Proposal by Abel Kahabi for Vanilla Value Chain: Reducing Smallholder Supply Risk Through Access to Finance

Independent Consultant – Abel Kahabi

Proposal

Reducing Smallholder Supply Risk Through Access to Finance

This proposal has been created by Abel Kahabi.

SECTION 1: BACKGROUND

Project name: Reducing Smallholder Supply Risk Through Access to Finance

Name of submitting organization: Abel Kahabi (Independent Consultant)

Proposed skill contributions:
• Legal and Institutional Due Diligence, Risk Analysis/Policy Analysis
• Consultation,Community Capacity Building
• Environmental Impact Assessment and Mitigation
• Social Impact Assessment and Mitigation
• Gender Impact Assessment / Gender Analysis
• Outgrower Support and Engagement
• Monitoring and Evaluation
• Access to Finance
• Business Development Advisory
• Project Management

Background: Brief on my background, applying as an individual.

Energetic and an all-rounded professional with practical working experience spreading from international developmental projects, capital markets, banking/microfinance, project management, all through to business development consulting and advisory for over ten years now. I am particularly skilled in identification of business opportunities, problem solving through data collection and analysis, building and developing client relationships and engagements, providing technical project leadership for multiple projects in Tanzania and beyond.

Based on my working experience and suitability for this role, below is a summary of why I believe I am strong for this important role:

• Knowledgeable of Tanzania Agribusiness Sector
I have worked in number of projects and organizations working to support growth of the agribusiness sector in Tanzania, through national level policy reforms project, business skills trainings, access to markets, agro inputs access, access to finance just to mention a few.

My experience in dealing with agribusiness stakeholders is broad, from small holder farmers, agro processors to the big food processing players in tea, sunflower, coffee, dairy poultry sector in Tanzania. As a result, I understand the challenges and interventions currently ongoing to boost the sector. Among key experiences was with the World Bank and GVEP International for the solar farm project for the food processing sector (working with AMCOs (coffee farming) in Mbeya and Kigoma regions on business skills training and for installation of affordable solar systems as alternative source of energy.

Currently, working with SNV on a youth empowerment project, supporting small holder farmers and youth led enterprises (YLEs into horticulture, poultry, bee-keeping) in central corridor of Tanzania with interventions through business skills trainings and coaching, access to agro inputs, markets, and credits.

• Expertize in Business Development & Trainings
I have worked (and continue to work) with existing businesses/setting up new businesses and groom them to success through effective business planning and strategies, I help projects and businesses access finance, information and markets.

Through business trainings for example, I have trained a number of business association members on areas of financial management, customer services, marketing/sales, credit management just to name a few. In the recent assignment with USAID SHOPs, a project aiming to empower owners of accredited drugs dispensing shops in Tanzania with business skills training, coaching and mentorship aimed to improve their services delivery and profitability, with a focus on business management, governance, customer services, marketing and financial skills.

• Resource Mobilization and Fundraising:
I have evaluated strategic plans to draw and identify new areas of business, and develop strategies for effective resource mobilization. Involved in the development of dozens business and project documents for individuals and businesses, comprehensive expertise in project appraisal, grants application review and approval as well as in project implementation. I have developed a dozens of business plans and strategic plans for companies and non-profits, social enterprises etc. I have fundraised through proposals and events to approximately over 2 million USD from donors’/development partners and impact investors i.e. from UNDP/UNCDF, WB, USAID, DFID, Grofin, FSDT, EEP just to mention a few.

• Access to Finance/Market Linkages Specialist:
Comprehensive experience of working within donor funded – financial inclusion and access to market projects. I have spent the past 10 years of my career since 2012 working on donor funded projects which are directly addressing the financial inclusion and access to markets agenda for the base of the pyramid population. From working with UNDP/UNCDF, DFID, World Bank, USAID, and SDC in different projects such as renewable energy, health, small businesses, agriculture, and tourism/environmental conservation. In all these areas separately as a lead, I played a key role in connecting small businesses/SMEs and entrepreneurs to access markets and funding from multiple financial services providers at a competitive rate with and without credit guarantees (UNDP & USAID), and same to smallholder farmers (youth and women in horticulture, poultry, honey, sunflower) access to agro inputs, finance and markets of their produce/products (USAID, WB, DFID and SDC).

• Networked & Connected:
I have an extensive network within the donor community, private sector and the government: Having worked in multiple projects within Tanzania and throughout East Africa, I have interacted with different people (from politicians, business community, senior leaders etc.) some of who play significant roles in shaping politics and businesses in respective countries. The exposure and networking I continue enjoying from these interactions have eased my job completely, especially in quest for references/information in order to undertake a certain role.

• Project management, analysis and reporting:
I have managed different grantees (grant lead) while working within the USAID, DFID, SDC and the World Bank projects. It includes reviewing budgets and proposals as submitted by grantees, developed budgets for project activities, perform financial forecasts for project activities etc. I have been involved in annual project work-plan preparations (based on project theory of change and situation model), work plan implementations as the activity lead, participate in work-plan implementation review meetings, and write project reports monthly, quarterly and yearly. I have provided both operational, technical and strategic project leadership, managing, mentoring and coaching staff, managing project relationship with donors and other stakeholders (communities, the government, CSOs, NGOs, private sector), representing the management externally and assumed all other responsibilities as a team leader/part of senior management team.

• Project proposals evaluation:
I am currently a technical lead in three donor funded major projects in Tanzania, where I lead a panel of experts to review, score and approve project proposals submitted for funding. Includes the Human Development
Innovation Fund (HDIF/DFID – since 2015), Skills Development Fund under the Tanzania Education Authority and the World Bank (since May 2019), I also work with Rural Energy Agency Fund (funded by GOT, SIDA, WB and other donors) under the program Rural Energy Program Development Facility (REPDF – since July 2019).

• A passionate leader with diplomatic leadership skills:
The experience of working in multicultural environments has been instrumental. The people I have met and worked with, organizations I have worked for, the clients I have served, people interactions and the trainings I have received (e.g. the President Obama Leadership Trainings) – altogether have transformed the way I engage and do things, and have made me not only an exemplary leader, but a motivator and a mentor to inspire others.

• Based on my education background and other trainings
I am a holder of an Msc Finance from Mzumbe University, Postgraduate Diploma in Tax Management (PGDTM), and an Advanced Diploma in Banking (ADB) all from the Institute of Finance Management (IFM) in Tanzania in 2008 and 2009 respectively. Additionally, I have pursued a number of other short term on job trainings in areas of project management, monitoring, evaluation, entrepreneurship, youth and gender just to name a few. I am an Obama Fellow and YALI Alumni, among Tanzania youth who received comprehensive leadership trainings through USAID Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) program in Nairobi, Kenya in 2016 (cohort 4).

• Based on my language proficiency
I have excellent English and Swahili verbal communication skills, at proficiency level 4 and 5 respectively. English has been my formal medium of communication at work. I have very strong English writing skills to independently write and author high-level reports, memos, program documents, briefings or presentations with minimal or no grammatical, spelling or structural errors. The career level I have reached (senior), consultancies I have undertaken/continue to do have highly perfected my technical writing skills to be able to write and prepare documents with utmost perfection.

SECTION 2: PROJECT APPROACH

Overall, the assignment will be participatory, all key stakeholders will fully be involved from beginning to the end. In terms of key steps, the following will be the general approach, broken down per each project activity.

For Activity 1: Assess knowledge, parameters and impact of financial products and services
• Review all key documents needed to understand the assignment properly/Documentary review
• Finalize the workplan with the client (with all key target respondents/target population identified)
• Carry out interviews/discussions (field visits) – as per the four main activities of the assignment
• Analyse the information to provide report – including sharing the draft report for feedback before finalization of Final Report

For activity two: Identify relevant financial services products and delivery partners, the following approach will be followed
• Develop a list of all potential financial service providers suitable to NEI SHFs
• Narrow down the list, to get the most realistic list to engage/work with
• Establish formal engagement/working relationship with selected financial service providers e.g. MoUs
• Discuss to improve selected products/services with the financial service service provider or develop a new tailor made product most suitable to SHFs

For activity three
• Pilot relevant SHF financial services
• Select a sample of selected SHFs for piloting purposes
• Work with financial service providers and SHFs to make sure the pilot goes smoothly
• Monitor SHFs’ use of financial services and evaluate whether these services are resulting in beneficial outcomes or heightening risk / harm.
• Collect all relevant data – using the proposed M&E plan/framework
• Analyse data to understand the full picture and document the finding
• Prepare a comprehensive report of findings – with lessons learnt and recommendations for use/reference later.

For activity 4
• Identify opportunities and dependencies to scale financial services
• Using the report of findings, break down the report into pieces, for NEI to understand clearly the opportunities and dependencies
• with all the learnings from i-iii above: Use the information to develop a more realistic forward looking view – of how the scale up can be done, given the pilot experience/findings
• Finalize the report and submit (considering any feedback from the client/stakeholders) report outlining the methodology, assessing the findings of all preceding activities, and identifying implementation strategies to scale recommended A2F services.

SECTION 3: ACTIVITIES AND DELIVERIES

Activity 1: SHFs’ knowledge of financial products and services, conditions for feasibility and the impact of access to finance on crop yields/quality

Description: Conduct field visit to respective communities/out growers to understand/ask a number of issues such as:

i) their perception/ knowledge of financial products and services available in Tanzania;
ii) how limited access to financial services may be impacting crop yields and quality; and
iii) factors that enable or impede the uptake of financial products for SHFs (e.g. access to information, repayment terms, collateral requirements, etc.).

At this stage, desk research would have been done to supplement interview findings. Additionally, other questions will be on:

• their banking history, do they have bank accounts, into VICOBA, SACCOs
• financial products they know, and if they have purchased those services/products
• their willingness to accept financial products which are designed to suit their needs
• their views into access to finance, are they scared to take loans, etc

Another activity under this, will be also to discuss with other stakeholders such as extension officers, government officials, NEI, cooperative unions, financial service providers to hear their views into this.

Duration:
4 weeks – <3 months

Deliverable: Report

Activity 2:  Identify relevant financial services products and delivery partners
Description: This will involve conducting a research to identify potential financial service partners for NEI’s SHFs.

The consultant will engage with financial service providers to identify relevant, accessible, and affordable financial services for SHFs. At this stage, the consultant will:
• Develop a long list of all potential financial service in locations they are – based on NEI’s SHFs target regions
• Later, narrow down the list after careful assessing their suitability, and their readiness to work with NEI farmers
• Obtain like a first commitment letter, of their willingness to work with NEI farmers – Identify suitable financial services/products based on NEI farmers’ needs – which are to be piloted later at activity three
• Some tasks at activity 2, will be partly covered at activity one – when visiting farmers in all NEI target regions.

Duration: 4 weeks – <3 months
Deliverables: Report

Activity 3:  Pilot relevant SHF financial services
Description: Having identified potential financial service provider in each region, and who are providing desirable financial services and products for NEI farmers, piloting of those financial products/services will start.

The consultant will monitor SHFs’ use of financial services and evaluate whether these services are resulting in beneficial outcomes or heightening risk / harm. A selected sample of e.g. 10 outgrowers can be selected in each region, which will be used for pilot purpose.

Duration: 4 weeks – <3 months
Deliverables: Report

Activity 4:  Identify opportunities and dependencies to scale financial services
Description: The consultant contracted will compile the learnings from Activities 1-4 and identify opportunities and dependencies to scale financial services throughout NEI’s supply chain. The consultant will provide a written report outlining the methodology, assessing the findings of all preceding activities, and identifying implementation strategies to scale recommended A2F services/products.

Duration: 4 weeks – <3 months
Deliverables: Report,Presentation,Workshop or meeting

Project measureables: I will be measuring, in general success/improvement of NEI SHFs as a result of the intervention into following:
• Measuring NEI SHFs’ knowledge/perception of financial services, and their key barriers to financial inclusion
• Measuring NEI SHFs’ access to finance on crop productivity, quality, and sustainability in SHF households
• Measuring NEI SHFs’ access to affordable, and accessible financial products, and
• Measuring NEI SHFs’ access to reliable third-party partners to deliver financial services to its SHF network

Additionally; indicators for the outcomes will possibly be:
• Number of NEI SHFs with knowledge/perception of financial services, and their key barriers to financial inclusion
• Number of NEI SHFs with access to finance on crop productivity, quality, and sustainability in SHF households
• Number of SHFs with access to affordable, and accessible financial products, and
• Number of SHFs with access to reliable third-party partners to deliver financial services to its SHF network

Risks in project: Expected risks are:
i) Risk that we will not meet all proposed respondents due to different reasons, e.g. on day of the meeting SHFs traveled to different location etc.
ii) Risk that some SHFs might not be willing to provide enough information on access to finance issues due to different reasons e.g. personal finance, cultural etc
iii) Risk that some data may not be correct and of the quality needed because of human errors/negligences
iv) Risks that some financial service providers we target might not be willing to work with SHFs (at pilots) e.g. on reasons of risk, unbankability of the population itself etc.
v) Risk that, some misunderstanding might happen between the client and consultant due to different reasons

Risk management strategies: In terms of reaching SHFs for interview, we will make sure we engage NEI closely and other key stakeholders in project locations, book appointments earlier and to make sure we are professional and as friendly as possible when engaging with SHFs In terms of data quality, we will make sure we have the right tools to collect data, and right people to do data collection. The highly experienced M&E person selected, is also an assurance to manage this risk.

Other system related risks we will make sure to:
• Fulfil our professional and contractual responsibilities.
• Facilitate effective communications with the client.
• Ensure professional, technical, or client service problems are resolved promptly and timely

SECTION 4: SKILLS AND TEAM

Relevant past experience: Key experience of the lead consultant includes the following:

i) In 2014 for UNDP/UNCDF – I facilitated linkage of youth and women groups to access small loans (under UNDP credit guarantee) from local micro finance companies identified namely BRAC, Tujijenge, FINCA and SELFINA

ii) In 2015 for World Bank and Redavia/GVEP – facilitated linkage to agro processing companies in off grid regions, to access funding from commercial banks namely CRDB and NMB – funding was to help them purchase the solar farm systems provided by World BANK and EEP Funding

iii) In 2015, I was appointed by DFID/HDIF to establish AFYA Microfinance with an initial capital of GBP 400,000. The vehicle was to lend specifically the private health sector in Tanzania, and mainly in rural areas. Upon successful establishment of the company, over 1200 rural health centers, drugs shops and clinics can access cheap affordable loans with no hustle.

iv) From 2016-2018 – When working as a Senior Business Development Manager at USAID PROTECT project I facilitated linkage to access finance to over 200 tourism enterprises in Tanzania, from a different financial service providers across the country, including MFIs, Banks and SACCOs. Additionally, I facilitated establishment of over 30 Savings and Loans group for these tourism enterprises – which are now serving as their most preferred sources of funding.

v) In 2018 February – October, as an Access to Finance Consultant for USAID SHOPS Plus project, I facilitated linkage to over 200 Accredited Drugs Dispensing Outlets (ADDOs) in Mwanza region, who are now getting affordable interest rates, longer payment periods and able to get stock loans as an option from cash. The linkage I provided is for them get loans from AFYA Microfinance, FINCA, SAG, NMB and CRDB.

vi) Currently, for SDC OYE project, I’ve facilitated access to finance to over 150 Youth Led Enterprises who are now getting soft loans from FINCA under special rates and payment periods, which helps the youth to buy quality agro inputs, but also get money to package and brand their produce before taken to markets. Separately, I also managed to establish over 50 Youth Savings and Loans Associations (YSLAs), where the youth can save money and lend to each other. Also, by lobbying to local government, I helped these 150 YLEs access funds from the Youth Development Fund which is into every district

Qualifications: Abel Kahabi – Lead Consultant/Access to Finance Expert

Kahabi has over 12 years working experience, specializing in business development, project management and private sector engagement. This includes comprehensive experience of working within donor funded, specifically on financial inclusion/access to finance projects.

His experience on access to finance includes working with UNDP/UNCDF, DFID, World Bank, USAID, and SDC in different projects such as renewable energy, health, small businesses, agriculture, and tourism/environmental conservation. In all these organizations he played a key role in connecting smallholder farmers, small businesses/SMEs and entrepreneurs to access funding from different financial services providers, but also worked on setting up big microfinance operations as well other savings and loans associations for women and youth groups such as VICOBA, SACCOs, VSLAs, YSLAs etc.

Below is just a short summary on access to finance experience:

i) In 2014 for UNDP/UNCDF – I facilitated linkage of youth and women groups to access small loans (under UNDP credit guarantee) from local micro finance companies namely BRAC, Tujijenge, FINCA and SELFINA

ii) In 2015 for World Bank and Redavia/GVEP – facilitated linkage to agro processing companies in off grid regions, to access funding from commercial banks namely CRDB and NMB – funding was to help them purchase the solar farm systems provided by World BANK and EEP Funding

iii) In 2015, I was appointed by DFID/HDIF to establish AFYA Microfinance with an initial capital of GBP 400,000. The vehicle was to lend specifically the private health sector in Tanzania, and mainly in rural areas. Upon successful establishment of the company, over 1200 rural health centers, drugs shops and clinics can access cheap affordable loans with no hustle.

iv) From 2016-2018 – When working as a Senior Business Development Manager at USAID PROTECT project I facilitated linkage to access finance to over 200 tourism enterprises in Tanzania, from a different financial service providers across the country, including MFIs, Banks and SACCOs. Additionally, I facilitated establishment of over 30 Savings and Loans group for these tourism enterprises – which are now serving as their most preferred sources of funding.

v) In 2018 February – October, as an Access to Finance Consultant for USAID SHOPS Plus project, I facilitated linkage to over 200 Accredited Drugs Dispensing Outlets (ADDOs) in Mwanza region, who are now getting affordable interest rates, longer payment periods and able to get stock loans as an option from cash. The linkage I provided is for them get loans from AFYA Microfinance, FINCA, SAG, NMB and CRDB.

vi) Currently, for SDC OYE project, I’ve facilitated access to finance to over 150 Youth Led Enterprises who are now getting soft loans from FINCA under special rates and payment periods, which helps the youth to buy quality agro inputs, but also get money to package and brand their produce before taken to markets. Separately, I also managed to establish over 50 Youth Savings and Loans Associations (YSLAs), where the youth can save money and lend to each other. Also, by lobbying to local government, I helped these 150 YLEs access funds from the Youth Development Fund which is into every district.

Among his other notable career achievements is:
i) to lead on the development of a first private sector led Tanzania tourism policy in 2018 (at USAID). And,

ii) on the establishment of AFYA microfinance (a first only private company in Tanzania to provide funding exclusively to the private health sector) through DFID funding of GBP 400,000, and managed to grow the business to sustainability, reaching a a portfolio of over 1.2 million USD in just 14 months.

Currently, working with SNV Development Cooperation Global Management (and board of trustees, board of directors) in Tanzania as Senior Business Development Lead, leading a pilot on establishing a USD 50M for profit entity called “Opportunities for Youth Employment” (OYE). Funded by the MasterCard Foundation and SDC, the entity will replace SNV “OYE project” donor funded activities with a business model, that will assure a going concern of the project – by providing market linkage, access to finance, access to agro inputs supply and extension services to youth by paying a small fee.

His main role is to make sure OYE for Profit Entity is fully functional and sustainable, for adoption in Uganda, Ethiopia and Zambia. Kahabi, is an Obama Fellow and YALI RLC alumni (Nairobi), also leads a technical review panel for the Tanzania Education Authority and World Bank-Skills Development Fund, which provides funding to local training institutions and NGOs to help boost employability skills at all levels in Tanzania. He is a board member to AFYA Microfinance, and for Victoria Friends Association (VFA). He holds an Advanced Diploma in Banking and a postgraduate diploma in Tax Management from the Institute of Finance Management (IFM). He also holds an MSc Finance degree from Mzumbe University (DBS).

He will be the lead consultant, he will be responsible to make sure the assignment is delivered to the required standards and to the expectations of the client and training participants, apart from that he will be a principal person for contact with client, his duties will involve fulfilling professional and contractual responsibilities, facilitating effective communications with the client in ensuring that any professional, technical, or client service problem is resolved promptly with timely consultations, review and submission of all reports and other deliverables produced by the project team.

John Noronha – M&E Expert
John is a senior M&E Expert with over 10 years of working experience. With comprehensive donor projects mainly USAID and WWF, within health and natural resources sectors. John will use his experience into M&E to make sure we have the right data and collected ethically at the assessment of SHFs on financial skills, as well as during data collection for pilots. He is currently M&E Manager for USAID PROTECT project. The detailed CV for John is also attached

Allen Shosha – IT Specialist/Data Collector
Allen has over 4 years of working experience in IT and research. His experience includes working as IT Administrator at Sahara Media, and as IT consultant. He is very good in IT data collection and analysis, he will be closed involved in field data collection, cleaning and analysis – using both SPSS and excel. He has a bachelor in IT and computer science, his CV is also attached.

Boaz Daudi Kanyumbu
He has extensive experience in field data collection. He has worked in different project, including the solar comanies and local NGOs. He will be part of the two data collectors to be involved in the project. He hold a degree in Environmental planning and management. His CV is also attached

SECTION 5: FEES, REPORTING AND FOLLOW ON

Currency Selection: USD

Upper fee limit: USD 49,990

Language requirements:

Payment structure:

Reporting processes: The M&E expert will be responsible in all data collection, which includes managing two individuals who will help with the data collection when assessing knowledge level of SHFs on financial services, as well as during the pilots.

The M&E will make sure all data collected have the quality needed and not biased, and will do some uninformed field visits and back checks to confirm data collected, but also to make sure that data collection is done as smooth as possible and with precision. Prior to the assignment, the M&E Expert will share the detailed M&E plan/framework, that will guide the whole project from start to finish, including key indicators based on outcomes, what data to collect, key templates to be used (which will also need to be agree by the client) how data will be collected, analyzed, our reporting schedule/plans.

We propose to do this at the start of the assignment so as we are sure to include everything after the inception meeting with the client.

Desired frequency of reporting: can sometimes be weekly, bi-weekly, monthly etc.

Interest in follow on work: Contract dependent

SECTION 6: ADDITIONAL FILES

CVs
1. KAHABI CV

2. CV Allen Richard

3. kanyumbu b cv

4. CV_John Noronha

Workplan and budget
1. KAHABI – Budget for NEI Activities
2. NEI Workplan Schedule and Deliverables – Access to Finance Activity

Other file