Using the online grant application portal
  • The portal can be accessed using all standard web browsers (Firefox, Internet Explorer and Windows)
  • Click 'Save Draft' to avoid losing data you have already keyed in. It is recommended that you frequently click 'Save Draft' especially if you experience poor internet connection.
  • To create an account:
    • Enter the AFT URL on your browser: www.aftfund.org
    • Click on ‘Concept Note Submission’ on the Grant Application' menu tab
    • Register to create a Username and Password
    • Upon successful account creation, you will receive an email confirmation with instructions on how to change your password
    • Return to the AFT website and update your log in details with the a new password
    • Keep your log in details safe as you will need them to access the portal to update your application.

If you already have an AFT account, you do not need to go through Step 1 to Step 4 above. Simply click on 'Log In' (located on top right hand corner of the webiste) and access the portal using your already created Username and Password.

Remember, you can make any changes to your application as long as it is not yet Submitted. 

Welcome to the AFT online grant application portal

Welcome to the AFT online grant application portal

PLEASE NOTE: Registration or submission of a Concept Note or submission of the Full Technical Application through this online portal does not guarantee an AFT grant award. Grants are awarded based on a competitive evaluation process.

The grant application process is in three sequential steps:

 

1. Eligibility Screening

Applicants are required to answer 'Yes' or 'No' 6 to questions outlined in the Eligibility Screening. Only grant applicants who pass the Eligibility Screening will have access to the Concept Note Submission stage.

 

2. Concept Note Submission

This stage is preceded by the Eligibility Screening stage. Applicants who pass the Eligibility Screening stage will have 2 weeks to submit a Concept Note through the grant application portal on this website. Applicants will be informed of the evaluation results of their Concept Notes within 4 weeks after the Concept Notes submission.

3. Full Technical Application

This is preceded by the Concept Note submission stage. Only applicants whose Concept Notes pass the selection criteria will be invited within 4 weeks to submit a Full Technical Application. Applicants will be informed of the evaluation results of their Full Technical Application within 6 weeks after the Full Technical Application submission.

You will need to register and create your Grant application user account on the AFT portal in order to access the first step of the process, Eligibility Screening. Registration is free.

See How to Apply. Click here

It is recommended that you do not print your application summary from the online portal. A copy of your Concept Note and Full Technical Application will be sent to your email in PDF format when you complete the submission process. It will also be accessible any time you need it from the AFT account you created. This PDF will have all information that you have entered during the application.

If you are interested in applying for an AFT grant, you will need to create an account. Please click here to proceed.

This online grant application portal will be disabled after the application deadline, on 16 May 2017.

Thank you for your interest in applying for a grant from the Agriculture Fast Track Fund (AFT).  Before proceeding with the application, please read the information below carefully.

    AFT Overview


    The AFT is a grant making facility to support the preparation of agriculture infrastructure investments in Africa. The AFT is intended to support the costs of project preparation activities for financially sound, environmentally sustainable, and socially beneficial food security investments. The AFT provides grant funds to cover investment preparation costs such as business plan development, market research, financial modelling, feasibility studies, and environmental and social impact studies. The goal of the AFT is to unlock financing agriculture infrastructure projects by defraying the initial preparation costs that investment sponsors are unable to shoulder alone.

    Concept Note submission and Full Technical Application Instructions

    • Please complete all applicable fields of the Concept Note form.
    • Please complete all applicable fields of the Full Technical Application form.
    • Please be certain to attach any required supporting documentation, including CVs where required.
    • Applicants may address questions regarding the completion of these forms to: AFTHelp@afdb.org

    AFT Concept Note Grant Selection Criteria:
    Applications for an AFT Grant will be evaluated on the following criteria: 

    1. General management Experience
    2. Planned investment and financing plan for the investment project
    3. Project preparation activities, and requested for AFT Grant.
    4. Expected Outputs and Impact of Overall Planned Investment and Project Preparation

    AFT Full Technical Application Grant Selection Criteria
     Full Technical Applications for an AFT grant will be evaluated on the following criteria:

    1. Additionality: This is the degree of impact that the AFT grant would have on either accessing financing, or speeding up the process. In other words, the project would not be financed without additional project preparatory work that would require an AFT grant.
    2. Bankability: This is the level of interaction/interest with financiers and the depth of previous experience raising similar types of capitals. In addition, what is project owners’ equity contribution for this investment?
    3. Management capacity of the applicant: Years of general management experience, industry-specific technical experience, and geographically relevant regional experience.
    4. Realism of the market assumptions underlying your project investment: A thorough understanding of the target market and a concrete market entry, sales and distribution plan to move products there - market size, fragmentation (customer/competition/supplier), regulatory environment and growth rates
    5. Smallholder impact: The number of direct and indirect smallholder beneficiaries
    6. Contribution to food security: The impact of the investment on ensuring sufficient quantities of food available on a consistent basis, as well as the impact of the investment on having sufficient resources to obtain appropriate foods for a nutritious diet
    7. Environmental and social impacts: The degree of environmental impact/risk, including positive and negative impacts, and the level of mitigation of negative impact
    8. Impact on gender: The importance of women to the overall investment, the level or degree of positive impact (low, medium, or high), the number of direct and indirect women beneficiaries (expressed as a ratio to total project size/cost),  a clear definition of the benefit (increased earnings, access to markets, access to water, health, sanitation, etc.) and participation of women in ownership/management.

    Grant Process

    Applications for grants can only be submitted by invited local or international businesses or from government offices whose Concept Notes have been approved by AFT. The applicant must be the principal promoter of the investment. Applications will not be accepted from intermediaries.

    The AFT Grants are administered by the AFT Coordinating Unit (CU) of the African Development Bank. Grant applications are received and reviewed by the CU. Applications that are deemed potentially suitable for an AFT grant will then be reviewed by an independent review committee of the AFT. Applicants will be notified of the decision regarding their grant application at the end of that process. The expected duration of this process, from acceptance of a grant application through final decision and applicant notification varies according to the grant amount requested: 28 days for grants up to US$ 500,000; 28 days for grants between US$ 500,000 and US$ 1m and 60 days for grants above US$ 1m.


    Investment Eligibility

    The AFT will provide grant funding solely for investment preparation costs (not investment implementation) for a broad range of agriculture infrastructure investments spanning the entire value chain from production to market. These investments can be private or public sector projects (or public/private). At present, the AFT is open to supporting investments in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, and Tanzania. These countries are defined within the AFT project and are members of the New Alliance Cooperation Framework. Please note that only owned or co-owned companies already based and registered in the 10 AFT implementation countries in Africa are eligible for an AFT grant.

    Examples of Eligible Investments
    Illustrative examples of the types of agriculture infrastructure investments the AFT could support include (but are not limited to):

    • A marketing plan for a sesame hulling facility supported by a nucleus farm and corresponding out-grower scheme, which will create stronger market linkages for smallholders;
    • A feasibility study for a joint venture to establish a cassava processing operation focused on smallholder farmers that produce high quality cassava flour for the domestic market;
    • An environmental hydrological study for a government or privately sponsored irrigation system that would support smallholder vegetable production.

    Eligible and ineligible project preparation activities for grant uses

    Activities that the AFT can support include:  

    • Feasibility studies 
    • Market research
    • Business plan development 
    • Environmental/social impact assessments
    • Engineering designs and costing
    • Legal and tax advice
    • Advice on investment structuring and financing

    Activities that the AFT cannot support include:

    • Actual construction costs
    • Working capital
    • Employee salaries
    • Training, capacity building, or post-investment technical assistance.

    Grant amounts

    The AFT will provide grants of up to $1.5 (one and a half) million US dollars for qualifying investment preparation costs.

      AFT Concept Note Grant Selection Criteria

      Applications for an AFT Grant will be evaluated on the following criteria: 

      1. General management Experience
      2. Planned investment and financing plan for the investment project
      3. Project preparation activities, and requested for AFT Grant.
      4. Expected Outputs and Impact of Overall Planned Investment and Project Preparation

      AFT Full Technical Application Grant Selection Criteria
       Full Technical Applications for an AFT grant will be evaluated on the following criteria:

      1. Additionality: This is the degree of impact that the AFT grant would have on either accessing financing, or speeding up the process. In other words, the project would not be financed without additional project preparatory work that would require an AFT grant.
      2. Bankability: This is the level of interaction/interest with financiers and the depth of previous experience raising similar types of capitals. In addition, what is project owners’ equity contribution for this investment?
      3. Management capacity of the applicant: Years of general management experience, industry-specific technical experience, and geographically relevant regional experience.
      4. Realism of the market assumptions underlying your project investment: A thorough understanding of the target market and a concrete market entry, sales and distribution plan to move products there - market size, fragmentation (customer/competition/supplier), regulatory environment and growth rates
      5. Smallholder impact: The number of direct and indirect smallholder beneficiaries
      6. Contribution to food security: The impact of the investment on ensuring sufficient quantities of food available on a consistent basis, as well as the impact of the investment on having sufficient resources to obtain appropriate foods for a nutritious diet
      7. Environmental and social impacts: The degree of environmental impact/risk, including positive and negative impacts, and the level of mitigation of negative impact
      8. Impact on gender: The importance of women to the overall investment, the level or degree of positive impact (low, medium, or high), the number of direct and indirect women beneficiaries (expressed as a ratio to total project size/cost),  a clear definition of the benefit (increased earnings, access to markets, access to water, health, sanitation, etc.) and participation of women in ownership/management.

      Grant Process

      Applications for grants can only be submitted by invited local or international businesses or from government offices whose Concept Notes have been approved by AFT. The applicant must be the principal promoter of the investment. Applications will not be accepted from intermediaries.

      The AFT Grants are administered by the AFT Coordinating Unit (CU) of the African Development Bank. Grant applications are received and reviewed by the CU. Applications that are deemed potentially suitable for an AFT grant will then be reviewed by an independent review committee of the AFT. Applicants will be notified of the decision regarding their grant application at the end of that process. The expected duration of this process, from acceptance of a grant application through final decision and applicant notification varies according to the grant amount requested: 28 days for grants up to US$ 500,000; 28 days for grants between US$ 500,000 and US$ 1m and 60 days for grants above US$ 1m.


      Investment Eligibility

      The AFT will provide grant funding solely for investment preparation costs (not investment implementation) for a broad range of agriculture infrastructure investments spanning the entire value chain from production to market. These investments can be private or public sector projects (or public/private). At present, the AFT is open to supporting investments in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, and Tanzania. These countries are defined within the AFT project and are members of the New Alliance Cooperation Framework. Please note that only owned or co-owned companies already based and registered in the 10 AFT implementation countries in Africa are eligible for an AFT grant.

      Examples of Eligible Investments
      Illustrative examples of the types of agriculture infrastructure investments the AFT could support include (but are not limited to):

      • A marketing plan for a sesame hulling facility supported by a nucleus farm and corresponding out-grower scheme, which will create stronger market linkages for smallholders;
      • A feasibility study for a joint venture to establish a cassava processing operation focused on smallholder farmers that produce high quality cassava flour for the domestic market;
      • An environmental hydrological study for a government or privately sponsored irrigation system that would support smallholder vegetable production.

      Eligible and ineligible project preparation activities for grant uses

      Activities that the AFT can support include:  

      • Feasibility studies 
      • Market research
      • Business plan development 
      • Environmental/social impact assessments
      • Engineering designs and costing
      • Legal and tax advice
      • Advice on investment structuring and financing

      Activities that the AFT cannot support include:

      • Actual construction costs
      • Working capital
      • Employee salaries
      • Training, capacity building, or post-investment technical assistance.

      Grant amounts

      The AFT will provide grants of up to $1.5 (one and a half) million US dollars for qualifying investment preparation costs.

        Project Processing Flowchart

        1. Call for Concept Notes

        Announcement for Call of Concept Notes is made on AFT website and other media.

        2. Eligibility screening

        Applicants register on the AFT online grant application portal and answer 6 Eligibility Criteria questions

        FAIL

        Online system automatically rejects ineligible applicants

        3. Concept Note Submission

        Applicants who pass the Eligibility Criteria proceed to submit a Concept Note within 2 weeks after the announcement of the Call for Concept Notes. The deadline for submission of Concept Notes is 15 March 2016.

        4. Concept Note Evaluation

        The AFT Coordinating Unit evaluates submitted Concept Notes and notifies applicants within 4 weeks. Thereafter successful applicants are invited to submit a Full Technical Application.

        FAIL

        Notification is sent to applicants who do not pass this stage.

        6. Evaluation of Full application Review

        The AFT Coordinating Unit evaluates submitted Full Technical Applications and notifies applicants within 6 weeks. Applicants who do not pass the Full Technical Application evaluations are notified.

        FAIL

        Notification is sent to applicants who do not pass this stage.

        7. Procurement

        AFT notifies applicants who pass and are selected the Full Technical Application evaluation. Final successful applicants are invited for Grant Award negotiations. They are also informed to familiarize themselves with the AFT Procurement Process (see Procurement flowchart) and notify their preferred Service Providers to register on the DACON database. An additional list of pre-qualified Service Providers is available on the AFT website.

        8. Negotiations with selected recipents

        During negotiation, selected Grant Recipients are familiarized with the Grant Protocol Agreement, Payment Forms A1 and A2, Reporting Templates, Procurement Plan and Disbursement Plan.

        12. Disbursement

        Service Provider makes first payment request through the Grant Recipient. Requirement for Disbursement are:

        1. Letter from Grant Recipient confirming activities were satisfactorily undertaken
        2. Specimen signature that was used during signing of the Grant Protocol Agreement
        3. Invoice
        4. Inception Report
        5. Signed contract between Service Provider and Grant Recipient
        6. DACON number
        13. Contract completion

        Project is completed between 1 and 6 months. Final Project Report is submitted to AFT within 3 months of project completion. Any pending payment requests should be made to AFT by the Service Provider within 3 months of project completion.

        14. Project Audit

        AFT conducts project audit within 6 months after project closure

        Service Provider completes Deliverable and submits Payment Request Forms and relevant documents to Grant Recipient

        Deliverables Payment as % of Contract Amount
        Submission and Acceptance of Inception/Draft Report 50%
        Submission and Acceptance of Final Report 50%

        Grant Recipient examines the Payment Request, approves it, and sends request for Payment to AFT

        Documents required include:

        • Letter from Grant Recipient confirming activities undertaken
        • Specimen Authorized signature
        • Invoice
        • Inception/Draft Report Report
        • Signed contract between Service Provider and Grant Recipient
        • DACON Number
        • Signed contract between Bank & Recipient

        AFT reviews invoices and documentation and commences payment process

         

         

         

         

         

         

        Service Provider recieves Payment from the Bank