Southern Africa Trade  Market Systems Activity. Details on the information requested can be found in Appendix A. The  Draft SOW can be found in Appendix B.  

In accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation 15.209 (c), the following clause is incorporated  by reference into this RFI:  

FAR 52.215-3 – REQUEST FOR INFORMATION OR SOLICITATION FOR PLANNING  PURPOSES (OCT 1997)  

(a) The Government does not intend to award a contract on the basis of this solicitation or to 

otherwise pay for the information solicited except as an allowable cost under other contracts  as provided in subsection 31.205-18, Bid and proposal costs, of the Federal Acquisition  Regulation.  

(b) Although “proposal” and “offeror” are used in this Request for Information, your  response will be treated as information only. It shall not be used as a proposal.  

(c) This solicitation is issued for the purpose of obtaining information from interested  parties regarding the purpose and objectives for the launch of the Southern Africa Trade  Market Systems Activity discussed below in Appendix B.  

This RFI will not be construed as a commitment by DAI or USAID to award any contract or pay for  any information voluntarily submitted as a result of this request. Responders are solely responsible for bearing all expenses associated with preparation and submission of the response to this RFI.  This RFI does not restrict approaches to future Solicitations or Notices of Funding Opportunity.  

In accordance with FAR 15.201(e), responses to this notice are not offers or proposals and will not be accepted to form a binding contract. Further information may be requested as a result of  submissions received.  

Interested parties should submit answers to questions in Appendix A and any other comments in  response to the requested information no later than 5:00PM EAT, 17 June 2022.  

Responses should be submitted via email to [email protected] copying Brian Wanyagi  ([email protected]) and Edwin Muli ([email protected]) no later than the date and  time shown above, with the subject line: “Response to RFI ATI-001.” Please limit the responses to  10 pages/slides using 11-point font size. Graphics may be included so long as text is clearly legible.  Submissions in PowerPoint, Word, or PDF are acceptable. PDF is preferred along with an  accompanying PowerPoint/Word document.  

Sincerely,  

ATI Procurement and Partnerships Team  

[email protected]

Appendix A: Response Requirements  

We are seeking the following information from interested firms:  

1. The name and address of the organization, and Primary Point of Contact, Phone Number  and email address.  

2. A brief synopsis of your organization’s technical and management capabilities and activities  to support intraregional trade and with the United States, including experience in the three  market systems highlighted in the background section, namely 1) trade promotion, 2) trade  services, and 3) supply chain management with a focus on agricultural and agribusiness  trade.  

3. Please describe your organization’s experience and capabilities in recruitment, hiring, and  the administration of personnel as it relates to the technical areas and countries outlined in  background section and draft SOW (See Appendix B). Please provide examples of projects  your organization has undertaken that are similar in nature or address the key areas in  Appendix B.  

4. Please explain if the draft SOW provides sufficient information to understand the tasks to be  performed in order to fulfill the objectives outlined in the draft SOW. Please reference the  page number and specific section of the draft SOW in the response.  

5. Please note if you would propose alternative approaches and SOW inclusions to achieve the  stated objectives than what is outlined in the RFI.  

6. Do you have any other feedback or recommendations on the draft SOW? Please reference  the page number and specific section of the draft SOW in the response.  

7. The name and address of the organization; and Primary Point of Contact, Phone Number  and email address.  

8. Illustrative non-binding ideas for activities that the respondent might consider doing in  partnership with ATI in Southern Africa. 

1. Purpose  

The USAID Africa Trade and Investment (ATI) Program seeks a regional partner or partners to  provide technical and management support to an upcoming multi-year regional activity in the  Southern Africa region, titled the Southern Africa Trade Market Systems Activity.  

2. Background  

USAID Southern Africa (USAID/SA) has had an active trade and investment program running  within its portfolio since 2017 and slated to finish in September 2022. The USAID Southern Africa  Trade and Investment Hub (USAID TradeHub) engages with partners across Southern Africa to  increase sustainable economic growth, global export competitiveness, and trade. It supports these  objectives by increasing exports from Southern African countries to South Africa and to the United  States under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and boosting capital and technology  flows from South Africa to other Southern African countries. The USAID TradeHub works with  market actors to identify and resolve enterprise constraints and to implement sustainable solutions  through market-based trade and investment facilitation services. The USAID TradeHub partners  with the USAID Bilateral Missions through the USAID/SA to successfully deliver its three  interlinked objectives:  

1. Exports increased from targeted Southern African countries to South Africa  2. Investment increased from South Africa to targeted Southern African countries  3. Sustainable utilization of AGOA opportunities by targeted Southern African countries  

Building on previous work and the successes under the USAID Trade Hub, the Southern Africa  Trade Market Systems Activity will take a market systems approach to promote regional economic  growth in line with USAID Southern Africa’s 2020-2025 Regional Development Cooperation  Strategy (RDCS). USAID/SA seeks to sustain the significant progress made on the USAID  TradeHub through a buy-in program activity under ATI from October 2022 to September 2026,  titled Southern Africa Trade Market Systems Activity. The USAID TradeHub achieved cumulative  exports from the region to South Africa of $49 million, $180 million from Southern Africa to the  U.S. and $212 million in investment and financing.  

To further these successes, the buy-in will focus on: 1) increasing agricultural exports from targeted  Southern African countries to South Africa and 2) boosting sustainable utilization of AGOA and  GSP opportunities in the agriculture and agribusiness sector by targeted Southern African countries.  To do this, activities under the buy-in will address market incentives, behaviors, and relationships  that impede the region’s trade competitiveness in three target market systems:  

 Trade promotion system refers to mechanisms linking supply with demand and helping  exporters identify and meet these demands. Trade promotion activities are about raising  awareness of agricultural trade opportunities among market actors; 

 Trade enhancing services system, encompasses the sets of services that increase export  competitiveness and functional ability to export. Trade enhancing service include all activities  that build the export firms’ capacity to respond to the demand in the end markets in South  Africa and the U.S.; and  

 Supply chain management system deals with linking buyers to a robust supplier base and  support to meet buyer needs. The activities in this market system relate to the core market  functions of linking export firms to buyers with their products and services.  

While ATI will initially focus on these three market systems, this list may be modified as  opportunities and needs emerge and as USAID funding allows. The activity will operate primarily  in the following Southern African countries: Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar,  Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zambia.  

3. Contract Objectives  

In order to implement the titled Southern Africa Trade Market Systems Activity and the focus areas  outlined above, ATI requires day-to-day technical and operational capacity to support and  implement buy-in activities. The overall objective of this Contract is to identify regional partner(s)  to provide technical and operational support services through a subcontract(s) for the delivery of  services in alignment with the objectives of the Southern Africa Trade Market Systems Activity.  These services could be provided through personnel and/or other direct costs as proposed by the  respondent.  

The two objectives to be achieved through the Contract are:  

Objective 1: Provide streamlined day-to-day, long-term personnel services with experience in  running regional trade activities that will allow the USAID Southern Africa Buy-In to meet its  technical and operational needs. The services must be delivered in close synchronization with  ATI programming and personnel for seamless delivery. This should include a suite of options  

such as operations, monitoring & evaluation (M&E) and advanced technical expertise  dependent on evolving needs – with a focus on personnel bringing relevant, extensive  experience in these areas. This may include, but is not limited to, the provision of services for:  

 Country Representatives whereby services are provided in-country for all or a portion of  the eleven countries within USAID Southern Africa’s purview, leading technical design  and implementation within the country.  

 Niche trade expertise in order to strengthen ecosystem actors, provide knowledge of  specific priority value chains, make market linkages, increase trade deals and exports,  etc.  

 AGOA and AfCFTA expertise and services.  

 Administrative support to ensure technical work is compliant and tied to the rest of  ATI’s programming, such as Monitoring & Evaluation data capture, financial tracking,  logistical support, etc. 

Objective 2: Provide ad hoc services and support for periodic needs, such as event management  support, communications surge support, etc.  

The subcontractor(s) will also be responsible for ensuring seamless integration with ATI  programming and personnel, as well as ensuring adherence to flow-down clauses from the ATI  contract regarding MEL, Gender, and Environmental and Social Risk Management considerations. 

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