The African Union’s Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) is a specialized Technical Office of the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment (DARBE). Its mandate is to support and coordinate the sustainable development and utilization of animal resources to enhance nutrition and food security and contribute to the wellbeing and prosperity of the people in the Member States of the African Union (AU). AU-IBAR accomplishes its mandate through supporting and empowering AU Member States, the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), and other stakeholders in the livestock sector.
As part of providing leadership and coordination in the sustainable development of the continent’s Animal Resources, AU-IBAR is implementing a 5-year project on “Sustainable Development of Livestock for Livelihoods in Africa - Live2Africa”, The project pioneers a coherent continental programme approach to build systemic capacity in seven livestock components, that include: Animal Production, Productivity and Ecosystem Management; Resilience Building; Investment in Value Chains, Animal Health; Technology adoption in the Value Chains to inputs, services and markets; and strengthening institutional capacities.
Among the activities that have been undertaken to strengthen linkages and information flow among livestock actors is the development of an online Community of Practice Ecosystem Platform. The platform has several functionalities aimed at:
- Balancing the roles of existing networks and communities of practice and Livestock value chain actors’ ability to interact, learn, identify and solve problems, explore joint opportunities, and promote agricultural innovation along the targeted Regional Livestock Value Chains.
- Supporting information and knowledge sharing among actors in various working groups, organisations, and networks.
- Promoting profiling of livestock value chain actors and their respective activities/ or and agribusiness activities.
During the development phases of the online ecosystem platform, stakeholders identified various enhancements on the platform that would further increase optimum use of the platform to meet user needs and functionality. These include the addition of an e-Market Place. AU-IBAR seeks the services of a consultancy firm to provide e-market place services for a duration of four (4) months.
Globally, the human population is expected to increase by more than 2 billion from around 7.6 billion today to 9.8 billion by 2050. More than half of the global population growth between now and 2050 is expected to occur in Africa and it is projected that Africa’s current population of 1.3 billion will increase by more than 1 billion during this period. Rapid urbanization is expected to continue in developing countries, and the global demand for livestock products will increase significantly in the coming decades.
The African market for animal-sourced foods was estimated at US$ 51 billion annually in 2005/07 (FAOSTAT farm-gate prices). This value is expected to triple by 2050 as it is projected that people in Africa will consume livestock products valued at more than US$ 151 billion annually . Per capita annual consumption of livestock products in Africa is estimated to increase 2 to 8-fold by 2030 to 2050. However, projections also show that African producers will not be able to satisfy the growing demand for livestock products. Several factors account for this weakness, including tariff and non-tariff barriers, multiple and overlapping trade regimes, inadequate public and private sector investments, poor infrastructure, market inefficiencies, etc.
Consequently, imports of animal livestock products are expected to grow much faster than exports, with the net trade balance for all livestock products becoming increasingly negative if the status quo is not changed. With trade mostly focused on primary agricultural products and less diversification into high-value-added products, Africa is less integrated into the world trade in animal products and trades less amongst itself. Over a ten-year average (2010-2019), intra-African export in live animals for example was 27% compared with the continent’s major trading partners: EU-27 (44%) and ASEAN (39%). It is estimated that between 2030 and 2050, 16% to 20% of the beef, pig meat, poultry and milk consumed in Africa will be imported from outside Africa.
African countries have resolved to overcome these challenges by creating a liberalized market for goods and services. By building adequate infrastructure and reducing or progressively eliminating tariffs and non-tariff barriers to trade and investment, the continent intends to achieve an expanded and secure market for goods and services. By creating a single market for goods and services, facilitated by the movement of persons, the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement is expected to give effect to the objective of increasing intra-African trade.
A core objective of the AfCFTA is to promote industrial development through diversification and regional value chain development. It is well established that each region in Africa already has a unique livestock production context that creates opportunities for the supply of niche products across the region and to world markets. The AfCFTA therefore presents huge business opportunities to producers, traders and business people involved in trade in livestock and livestock products. However, to capitalize on these opportunities, public and private sector value chain actors must have access to tools and information for trade support and market entry.
To date, there is no continental platform dedicated to connecting livestock businesses. Increased intra-African trade in livestock and livestock products will require creating user friendly and easily accessible market information platforms to enhance the visibility of livestock products produced and traded in Africa. Through the Sustainable Livestock for development Project, AU-IBAR, COMESA, EAC, IGAD, SADC, and ECOWAS will create and operationalize the One African Livestock Market.
Objective of the One African Livestock Market
Create the largest online marketplace for connecting African livestock businesses, and government institutions concerned with the import and export of livestock and livestock products.
Specific objectives of the One African Livestock Market
- Create market and sales opportunities by giving more visibility to the livestock products of African origin
- Connect livestock businesses to create a continental online market for livestock and livestock products
- Provide information on regulatory authorities to facilitate trade information flow and compliance with market requirements
- Contribute to increasing intra-Africa trade in livestock and livestock products
Aim of Consultancy
The consultancy is to expand the functionalities of the existing online ecosystem platform to include an e-market system that allow agribusinesses in livestock value chains strengthen marketing of goods and services.
- Provide an e-market platform for agribusiness value chain actors, including customers, to connect, government agencies responsible for official control of livestock and livestock products to facilitate trade, and showcase livestock products and services.
- Allow a hybrid combination of various marketing interactions by geographical (georeferenced) places, products and services, and value chain actors with an attractive and user-friendly customer interface.
- Promote visibility and accessibility of value chain products and services existing within regional livestock value chains.
- Contribute to the digital transformation of agribusiness value chains by providing a digital presence and access to the knowledge and information to build audiences
- Increase access to market information and expand market opportunities for value chain actors in the livestock sector.
- Carryout literature review and consultation of livestock value chain actors (including customers) to understand gaps in access to markets and their needs to support development of e-market place.
- Expand the current online Community of Practice Platform to integrate an e-market place that include the following desired feature functionalities:
The feature is to allow both agribusiness owners and consumers to manage listings for services and products offered by category. This would entail agribusiness owners being able to publish, remove and revise listings, and/or manage multiple listings at once. This feature would also allow consumers to browse, filter and search for listings and listing details.
A collection of features that enable the agribusiness owner to publish Special Offers, photos and videos.
Secure User Authorisation
This feature is to provide both agribusiness owners and consumers to log into their accounts securely and quickly. Users should also be able to adjust their account settings.
Ratings and Reviews
The platform should allow for ratings and reviews from customers. This will allow agribusiness owners to also review customer needs and preferences.
The marketplace features will integrate with the current messaging functionality of the platform to allow direct vendor-consumer communication. This will enable customers to ask questions about a listing, or issues with an order.
The marketplace platform will provide a notification system to inform agribusiness owners of reviewed listings and communication from customers and facilitate the agribusiness owners to create an audience or community and communicate either with selected individuals or the group as a whole.
Through a sophisticated wiki structure, the agribusiness owners will access analytics such as page views and downloads.
Provide administrative functions to allow marketplace administrators manage users, and make additions and customisations to the marketplace, such as inclusion of managed and integrated payment system (at their own preference).
GIS Location Mapping
Provide mapping of agribusinesses by country location.
The marketplace will provide mobile functionality as well as desktop. Incorporating desktop and mobile functionality will increase usability by allowing users to access listings and information when needed and via mobile, allowing customers to geolocate the supplier and where necessary, access directions.
- Support test run of the e-market platform to ensure it meets the required specification
- Develop capacity of value chain actors, government and AU-IBAR staff to use the system
- Provide four months of project management support on eMarketing
Through the process of development and addition of the e-market functionalities, the consultancy firm will be expected to produce the following outputs:
- An “Inception Report” on the execution plan of the e-market place development process within two weeks of the consultation period.
- Progress Reports/ or minutes of review meetings to be submitted every two weeks.
- An Interim Technical Report (that shall be the draft final report to be reviewed by AU-IBAR)
- Final Technical Report (that shall include guideline and manual documents on operating the e-market system/ processes)
Competences and experience
Information Systems Competencies
The consultancy firm personnel should have expertise in the following:
- Master’s Degree of equivalent in Software Engineering or Information Systems
- Master’s Degree or equivalent in Knowledge Management, Communications; or Information Science
- Post-graduate qualification in e-marketing or commerce.
Information Systems Competencies
- Over 10 years substantive experience in the development of enterprise platforms, with a focus on collaborative platforms;
- Highly knowledgeable of software development processes and methodologies
- Knowledge of practical techniques to elicit and express software requirements from client interactions.
- Technical understanding and implementation of platform migration and hosting issues
Knowledge Management and Communications Competencies
- Over 15 years substantive knowledge and experience of ‘Community of Practice’ and/or ‘Collaborative Activism’ subject matter and strategy development;
- Strong skills in networking, knowledge sharing, collaboration and online facilitation and in-person events;
- Excellent familiarity with web content management and other online tools for collaboration, knowledge sharing and communication;
- Ability to manage/ host subscription services for online community platforms
- Experience in developing and implementing content curation strategies
Knowledge of e Marketing and agricultural value chain
- At least 5 years’ experience development and use of electronic communication technologies, such as the Internet, mobile phones and digital applications to accomplish marketing objectives.
- Experience in the exploitation of electronic means and platforms to conduct business.
- Experience in creating link initiatives that inform and communicate with buyers, and promote and sell its products and services over the Internet.
- Proficiency in English with ability to write reports is required. Working knowledge of French is an asset. Knowledge of one or more of the other AU working languages would be an added advantage.
- Ability to communicate fluently with different stakeholders (civil society, government authorities, local communities, from different African countries).
- Familiarity with agribusiness and/or agriculture or the animal resources sector
- Familiarity with e-commerce trends in the agriculture sector.
- Excellent organizational skills and proven ability to deliver projects within assigned deadlines.
- Strong critical and creativity skills
Duration for the Consultancy and Duty Station
The assignment will be conducted for a period of 90 working days and will attract a lump sum fee of not more than USD27000. The first month will be dedicated to the development of the features, with the remaining months dedicated to promoting agribusiness and other institutional profiles.
The Consultancy will be home-based.
Financial consideration and method of payment
Payment will be in three instalments:
- An initial payment of 10% will be made upon signing of the contract by both parties, submission of inception report detailing methodology and list of stakeholders to be engaged, and completion of initial stakeholder engagement on their needs.
- A second payment of 30% will be made after the development of the platform and submission of the platform operation guidelines for the administrators
- A final payment of 60% will be made upon satisfactory completion and approval of the expected outputs and deliverables to AU-IBAR including piloting
The consultant firm will work under the overall supervision of the Director, AU-IBAR, and will report to the Senior Knowledge Management Officer. The consultants will also engage with AU-IBAR Technical staff and various stakeholders that will form the core members of online communities.
Tax and Medical Obligations
The consultants will be responsible for their tax obligations, medical and life insurance cover during the assignment.
Interested candidates should submit their applications accompanied by a detailed CV, technical proposal, copies of both academic and professional certificates names and addresses of three reputable referees, contact details (e-mail, telephone) should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org not later than 28th September 2022 17:00 hours (Nairobi local time).
Documents forming part of this request for proposals
- Terms of reference
- Declaration on exclusion criteria
- Data protection and privacy statement
Documents to be submitted with the application
- Technical Proposal
- Curriculum Vitae including references of previous relevant work experience of key staff
- Copies of relevant academic and professional certificates of key staff
- Registration documents of the consultant firm
- Signed declaration on exclusion criteria