Recruitment of a firm to conduct a continent wide survey of priority issues around cross – border digital trade in Africa

Recruitment of a firm to conduct a continent wide survey of priority issues around cross – border digital trade in Africa


The UNDP renewed strategic offer in Africa identifies structural economic transformation as one of the key pillars for accelerated action, with trade at its centre. As acknowledged in SDG 17, trade is a means of implementation for sustainable development. Boosting intra-African trade is intrinsically linked to success of UNDP’s renewed strategic offer in Africa. UNDP’s Africa Regional Programme (2018-2021) provides dedicated support to the African Union and regional institutions to ensure, inter alia, that regional growth and structural transformation is inclusive, transformational and sustainable with reduced economic inequalities. The programme is anchored using a ‘regional lens’ that promotes a coordinated approach and coherence between regional and national level interventions that align to regional frameworks and policies across Africa.

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will create a single African market for goods and services covering 1.2billion people and a combined Gross Domestic Product of US$3trillion through the progressive elimination of tariffs, the removal of non-tariff barriers, cooperation in customs arrangements and related areas, liberalization of trade in services, and developing African disciplines on Intellectual Property Rights, Investment, Competition and Digital Trade. As at October 2021, 54 of 55 African Union (AU) Member States have signed the Agreement, and 42 Member States have concluded ratification processes.

The AfCFTA Agreement is accompanied by Protocols dedicated to formulating continental terms of trade on specific topics – and articulating the modalities for implementation. In January 2020, the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government directed the inclusion of a protocol dedicated to digital trade in the AfCFTA.

Leveraging on its role as a development agency with an integrator function, UNDP, as part of its support to implementation of the AfCFTA hosted an initial regional dialogue on ‘Making the AfCFTA work for African E – Commerce’. As part of its work on digital trade, and to complement a forthcoming policy brief, UNDP seeks to conduct a continent – wide survey to highlight the priorities, opportunities, and challenges for digital trade in the One African Market.

Results of the survey and interviews are to be presented in a visually appealing infographic format, alongside a concise analytical report.


a. Develop a report on priorities of African businesses (traditional and digital) for the AfCFTA Digital Trade Protocol in English and French.

b. Develop an infographic highlighting perspectives and priorities of African businesses for the AfCFTA Digital Trade Protocol in English and French.


The scope of the work will include the below activities:

  1. Adapt a survey tool and questionnaire developed by UNDP and partners for continent wide deployment.
  2. Develop an outline to report/analyse data – perspectives of African businesses and other stakeholders on a range of issues, including, but not limited to, digitally driven cross – border trade in goods and services, cross – border data flows, e – taxation, e – trade facilitation, digital work, mobility of technology – driven businesses, consumer protection and digital identity.
  3. Conduct surveys and interviews to obtain perspectives from a minimum of 2,000 respondents, across Africa (focus countries and regional blocs will be determined at inception of the assignment).


Outputs for this assignment are:

  1. Inception report detailing work approach, survey tool, and interview pack.
  2. First draft of infographics and analytical report.
  3. Final draft of infographics and analytical report.

How to apply

Dear Sir / Madam:

We kindly request you to submit your Proposal for the Recruitment of a firm to conduct a continent wide survey of priority issues around cross – border digital trade in Africa

Please be guided by the form attached hereto as Annex 2, in preparing your Proposal.

Proposals may be submitted on or before Thursday, November 18, 2021 , 4:pm, Dakar Time and via email, courier mail or fax to the address below:

United Nations Development Programme

Dakar Regional HUB

Procurement Unit

Your Proposal must be expressed in French or English, and valid for a minimum period of 90 days

In the course of preparing your Proposal, it shall remain your responsibility to ensure that it reaches the address above on or before the deadline. Proposals that are received by UNDP after the deadline indicated above, for whatever reason, shall not be considered for evaluation. If you are submitting your Proposal by email, kindly ensure that they are signed and in the .pdf format, and free from any virus or corrupted files.

Services proposed shall be reviewed and evaluated based on completeness and compliance of the Proposal and responsiveness with the requirements of the RFP and all other annexes providing details of UNDP requirements.

The Proposal that complies with all of the requirements, meets all the evaluation criteria and offers the best value for money shall be selected and awarded the contract. Any offer that does not meet the requirements shall be rejected.

Any discrepancy between the unit price and the total price shall be re-computed by UNDP, and the unit price shall prevail, and the total price shall be corrected. If the Service Provider does not accept the final price based on UNDP’s re-computation and correction of errors, its Proposal will be rejected.

No price variation due to escalation, inflation, fluctuation in exchange rates, or any other market factors shall be accepted by UNDP after it has received the Proposal. At the time of Award of Contract or Purchase Order, UNDP reserves the right to vary (increase or decrease) the quantity of services and/or goods, by up to a maximum twenty-five per cent (25%) of the total offer, without any change in the unit price or other terms and conditions.

Any Contract or Purchase Order that will be issued as a result of this RFP shall be subject to the General Terms and Conditions attached hereto. The mere act of submission of a Proposal implies that the Service Provider accepts without question the General Terms and Conditions of UNDP, herein attached as Annex