Date: Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Introduction: The African Development Bank Group’s Agriculture and Agro-Industry Department (OSAN), is responsible for the operations and investments in Agriculture and Natural Resources Management, incorporating environmental concerns, as well as promoting development of agro-industries to increase productivity and competitiveness. In May 2013, OSAN established a new Agriculture Fast Track Fund (AFT) supported by a Multi-Donor Trust Fund and managed by the AFT Coordinating Unit (CU) within OSAN. The mission of the AFT is to increase the number of investment‐ready infrastructure projects and Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) by defraying front‐end project development costs and risks that commercial developers or Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) are unable to shoulder alone. During its first phase, the AFT is considering investment projects in the six New Alliance countries (Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mozambique, and Tanzania). The AFT may be extended to other Regional Member Countries (RMCs) in the future. The intention is to establish a demand driven, efficient Fund that will ‘fast track’ promising agricultural ideas and businesses into bankable investments. AFT provides grants to investors to underwrite the costs of technical assistance necessary for projects to become bankable. Funded activities include (but not limited to): scoping assessments, feasibility studies, market analyses, community consultations, environmental and social impact assessments and other project development activities.

The AFT actively liaises with like‐minded facilities to leverage support for eligible projects. The fund targets a broad range of agriculture infrastructure projects spanning the entire value chain ‐ from production to market. These can emanate from the private or public sector and from local or international businesses including other Development Finance Institutions (DFIs). The types of projects supported range from rural feeder roads to agro‐processing facilities to out‐grower scheme support. There are a number of areas in which the AFT will need in-house expertise and experience in procurement and disbursement to support its operations:

  • The grants to be provided will be used for project preparation activities that will assist the investors in developing credible financing proposals to commercial banks, private equity/debt institutions, and/or DFIs (such as the IFC or the AfDB).
  • The grants may also be used to procure the services of experts to advise on structuring the investments and financing, counselling investors on discussions and negotiations with potential lenders, undertaking of feasibility studies or market analyses.
  • The grant recipient (or grantee) will be expected to follow the Bank’s rules and procedures in procuring services for the project preparation activities and thus will require guidance in their use. In addition, the fund will also require support in establishing streamlined disbursement processes.
  • The AFT will apply the AfDB Rules and Procedures for the procurement of services for both the public and private sector project proposals that will be received. The Rules and Procedures will be applied in the context provided in the AFT Operating Guidelines.

OSAN is therefore looking for the relevant procurement and disbursement expertise for both the private and public sectors to strengthen the internal capacity of the AFT Coordinating Unit. In this regard, it is planning to recruit an Operations consultant to work in collaboration with the Procurement and Fiduciary Services Department (ORPF) and the Financial Control and Financial Management Department (FFCO) of the Bank that have the mandate over project procurement and disbursement activities. The consultant will work directly with the AFT Coordinating Unit but will technically report to the Managers of ORPF.1 and FFCO.2. The consultant will also work closely with the respective department advisors on the AFT’s Technical Review Committee.

Qualifications

The candidate must have a minimum of a Master’s degree in any of the development disciplines but mainly: Agriculture, Engineering, Procurement, Finance, Economics and Law. Proven work experience in disbursement and procurement functions for an International Financial Institution is a must. Good understanding of related Procurement and Disbursement Procedures and Guidelines is paramount.

Key skills, knowledge and experience include:

  • Strong knowledge of procurement and disbursement rules and regulation including those internationally recognized;
  • At least twenty years working experience in executing procurement and disbursement functions in both public and private sector. S/he should have hands on experience in preparing tender and contract documents for national and international competitive bidding, defining and streamlining procurement and disbursement processes preferably for Private Sector enterprises;
  • Considerable knowledge of purchasing methods and procedures: working knowledge of sources of supplies, price trends and grades or quality of materials and equipment;
  • Ability to work as part of a team, good interpersonal communication and project management skills, resourcefulness and attention to details;
  • Solid verbal and written communication skills: Ability to listen and ascertain the needs of clients; ability to find and communicate accurate information concerning process, policies and procedures to customers; and ability to respond to clients tactfully and courteously. Ability to prepare procurement documents, management briefs and communicate effectively in English and/ or French with a working knowledge of the other language; and
  • High integrity and accountability in all aspects of project procurement & disbursement; Specific Tasks The Consultant will be part of the Coordination Unit Team that will screen, review and recommend proposals for approval or rejection.

S/he will therefore fully take part in this activity. In addition, the Operations expert will provide guidance to the Coordinating Unit to facilitate fine tuning of procurement and disbursement processes to align with AFT’s mandate. Under the general supervision of the Supervising Manager of the AFT Coordinating Unit, the Consultant will contribute technical inputs to the AFT’s operational activities relating to processing procurement applications and building capacity of applicants in procurement and providing guidance to Field Office Task Managers on managing procurement within the fast track framework of the AFT. In addition the Operations expert will work with focal points in key departments e.g. FFCO, FRMB, CGSP, ORPF to refine and streamline procurement and disbursement processes for the fund.

The Consultant will therefore:

  • Participate in calls for proposals, screening and review of grant applications for financing;
  • Undertake assessment of grantees procurement capacity;
  • Provide technical services and advice related to procurement and disbursement, aligning AfDB’s rules and procedures with streamlined procurement and disbursement processes that support expediency and meet the needs of AFT grantees;
  • Review AFT tender documents, and undertake post procurement reviews on contracts as required;
  • Provide inputs and support processing for Operational and Financial audits;
  • Monitor and assist in assuring the quality of procurement plans (where need be) and their implementation under AFT grants, and oversee their revision.
  • Participate in grant negotiations;
  • Assist in monitoring grants implementation, mainly through desk reviews;
  • Train and advise applicants and other relevant stakeholders on AfDB rules and procedures for procurement of services, and all aspects related to procurement and disbursement;
  • Conduct desk review of Project Completion Reports;
  • Participate in the preparation & reporting on the Annual Work program and budget;
  • Travel as required for supervision and guidance on procurement and disbursement matters for grantees;
  • Perform any other duty pertinent to the role and functions of the AFT as may be assigned by the Supervising Manager of the AFT Coordination Unit.

Duration: The consultancy assignment is expected to last six months with the possibility of renewal.

Deliverables: Proposed deliverables include but will not be limited to:

  • Procurement and Disbursement Guidance Notes & management briefs;
  • Quality review and Assessment of grant applications during project syndication;
  • Inputs to: TORs, BTORs, Progress Reports, portfolio management missions;
  • Procurement plans;
  • Inputs for contract monitoring and disbursement tracking

Commencement Date: The date of commencement is first quarter of 2015.

To apply for this position, please send your CV to aft@afdb.org before Friday, 20th March 2015