The Economic Community of West African States ("ECOWAS") Commission has received funding from the Agence Française de Développement ("AFD"), and intends to use part of it to make payments under the Projet d'appui à l'Offensive Lait en Afrique de l'Ouest (PAOLAO).
The purpose of the respondent's services will be to provide support to the Project Coordination Unit (PCU) at ECOWAS for the overall coordination and management of the project. The expected services are detailed in Appendix 1.
ECOWAS invites candidates to express their interest in providing the services described above.
This Call for Expressions of Interest is aimed at consulting firms and groups of consulting firms.
The eligibility criteria for AFD financing are specified in Article 1.3 of the "Directives pour la Passation des Marchés financés par l'AFD dans les Etats étrangers", available online on the AFD website: http://www.afd.fr.
Candidates may submit only one application in their own name or as a group. If a candidate (including a member of a grouping) submits or participates in several applications, these will be eliminated. However, the same Sub-Contractor may participate in several applications.
If the applicant is a consortium, the expression of interest must include:
- a copy of the Grouping agreement concluded by all its members,
- a letter of intent to form a consortium, signed by all its members and accompanied by a copy of the proposed consortium agreement.
In the absence of this document, the other members will be considered subcontractors.
The references and qualifications of subcontractors are not taken into account in the evaluation of applications.
Interested candidates must provide information demonstrating that they are qualified and experienced to perform these services. In this respect, they must provide evidence that they have references for recent and similar services.
The similarity of the references will be analysed on the basis of :
- The scale of the markets ;
- The nature of the Services: coordination and implementation of programmes/projects, particularly regional projects, involving several stakeholders;
- Field and technical expertise: expertise in agricultural policies, regional integration, value chain development approaches and in particular those relating to the dairy sector, issues of productivity, processing, taxation, regulation and trade, employability, food and nutritional security, gender issues, financial engineering, communication and visibility, as well as institutional and human capacity building;
- Geographical context: experience in West Africa (within the fifteen (15) ECOWAS Member States as well as Chad, Mauritania and Cameroon), in particular with the various stakeholders working on value chain issues, in particular the local milk sector, food security and nutrition, in at least two ECOWAS institutional languages; and
- The network of candidates and their ability to rapidly mobilise skills outside their core business.
Their references (active telephone contacts and/or e-mail addresses of beneficiaries or lessors) must be specified for each experience presented.
ECOWAS will draw up a short list of a maximum of six (6) candidates, pre-selected on the basis of the applications received, and after AFD has given its opinion that there are no objections, it will send the Request for Proposals for the provision of the required services.
The application form :
- Must contain the following items:
- Letter of expression of interest (drawn up in accordance with the model in Annex 2) ;
- If the Candidate is a consortium: a copy of the consortium agreement or a letter of intent to form a consortium;
- The duly signed Declaration of Integrity (model in Appendix 3) ;
- A brochure presenting the design office or consortium;
- A list of references for recent similar services (free format);
- Must not exceed thirty (30) pages all inclusive (excluding the presentation brochure); and
- Will consist of a single (1) non-editable PDF document.
- Any application that is incomplete and/or arrives after the deadline will be automatically rejected.
Annex 1 - Presentation of the mission
1 - BACKGROUND
The local dairy industry directly provides jobs and income for a wide range of stakeholders: farmers, collectors, dairy workers, dairy product vendors, input and service suppliers. As milking is traditionally a female activity, unlike grazing, the sector also helps to combat gender inequalities by providing direct income to the wives of pastoralists. Milk also plays an important nutritional role in the region, thanks in particular to the distribution of milk as part of school canteen programmes.
Despite its significant contribution to the economies of West African countries, the local milk sector faces enormous challenges. These challenges can be seen at every level of the value chain: milk production (cattle feed), collection, processing and consumption (competition from dairy products made from imported milk powder). Demand for milk and dairy products is constantly rising, under the triple effect of population growth in the region, increasing urbanisation and, above all, changes in the eating habits of a growing number of consumers. This demand is only partially met by local supply, which, although it has seen some improvement in recent years, remains weak and seasonal. This shortfall, coupled with insufficiently protectionist trade policies and the international development strategies of European dairy multinationals, has encouraged massive imports of dairy products, particularly milk powder fattened with vegetable fats (VFM), the low prices of which are one of the main constraints on the development of local milk value chains in West Africa and the Sahel.
To meet the specific challenges of the dairy sector, in 2020 ECOWAS adopted a regional strategy for the promotion of local milk value chains in West Africa ("Milk Offensive") and a corresponding Regional Priority Investment Plan, estimated at CFAF 2,844 billion over a 10-year period. Milk is one of the five strategic agricultural sectors selected by the ECOWAS agricultural policy (ECOWAP, adopted in 2005) in view of its economic and socio-cultural importance in the region.
2 - DESCRIPTION OF THE PAOLAO
2.1 - Objectives
This five (5)-year project, Projet d'appui à l'Offensive lait en Afrique de l'Ouest, aims to support ECOWAS in steering and implementing its regional strategy to promote local milk value chains in West Africa ("Milk Offensive") and reduce the region's growing dependence on imports of milk powder and dairy products.
The objectives of this pilot phase are as follows:
- General objective: To support ECOWAS in steering and implementing the regional strategy for promoting local milk value chains in West Africa;
- Specific objectives:
S.O.1. Support ECOWAS in steering and implementing the milk sector strategy;
S.O.2. Support the structuring of the local milk sector;
O.S.3. Promote the consumption of local milk.
Project activities will be carried out in all 15 ECOWAS member countries, as well as Mauritania, Chad and Cameroon involved in the implementation of the Milk Offensive.
2.2 - Expected effects
- ECOWAS has been strengthened in its role of steering and implementing its regional strategy to support the local milk sector ("Milk offensive"), and of mobilising funding to support this sector;
- The local dairy industry is better structured and organised, both regionally and nationally;
- Local milk is better recognised and consumed in West Africa;
- Technical and financial partners and the private sector are increasing their funding for this sector.
A cross-cutting gender approach will be developed in order to reduce inequalities and ensure that women benefit in the same way as men from the results generated by the project.
2.3 - Procedure
The ECOWAS Commission, through its various departments (Economic Affairs and Agriculture Department; Directorate of Agriculture and Rural Development - DADR; Regional Agency for Agriculture and Food - RAAA), is acting as project manager.
The project is structured around three operational components and a fourth component dedicated to its overall coordination:
- Support for ECOWAS in steering and implementing the regional strategy for promoting local milk value chains in West Africa;
- Support for the structuring of the local milk sector ;
- Promoting the consumption of local milk;
- Project coordination and management.
2.4 - Cost and financing
The total cost of the project will be financed by an AFD grant estimated at €11,000,000.
3 - EXPECTED SERVICES
Within the framework of the Project, the ECOWAS Commission will be responsible for the operational planning and technical implementation of the activities set out in the Project's contractual documents.
As part of the implementation of the Project, it is envisaged that part of the funding will be used to hire Consultants to support the ECOWAS Commission in the overall coordination and management of the Project.
3.1 - Presentation of services
Within the framework of this call for tenders, the Consultancy or its Consortium will propose the mobilisation of a Project Coordination Unit (PCU). It will demonstrate its ability to have the technical and administrative capacity to meet the needs of ECOWAS.
The UCP will have primary responsibilities:
- strengthen the DADR's means and capacities for coordination with other initiatives underway at regional and national level;
- to provide technical and financial administrative support for the day-to-day management of activities, and in particular to report to the ARAA, the DADR and the AFD through the reporting system put in place, the organisation of Steering Committee meetings and periodic reports in accordance with the procedures of each of these institutions;
- deliver some of the cross-functional expertise (procurement and dedicated plan monitoring, administration and accounting, backstopping, ad hoc support, etc.) and specialist short-term expertise; and ) and specialised short-term expertise; and
- build the capacity of the RAAA's common services (in communication, monitoring-evaluation, accounting, procurement, etc.).
The PCU will have to act as an interface between the RAAA (the technical divisions and the Executive Directorate) and AFD by ensuring that all deliverables and contractual documents sent by the RAAA to AFD as part of the implementation of the Project are submitted in accordance with the planned timetable and are qualitatively and formally compliant with the requirements and procedures set out in the Financing Agreement signed between this institution and ECOWAS. These procedures will also be set out in an Administrative, Operational and Financial Procedures Manual which the PCU will be required to ensure is properly applied.
The PCU will be made up of the following four (4) "permanent" experts:
- 1 coordinator (with strong technical skills in political, tax and regulatory issues) ;
- 1 expert (with strong technical skills in value chain approaches) ;
- 1 assistant to the project coordinator, responsible for the administrative aspects of the operational management of the activities (including the "monitoring-evaluation" and "procurement/call for proposals" aspects);
- 1 financial expert (in charge of programming and executing special account funding and disbursement operations, accounting and financial reporting, etc. in permanent liaison with the team of experts based in Abuja).
The project would be coordinated from Abuja (Nigeria) within the DADR, embodied by the first two experts mentioned above, while administrative and financial management would be carried out from Lomé (Togo) within the RAAA by the other two staff mentioned.
In addition, the service will also provide for the mobilisation of short-term expertise specialising in employment, gender, monitoring-evaluation, taxation, collection systems, quality signs and communication. This short-term expertise will be used 1) to backstop the project coordination team; and 2) to carry out studies as part of the project.
Details of each of these positions and the expertise required will be provided in the Terms of Reference of the Request for Proposals, which will subsequently be sent to the Candidates selected to appear on the shortlist of candidates following the call for expressions of interest.
Annex 2 - Model letter of expression of interest
For the attention of Mr Ousseini SALIFOU, Executive Director
Regional Agency for Agriculture and Food (ARAA)
83 Rue de la Pâture (Super Taco), 01 BP 4817 - Lomé, Togo
Telephone: +228 22 21 40 03
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
I, the undersigned [____], have the honour to express my interest in providing the services of a Project Coordination Unit to the ECOWAS Commission for the overall coordination and management of the "Support Project to the West African Milk Offensive" (PAOLAO), in accordance with your Call No. [____] issued on [date].
I acknowledge and accept :
- that ECOWAS reserves the right to cancel the procedure and to reject all Proposals at any time prior to the award of the contract, without thereby incurring any liability whatsoever to me,
- if the Financing Agreement between AFD and ECOWAS is not signed, none of the Proposals received will be accepted.
Name of Consultant :
Consultant's signature :
Appendix 3 - Statement of Integrity, Eligibility and Environmental and Social Responsibility
(To be provided signed with the application, without modification of the text)
Statement of integrity, eligibility and environmental and social responsibility
Title of the bid or proposal _______________________________________ (the "Contract")
A: _______________________________________________ (the "Contracting Authority")
- We acknowledge and accept that the Agence Française de Développement (the "AFD") only finances the projects of the Contracting Authority on its own terms and conditions which are determined by the Financing Agreement which links it directly or indirectly to the Contracting Authority. Consequently, there can be no legal relationship between AFD and our company, our consortium, our suppliers, contractors, consultants and subcontractors. The Contracting Authority retains exclusive responsibility for the preparation and implementation of the procurement process and its execution. Depending on whether the contract is for works, supplies, equipment, intellectual services (consultants) or other services, the Contracting Authority may also be referred to as the Contracting Authority, Client or Purchaser.
- We certify that we are not, and none of our group members, suppliers, contractors, consultants and subcontractors are, in any of the following:
2.1 Be in a state of or have been the subject of bankruptcy, liquidation, judicial settlement, safeguard or cessation of activity proceedings, or be in any similar situation resulting from a similar procedure;
2.2Have been subject to :
- A conviction for fraud, bribery, or any other crime committed in connection with the award or performance of a contract that was handed down within the last five years by a judgment that has the force of res judicata in the country where the Contract is being performed (in the event of such a conviction, we may attach to this Integrity Statement additional information that would make it possible to consider that the conviction is not relevant to the Contract);
- An administrative sanction imposed within the last five years by the European Union or by the competent authorities of the country in which we are established, for fraud, corruption or any other offence committed in connection with the award or performance of a contract (in the event of such a sanction, we may attach to this Integrity Statement any additional information that would make it possible to consider that such a sanction is not relevant to the Contract);
- A conviction handed down within the last five years by a judgment having the force of res judicata, for fraud, corruption or any offence committed in the context of the award or performance of a contract financed by AFD;
2.3 To be included in the lists of financial sanctions adopted by the United Nations, the European Union and/or France, in particular to combat the financing of terrorism and violations of international peace and security;
2.4Have been terminated to our sole detriment within the last five years for serious or persistent failure to comply with our contractual obligations in the performance of a previous contract, provided that such sanction has not been challenged by us in the course of the contract or has resulted in a court decision reversing the termination to our sole detriment;
2.5Failure to meet our obligations to pay taxes in accordance with the legal provisions of the country where we are established or those of the country of the Contracting Authority;
2.6Be subject to a debarment decision by the World Bank and be listed as such at http://www.worldbank.org/debarr (in the event of such a debarment decision, we may attach to this Integrity Statement additional information that would make it possible to consider that the debarment decision is not relevant to the Contract);
2. 7Falsely documenting or misrepresenting information required by the Contracting Authority in this procurement process.
- We certify that we are not, and none of our group members or our suppliers, contractors, consultants and subcontractors are, in any of the following conflict of interest situations:
3. 1Shareholder controlling the Contracting Authority or subsidiary controlled by the Contracting Authority, unless the resulting conflict has been brought to the attention of the AFD and resolved to its satisfaction.
3.2Have a business or family relationship with a member of the Contracting Authority's staff involved in the procurement process or supervision of the resulting Contract, unless the resulting conflict has been brought to the attention of AFD and resolved to its satisfaction;
3.3Controlling or being controlled by another bidder or consultant, being under the control of the same company as another bidder or consultant, receiving from another bidder or consultant or awarding to another bidder or consultant directly or indirectly any subsidies, having the same legal representative as another bidder or consultant, having direct or indirect contacts with another bidder or consultant enabling us to have and give access to information contained in our respective bids or proposals, to influence them, or to influence the decisions of the Contracting Authority;
3.4Be engaged for an intellectual service mission which, by its nature, is likely to be incompatible with our missions on behalf of the Contracting Authority;
3.5In the case of a procedure for the award of a works, supply or equipment contract :
- Prepared ourselves or were associated with a consultant who prepared specifications, plans, calculations and other documents used in the procurement process;
- We, or any of the firms with which we are affiliated, are engaged, or are to be engaged, by the Contracting Authority to carry out the supervision or control of the work under the Contract.
- If we are a public institution or a public enterprise, in order to participate in a competitive tendering procedure, we certify that we have legal and financial autonomy and that we are managed according to the rules of commercial law.
- We undertake to inform the Contracting Authority without delay, which will inform the AFD, of any change in the situation with regard to points 2 to 4 above.
- In connection with the award and performance of the Contract :
6.1We have not and will not commit any unfair manoeuvre (act or omission) intended to deliberately deceive others, intentionally conceal matters from them, surprise or vitiate their consent or cause them to circumvent legal or regulatory obligations and/or violate their internal rules in order to obtain an illegitimate benefit.
6.2We have not and will not commit any unfair manoeuvre (action or omission) contrary to our legal or regulatory obligations and/or our internal rules in order to obtain an illegitimate benefit.
6.3We have not promised, offered or granted, and will not promise, offer or grant, directly or indirectly, to ( i) any Person holding a legislative, executive, administrative or judicial office in the State of the Contracting Authority, whether appointed or elected, whether permanent or not, whether paid or unpaid, and whatever their level of authority, (ii) any other Person who performs a public function, including for a public body or public enterprise, or who provides a public service, or (iii) any other Person defined as a public official in the State of the Contracting Authority, an undue advantage of any kind, for himself or for another person or entity, in order that he may perform or refrain from performing any act in the exercise of his official functions.
6.4We have not promised, offered or given, and will not promise, offer or give, directly or indirectly, to any Person who directs or works for a private sector entity, in any capacity, an improper advantage of any kind, for himself or herself or for another Person or entity, to do or refrain from doing any act in violation of his or her legal, contractual or professional obligations.
6.5We have not done and will not do anything that would influence the procurement process to the detriment of the Contracting Authority, including, without limitation, any anti-competitive practice that has the purpose or effect of preventing, restricting, or distorting competition, including by limiting access to the Contract or free competition by other firms.
6.6We , or any member of our consortium, or any of our subcontractors will not acquire or supply equipment and will not operate in areas under United Nations, European Union or French embargo.
6.7We undertake to comply with, and to ensure that all our subcontractors comply with, internationally recognized environmental and social standards, including the core conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and international conventions for the protection of the environment, consistent with the laws and regulations applicable in the country where the Contract is performed. In addition, we undertake to implement environmental and social risk mitigation measures where indicated in the environmental and social management plan provided by the Contracting Authority.
- We, the members of our consortium, our suppliers, contractors, consultants and subcontractors authorize AFD to examine the documents and records relating to the award and performance of the Contract and to submit them for verification to auditors appointed by AFD.
Name: __________________________________ As : ________________________________
As of : ______________________________________________________________________
Expressions of Interest must be sent to the following address: email@example.com , with a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com ; with the subject "AMI PAOLAO - UCP", no later than : 20 Jully, 2023 at 12:00 GMT (UTC).
Interested candidates may obtain additional information five (5) working days before the date of submission of the manifestos at the same e-mail addresses, with the subject "AMI PAOLAO - UCP - Request for Information.".