To hasten financial inclusion in Africa, in line with its 2023 work programme, the African Development Bank (AfDB) through the Africa Digital Financial Inclusion Facility (AFDI) is calling for project proposals that will foster greater access and use of digital financial solutions.
This AfDB initiative aims to eliminate obstacles to the development and application of digital financial solutions.
As a result, digital infrastructure, policy, and regulation, as well as goods and innovation with gender inclusion and capacity building, will serve as the facility’s three key pillars.
The Call for Proposals will select viable and scalable digital financial solution (DFS) initiatives to promote access, quality, and usage of financial services as drivers of sustainable financial inclusion, particularly among the most vulnerable, including women, youth, and small businesses.
The African Development Bank launched ADFI in 2019 in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), the French Development Agency (AFD), the Ministry of Finance, Government of Luxembourg, joined the Ministry of Economy and Finance, France, and the Women’s Enterprise Finance Initiative in 2020 and 2022 respectively.
The terms and conditions are outlined below:
Areas of Intervention
The Call for Proposals is aligned with ADFI’s pillars of intervention and has the following two components:
Lot 1 targets the following countries: Algeria, Angola, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Egypt, Guinea, Morocco, Nigeria, and Tanzania
Lot 2 targets regional initiatives
Pillar 1: Digital financial infrastructure
Country level– Technical assistance on interoperability of payment systems, agent networks, and merchant acceptance networks; digital registries and alternative credit scoring, increased mobile network coverage, affordable data, and digital devices.
Regional level – Technical assistance on the interoperability of payment systems, interoperable payment distribution networks, and e-commerce platforms.
Pillar 2: Digital Financial Policy & regulation
Country level – Sandboxing/Fintech innovations of policies or testing new digital products and business models; Interoperability regulatory frameworks; and consumer protection, e.g., data privacy, recourse mechanisms, and cybersecurity.
Regional level – DFS policies and regulations for cross-border remittances; consumer protection, e.g., data privacy, recourse mechanisms, cybersecurity; Sandbox policies and testing of new products and business models and e-KYC.
Pillar 3: Digital Financial Products & innovation
Country level – Digitization of government payments and social transfers; and digitization of agriculture value chains and MSMEs.
Regional level – DFS products that have the potential for scale in more than one country, address the needs of the base of the pyramid and touch key sectors such as MSME and agriculture.
Applicant’s expertise and track record in relation to the proposed project
Ability to scale
The potential impact of the project
Targeted Clients/ Recipients
At the Country level, the clients will include: Government ministries, Central Banks, regulatory authorities, bank, and non-bank financial institutions, mobile money operators, and payment switch companies.
At the regional level, the clients will include regional economic communities, regional coordination bodies, regional private sector institutions, international agencies with operations in Africa, inter-governmental organizations, and private sector organizations such as bank and non-bank digital financial service providers with regional coverage.
Other Project Requirements
Maximum size of grant funding under Lot 1 (country level): USD1 million
Maximum for blended finance of grant and loan under Lot 1: USD 1.5 million
Maximum size of grant under Lot 2 (regional level): USD 1.5 million
Minimum size of the loan under Lot 1 and Lot 2: USD 1 million
Country-level projects: two to three years
Regional-level projects: three to four years
How to apply
Interested and eligible organizations are encouraged to apply using the email. submitted in French or English by 31st March 2023. The email subject should read: Call for Proposals-ADFI 2023 – Name of Country or Region.
Questions or clarifications on the Call for Proposals can be sent to the same email. Responses to queries will be via return email and will be provided with the latest by February 17th, midnight Abidjan time.