Individual Consultant: Business Development Consultant for the Agri-food SME Catalytic Financing Mechanism

The African Development Bank (AfDB)
  • Location
    Abidjan, Cote D'ivoire
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Jul 29

Position description

The African Development Bank hereby invites Individual Consultants to indicate their interest in the following Assignment: Individual Consultant: Business Development Consultant for the Agri-food SME Catalytic Financing Mechanism.


The role of agri-SMEs and their critical importance to meeting the Feed Africa strategy goals are well recognized.  Up to 80% of all food consumed across the African continent is produced, transported, processed and sold by SMEs. They also constitute up to 70% of formal employment in SSA and up to 90% in the informal sector.  Despite this, agri-SMEs in Africa are critically underfunded with an annual financing gap of approx. $100bn for enterprises with financing needs between $25K and $5m. This gap has been further exacerbated by Covid-19 and the pressure it has put on SMEs operating within agri-food supply chains. 

To advance and accelerate the Feed Africa strategy, there is a growing commitment to enhance support to agri-SMEs financing and growth. Consistent with a Bank wide effort to increase investments in SME programs and their impact across sectors, the Feed Africa team aims to (i) mobilize concessionary impact capital from donors to flexibly deploy it in targeted blended financing structures attractive to SMEs, (ii) support targeted advisory and business development to increase investments in bankable agri-SMEs, (iii) build partnership that could lead to impactful largescale agri-SME support projects through either private operations, or integrated into public operations or through innovative PPP projects, (iv) coordinate and manage the activities necessary to structure a fund to invest in agri-SMEs, and (v) Ensure monitoring of key KPIs and capitalize on lessons learned.

In order to help achieve these goals the Bank has set up The Agri-Food SME Catalytic Financial Mechanism (ACFM Special Fund) in collaboration with the Canadian Government. This is a 100 million CAD blended finance facility hosted at the Bank and will co-finance targeted operations along with the Bank.  The ACFM provides long-term concessional capital in the form of senior and subordinated debts, alongside technical assistance to catalyze financing and de-risk investments in agri-SMEs servicing the agri-food ecosystem in Regional Member Countries. The ACFM aims at leveraging private capital investments that will channel through financial and commercial intermediaries to support inclusive and green growth, by investing in a portfolio of gender-oriented and climate resilient agri-SMEs along the agri-food value chain.

In that context, the objective of the assignment is to support the origination and the pipeline development for ACFM operations and work alongside Bank teams to ensure quality design aligned with ACFM objectives. This includes the identification, screening and evaluation of projects against the ACFM and the Bank’s operational requirements. As much of the support to agri-SMEs will need to be based on principals of inclusiveness, resilience and commercial sustainability, business development activities need to effectively integrate gender-oriented, climate smart, and financial additionality components aligned to ACFM’s impact objectives and the relevant Bank strategies and policies. 

Duties and Responsibilities: Business Development for ACFM operations

The key tasks and deliverables to achieve the objectives of this assignment, will include but not limited to the following:

  1. Originate, structure and develop a strong pipeline of relevant private sector transactions targeting agri-SME financing through capital providers along the key eligibility criteria and impact metrics required by the ACFM and in alignment with the Bank Non-Sovereign Operation guidelines.
  2. Support the ACFM Coordination Unit (CU), launch call for project proposals when required and/or proactively engage with the Bank’s internal and external stakeholders to source transactions eligible to ACFM financing windows (Investment Facility and Technical Assistance Facility).
  3. Support the Coordination Unit screening, reviewing and evaluating project proposals submitted to the Investment Window and/or the Technical Assistance Window of the ACFM in alignment with the ACFM operational documents and the Bank’s guidelines and policies.
  4. Support the Bank operational teams preparing ACFM co-financing projects and guide teams to conduct, analyze and develop the documentation required to access ACFM investment capital and technical assistance grants.
  5. Prepare briefing notes, design power point presentations, and help draft concept notes and knowledge products to socialize and present proposed pipeline projects.
  6. Provide day-to-day technical support to the Fund Manager to execute the Fund’s strategic workplan, procurement, investment plan, supervision, reporting, and general generation and implementation of transactions.
  7. Maintain a pipeline of promising ACFM-eligible operations and a platform that tracks prospective and on-going ACFM co-financing projects and liaise with Bank operations teams to maintain up-to-date records of the state of advancement of operations.
  8. Maintain a data base of contacts relevant to the origination of transaction. Co-monitor the ACFM email account and respond to unsolicited requests for funding and coordinate relevant correspondence with internal and external stakeholders.

         Support the broader business development activities of the ACFM, and the broader Agri-SME agenda as required.


  1. An approved, targeted, and comprehensive business development strategy aligned with ACFM funding requirements and the Bank’s guideline.
  2. A database of prospective ACFM-eligible clients and impactful projects relevant to ACFMs objectives.
  3. A growing portfolio of well-structured, approved, disbursed and performing ACFM investments as well as technical assistance projects. 

Administrative and Technical Reporting

The Business Development Consultant will be part of the ACFM Coordination Unit (CU), which is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund activities, under the supervision of the Fund Manager and the general guidance of the Lead, Agriculture Finance and Rural Development.

Duration of the Assignment

The assignment will be for twelve (12) months with the possibility of extension. The assignment is expected to start in September 2022. Renewal will be subject to budget availability and the Bank’s satisfaction of the consultant’s work.

Application Process and Establishing of a Shortlist

A shortlist of consultants will be established at the end of the stipulated period of request for expressions of interest. Consultants on the shortlist will be assessed based on the following criteria and on the basis of their updated resume:

  • General qualifications and adequacy for the assignment to be undertaken - 25%
  • Experience in the area of the assignment as shown in work samples and understanding of the terms of reference - 55%
  • Experience with the Bank and/or other international development organization -10%
  • Knowledge of the Region (Africa) - 5%
  • Language proficiency- 5%
  • Total -100%


The position is open to nationals of Member Countries of the African Development Bank Group. Interested applicants are encouraged to send an updated Curriculum Vitae. Selected candidates will be asked to participate in a skills assessment exercise including an online evaluation interview. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.


The Consultant will receive a monthly lump sum. No additional benefits or per diems will be paid. The Consultant is responsible for his/her own health insurance and accommodation costs. The Bank will cover full costs of any required missions and provide per-diem in accordance with rules governing consultant mission travel. The Bank will also cover or reimburse any related costs pre-approved and required to carry out deliverables appropriately.

Duty Station

The indicated duty station will be Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire but may be negotiable subject to the Bank’s policy on Working from Home and Return to Office as may apply.

The Hiring Department

As one of the two departments responsible for implementing the Bank’s Feed Africa strategy, the  core mandate of the Agriculture Finance and Rural Development Department (AHFR) is to develop the strategy of the Bank related to agricultural and rural finance and rural development, execute sovereign and non-sovereign operations for the transformation of agricultural value chains, represent the Bank with external stakeholders, provide sector expertise to the regions by gathering experts who can be consulted by operations and closing the financing gap for private sector-led development of agricultural value chains.

The AHFR Department invites Individual Consultants to indicate their interest in providing the above-described services. Interested Consultants shall provide information on their qualifications and experience demonstrating their ability to undertake this Assignment (documents, work samples, reference to similar services, experience in similar assignments, etc.)

The eligibility criteria, the establishment of a short list and the selection procedure shall be in conformity with the Bank’s Procurement Policy and Procedure for Corporate Consultants Recruitment. Please, note that interest expressed by a consultant does not imply any obligation on the part of the Bank to include him/her in the shortlist.

The African Development Bank

Established in 1964, the African Development Bank (the “Bank”) is the premier Pan-African development institution promoting economic growth and social progress across the continent. There are 80 member states, including 54 in Africa (Regional Member Countries). The Bank’s development agenda is delivering the financial and technical support for transformative projects that will significantly reduce poverty through inclusive and sustainable economic growth. In order to sharply focus the objectives of the Ten-Year Strategy (2013 – 2022) and ensure greater developmental impact, five major areas (High 5s) have been identified for scaling up, namely, Light Up and Power Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialize Africa, Integrate Africa and improve the quality of life for Africans.


The Consultant shall demonstrate appropriate qualifications and skills necessary for the assignment as described below:

  • A minimum of a Masters’ degree in Finance, Business Administration, Economics, Accounting, Agricultural Sciences, Development Studies or related field.
  • A minimum of eight (8) years working experience, preferably with a track record of agriculture transactions, SMEs transactions through financial and non-financial intermediaries, including experience in pipeline development, transaction structuring, negotiation skills, project management, project evaluation, due diligence, and clearly   identifiable private sector initiatives implemented in the last three years in the agribusiness/SME space.
  • Excellent technical and financial analytical skills coupled with an established track record in developing a robust pipeline of transactions in the agriculture sector by identifying viable companies and lenders that are ripe for investments including the provision of overall client relationship management
  • Clear track record and experience in the sourcing, structuring and closure of impactful projects with blended financing elements and or co-financing and / or syndications and / or climate finance. Possession of project design/management, reporting and portfolio management skills will be an added advantage.
  • Experience in assessing the commercial viability of financial intermediaries working with small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the agricultural sector is an advantage.
  • Strong knowledge of the African agriculture landscape and agribusiness sector, including context specific issues related to agriculture finance and agriculture risk mitigation and insurance, value chain analysis, markets, opportunities, and innovations.
  • Familiarity with the functioning or previous experience with a multilateral development finance institution, a bilateral institution, investment, or commercial bank.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English and/or French. A good working knowledge of the other language would be an added advantage.
  • Proven ability to manage and deliver products in a timely manner and handle multiple tasks at the same time; and
  • A national of the Bank’s Member Country.

Application instructions

Expressions of interest must be received at the address below no later than Friday, 19th of August 2022 at 17:00 GMT.. Please send your email with the following title in the subject line: Business Development Consultant for the Agri-food SME Catalytic Financing Mechanism to:

Victoria Fajemilehin

Agriculture Finance and Rural Development Department (AHFR) 

E-mail : [email protected]

With copy to [email protected]

Interested Individual Consultants may obtain further information at the address below during the Bank’s working hours.Any questions and requests for clarifications may be sent to: