Recruitment of a Consulting Firm for the Technical Advisory at Smart Africa
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Recruitment of a Consulting Firm for the Technical Advisory

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Services for the Execution of the Smart Africa Digital ID Pilot Project
Client Smart Africa Secretariat
10th Floor, Career Center Building
KG 541 ST, Kigali, Rwanda,
+250 788-300-581/ 784013646
PO Box: 4913

RFP#: 065/S.A./RFP/04/2022
Release date: 11th April 2022
Closing date: 11th May 2022 at 5:00 pm (Local time, Kigali)
Contact For any questions or enquiries, please write to:
For Proposal Submissions:

The Smart Africa Alliance
In 2013 in Kigali Rwanda, 7 African Heads of State (Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Mali, Gabon, Burkina Faso) adopted the Smart Africa Manifesto in recognition of the need to adopt a harmonized digital transformation process in Africa. In 2014, the Smart Africa Manifesto was endorsed by all Heads of State and Government of the African Union at the 22nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union in Addis Ababa.
The Smart Africa Alliance has since grown to include 32 African Heads of State and countries that represent close to 850 million people: Algeria, Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Congo, DR Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Rwanda, Sao Tome & Principe, Sierra Leone, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Alliance is also a partnership bringing together all African countries adhering to the Manifesto, the African Union (AU), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the World Bank, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the GSMA, ICANN, academia, and the Private Sector. Besides its initial membership, other organizations and countries sharing the same vision, interests and goals will be admitted to the Alliance.
Smart Africa’s vision is to transform Africa into a single digital market by 2030. This vision is supported by 3 groups of objectives:
1. build affordable digital infrastructure to interconnect the continent,
2. promote and facilitate investment and doing business across Africa and
3. accelerate the birth and development of a digital society.
Digital identity represents the backbone of Africa’s transformation into a single digital market, as it is a basic enabler for cross-border digital trade and services.
1. Project background
Africa has a market size of 50+ countries with a population of 1.2 billion, the world’s youngest population profile and highest growth rates. However, digital markets are developing mostly in a national context and do not (yet) benefit from the scale of the continent. Currently, intra-Africa trade represents approximately 16.6% of Africa’s GDP only, while intra-European trade represents 69% of the European Union’s GDP for instance. One reason for this is the coexistence of 50+ separate and distinct national regulatory frameworks and the lack of a system to establish mutual trust and recognition across national digital ID schemes and private sector solutions.
According to the World Bank, there are an estimated 1 billion people worldwide who cannot officially prove their identity, making it difficult or impossible to vote, bank, travel or buy property. Of the 1 billion people without proof of identity, nearly half of those people, approximately 500 million, are estimated to live in sub-Saharan Africa.
Without proof of identity, millions of African people are missing out on basic legal, social and economic rights and opportunities. Faced with these challenges of sustainable development, African countries are considering the most effective solutions to identify their citizens and residents, adapted to the realities of the continent. One promising solution is already being deployed in some countries: Digital or Electronic Identification. Identity is a crucial element for each individual as it defines a set of traits to uniquely identify a person. Similarly, digital identity is equally important as it helps establish confidence in user identities presented digitally to a system.
Smart Africa’s audacious vision is to build a single digital market by 2030, with digital products and services accessible easily throughout the continent and operating seamlessly with the rest of the world. Digital identity represents the backbone of Africa’s transformation into a single digital market, as it is a basic building block for access to both public and private services.
On February 11, 2019, at the 7th meeting of Smart Africa's Board in Addis, Ethiopia, the board requested the Smart Africa Council of ICT Ministers to spearhead and coordinate the collaboration of key public and private sector stakeholders to develop a blueprint for a continental framework that could assist Member States in designing and implementing interoperable individual digital ID schemes in a manner that would facilitate and enable trusted cross-border transactions across Africa by leveraging the public sector where appropriate. This would be a key practical contributor to the future success of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) as digital ID schemes designed to facilitate cross-border recognition will undoubtedly promote national financial and economic inclusion, enhance public services, and create wide-ranging new economic opportunities in their home markets and across Africa.
In line with the instructions of the Board, the Smart Africa Secretariat launched a Working Group to provide a platform for collaboration with and among a range of stakeholders. The Working Group developed the digital ID blueprint as well as a continental concept – named the Smart Africa Trust Alliance (SATA) – to establish institutional ownership and accountability combined with a trust framework based on standards and trust assurance mechanisms to facilitate cross-border interactions.
SATA will facilitate the interconnection of national digital ID systems following a set of mutually agreed data sharing rules and technical standards by Smart Africa Member States and supported by a certification and evaluation system. This will be in line with SATA objectives to contribute to the transformation of Africa into a single digital market.
The Smart Africa Secretariat has already developed an implementation roadmap for SATA. A potential pilot project on SIM card registration has also been drafted. This RFP seeks to move from these strategic documents to the operationalization of SATA and the execution of a first pilot project for the interconnection of Digital IDs in Western Africa.
2. Scope and objectives
Smart Africa seeks technical advisory services of an experienced group of Experts to advise and support the Digital ID Project Team during the initial deployment phase of the Smart Africa Trust Alliance, including through the strategic planning, operationalization, and implementation phase of the pilot for cross border digital identity. The Experts will also be responsible for continuously assist the technical and project management capacity building to enable the long-term, autonomous operation.
The objective of the technical advisory is to ensure, together with Smart Africa Digital ID Project team, the following goals are reached:
• By beginning of September 2022, a pilot use case of interoperable digital identities across three (3) countries is running and is scalable to many use cases.
• By end of December 2022, ten (10) countries have signed a letter of intent to join SATA, including for data exchange.
• By end of December 2022, the Digital ID Project team is ready to manage the data exchange and SATA.
Building on the work already done, the Experts will be expected to provide comprehensive project management support, starting from the elaboration of an updated detailed implementation strategy; the elaboration of the architecture, technical standards and requirements for data sharing between countries under SATA ; to support the set-up and operationalization of the pilot ; to provide technical advisory and capacity building to the Smart Africa Digital ID Project Team and support the technology provider in managing and supervising the installation, configuration, and customization of technical components; to elaborate the effective governance of SATA and the plan for scaling both the pilot as well as SATA across the continent.
2. Methodology and approach
The Firm will generally provide advisory and technical support services to the Smart Africa Digital ID project team as described in these terms of reference and as may be required by Smart Africa. In delivering these services and building on the work already done, the Firm will undertake the activities listed below:
A. Project Management Support (Implementation): Identify and monitor progress toward the completion of key activities and actions required by the Smart Africa Digital ID Project Team, technology providers, and other key stakeholders to operationalize the Smart Africa Trust Alliance (SATA) and facilitate the pilot. Key outputs and activities will include the elaboration of an updated comprehensive implementation strategy, and a detailed project management plan; continuous progress monitoring toward the achievement of key milestones for achieving the operationalization of the pilot; provision of ongoing advisory services and capacity building to the Digital ID Project Team to ensure progress toward operationalization, including the identification of appropriate actions to resolve any bottlenecks. In this context, the Firm will support the Digital ID Project Team in the preparation of a series of detailed progress reports, project documentation, diagnostic/technical notes, and develop recommendations as needed.
B. SATA Governance Development and Operationalization: Provide advisory support and capacity building for the successful set-up and operationalization of the SATA Governance. Advisory support is expected to cover detailed recommendations for the organizational structure and legal framework; recommendations on the key roles, associated responsibilities, and qualifications for SATA Governance staff; and the preparation of a budget and a business plan to ensure fiscal sustainability of operations and scaling across the continent as well as to next trust framework areas potentially. The Firm will also develop training plans and conduct trainings for SATA Governance officials responsible for the long- term administration and operation of the SATA framework and technical standards to increase officials’ technical, managerial, and administrative competencies.
C. Technical Advisory on SATA Technical Standards implementation: Provide technical advisory and management support related to the definition of functional and technical needs, the operationalization, and initial validation of the architecture and technical standards of the SATA (expected to be supplied, installed, and configured). Key outputs and activities will include the development of the specific functional and technical requirements as well as architecture model for the SATA, reviewing and assisting in drafting the procurement documentation and reviewing technical documentation provided by technology providers, provision of on-site and remote technical support and capacity building, and supporting the Digital ID project Team in selecting the best technology partner, in exercising effective quality control and supervising the acceptance tests for the technical components.
D. Financial, Telecommunications, Health and other Sector Applications: The Firm will assess from a general as well as technical perspective the options for how the Smart Africa Trust Alliance could be effectively leveraged by the financial, telecommunication, Health and other sectors (i.e. applications integrating the use of digital IDs in the financial sector, including for integrations for e-KYC utilities, payment systems and business registry system, and SIM card registration), and identify key actions in the technical and policy realm to realize the identified priority sector use cases.
E. Mutually agreed by African governments: The Experts will support the Smart Africa Digital ID team with all activities such as drafting and signing required MoUs or other documents to enable the implementation of pilot, especially in the case of sharing information under mutually agreed data sharing rules between African governments.
3. Project Duration
The total duration of the assignment is expected to be until December 31st, 2022, effective from contract signing date with the possibility of extension if needed, and renewable based on evaluated satisfactory performance at the end of the contract. The duration will encompass an estimated one (1) month of elaboration and validation of the implementation plan, the architecture, technical standards and requirements, two-three (2-3) months of pilot operationalization (set-up) and remaining months of follow-on technical and project management support, capacity building, development of SATA governance and scaling plans.
4. Deliverables
Specifically, the group of Experts will provide technical advisory services to the Smart Africa Digital ID Project team to deliver the following:
An Inception Report that will lay out the detailed project implementation methodology and workplan the report will contain:
• A description of key milestones and activities that need to be undertaken by the Digital ID project team and other stakeholders to operationalize the Smart Africa Trust Alliance.
• An assessment of the current readiness status of the Digital ID Team and other key stakeholders to perform the activities identified and description of priority actions to improve readiness, with a focus on setting up effective project implementation structures giving considerations of core team composition, member roles and responsibilities as well as the step-by-step processes, activities and timeline towards setting up an effective project implementation unit.
• A detailed description of how the Firm will support, through the activities and deliverables described in this ToR, the Digital ID Team in achieving the milestones and performing the actions identified as critical for operationalizing the pilot.
• A high-level analysis of critical gaps, risks, and anticipated challenges for operationalizing the Smart Africa Trust Alliance and recommendations on resolving and/or mitigating them; and
• Training and capacity building plan
Must be agreed on by and developed in close collaboration with Digital ID project team and in line with expected pilot operationalization timelines.
Project management and quality control support for the successful implementation of the first SATA pilot project
• Develop overall project management and milestones plan (prepared in close consultation with Digital ID project Team/ Smart Africa)
• Develop detailed management plan for key technical sub-components
• Assist in preparing the technology provider procurement in validation of the bids and selection of the best provider
• Create operation manuals for each sub-component (prepared in collaboration with SATA/supplier)
• Ongoing regional ID project progress tracking
• Assist the Digital ID project team to carry out the acceptance tests, note any deficiencies and facilitate conversations with SATA/supplier to address shortcomings, if any.
Data exchange pilot project must be operational for identity data and scalable to many use cases.
SATA Trust Framework for first pilot project implementation
• Detailed description of architecture, functional and technical requirements
• Review of technical documents by the technical solution provider and recommendations to address gaps and improve alignment with the principles (e.g. minimize vendor lock-in risk, strengthen data security and privacy)
• Review already existing standards and guidelines developed in other contexts (e.g. WB ID4D, GSMA, ITU, NIST, ISO or eIDAS) and support the SDG 16, Target 9, demanding an “Identity for all by 2030” in an inclusive manner
• Data exchange live including interim legal arrangement between pilot participants
SATA trust framework must work for data exchange of many use cases across Africa and be scalable to next/any trust framework across the continent in the future
Development of SATA governance
• Developed through extensive stakeholder consultations
• Update the SATA call and have it signed by at least 10 founding members, including member states
• Will cover, inter alia, the general architecture, necessary technological infrastructure, authentication and trust services approaches, data protection and privacy measures, as well as proposed data governance arrangements and cybersecurity risk mitigation measures.
• Propose high-level SATA three-year 2023-2025 strategy with objectives, KPIs and milestones
• Assessment of key opportunities and challenges from a general as well as technical perspective or the use of the SATA for data exchange/ digital identity use cases or trust frameworks, with identification of priority use case with greatest potential development impact across Africa.
• Develop operational budget and business plan for making SATA self-sustainable
• Action plan to operationalize and scale-up the use of SATA, including roadmap for scaling technology and roll-out of next priority use cases, legal and policy development, financial plan and risk management plan
• Provide an organizational structure and steering mechanisms to integrate SATA in the Smart Africa Alliance and the African institutional landscape
• Help to develop detailed set-up plan: define key units within the SATA Unit and structure for effective supervision within and across unit; outline the roles, responsibilities, and qualifications for key staff
SATA governance developed after data exchange pilot project. Ensure delivery of data exchange use case on time and take data exchange interim governance lessons onboard.
Each progress report will provide the following information:
• Detailed description of the activities performed by the Firm from the beginning of the contract or from the end of the previous report and in period covered.
• Detailed description of the results achieved under the current report and the period covered against key milestones and targets.
• Progress toward Pilot operationalization and implementation, including updates on procurement.
• Brief description of challenges encountered assessment of emerging and persistent implementation risks and recommendations for mitigating these risks;
• Attachments as schedules or annexes describing the deliverables expected to be delivered in a written format;
• The Final Report will describe all services provided and results achieved, lessons learned and recommendations for future projects of similar scale and complexity.
All work carried out by the Firm and its deliverables must be aligned or promote alignment with the Principles on Identification for Sustainable Development. Inclusion and non-discrimination, data protection and privacy (particularly with respect to consent and incorporating ‘privacy by design’ features), cyber- and information security should be given the highest priority. In addition, the Experts should support in ensuring that the SATA technical standards meet international standards, such as ICAO and ISO standards on biometrics, and that the technical components are implemented in a vendor-neutral manner.
The Experts will work directly with the Smart Africa Digital ID Team and will also liaise with external stakeholders as needed. The stakeholders include ministries, Member States, development partners, private sector entities, civil society organizations.
5. Firm Experience
Smart Africa is seeking to recruit a consulting firm with previous experience in developing and implementing digital ID programs with a focus on cross-border applications, including the public and private sector.
6. Experts Profile and Experience
The work shall be carried out by a team of at least four (4) highly qualified consultants/experts each in the requested specialties, namely:
Team Leader/Project Manager (1) with the minimum requirements below to be considered for the evaluation: `
• Bachelor’s or master’s degree in Computer Science, Software Engineering, Information Systems, or another related field
• Minimum of ten (10) years of relevant experience in project management experience in projects of similar nature/scope and complexity, including acting as a project manager/team leader on at least two similar assignments in the public sector.
• Minimum of ten (10) years of experience in development and delivery of strategy, preferably from both IT and public sector field – experience with cross border or international level strategy and delivery is a bonus.
• Proven track record of working directly within or with Governments and with development partners on data exchange and/ or Digital ID preferably in a developing country context.
• Excellent time management, planning, analytical and communication skills
• Involvement in business intelligence projects would be an added advantage.
Senior IT Expert /Solutions Architect (1) with the minimum requirements below to be considered for the evaluation:
• Bachelor’s or master’s degree in Information Technology, Computer Science, Computer Engineering or other related fields
• Having five (5) years of previous experience in the field of IT development and implementation of large scale and complex ICT projects
• Having a solid knowledge and relevant IT experience of at least five (5) years involving large scale and complex IT software development projects, design, development, testing and roll out of software systems and applications
• Having cybersecurity knowledge, performance vulnerability assessment and understanding cyber risk management related work
• Excellent time management, planning and analytical skills
• Having participated in at least three (3) similar projects
Systems Analyst (1) with the minimum requirements below to be considered for the evaluation:
• Bachelor’s or master’s degree in Information Technology, Computer Science, Computer Engineering, or Project Management or related fields
• Having five (5) years or more years of experience supporting technology development and deployment
• Must experience in Unified Modeling Language, which is a standard in the industry for visualizing, documenting, development of various components of a system, use of SharePoint, SQL, ORACLE and BPM tools, and experience of Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) and have participated in various phases of Software Development such as Requirements Gathering, Analysis/Design, Development, Integration, Testing and Deployment and Software Support
Legal and Governance Expert (1) with the minimum requirements below to be considered for the evaluation:
• Bachelor’s degree in Law, public administration or related fields
• Having eight (8) years proven experience in regulatory framework especially technology focused laws
• Having a solid knowledge, experience in Technology and have worked directly with Governments and development partners on Digital Transformation projects preferably in a developing country context.
• Excellent time management, planning and analytical skills
• Having participated in at least three (3) similar projects
The Consulting firm shall propose additional staff as part of the consulting team as necessary with adequate justification towards the realization of study objectives. The related financial quotation should be included for additional staff.
7. Evaluation Criteria
The following model will be used to evaluate all respondents and proposals submitted:
a) Technical Evaluation Criteria
Item Assigned Points
Staff Experience Requirements /40
• Team Leader/Project Manager
1. 10 Years and above = 15
2. Between 8 years to 10 years = 10
3. Between 5 years and 8 years = 5
4. Less than 5 years = 0 /15
• Senior IT Expert/Solutions Architect
1. 10 Years and above = 10
2. Above 8 Years = 7.5
3. Above 5 Years = 5
4. Below 5 Years = 0 /10
• Legal & Governance Expert
1. 8 Years and above = 10
2. Between 5 Years and 8 Years = 5
3. Below 5 Years = 0 /10
• Systems Analyst
1. 5 Years and above = 5
2. Above 3 Years = 2.5
3. Below 3 Years = 0 /5
Firm Experience Requirements /60
• Number of Similar Projects delivered by the firm and/or experts with valid proof signed and stamped.
1. 3 similar projects and above = 15
2. 2 similar projects = 10
3. 1 similar project = 5 /15
• Consulting Firms/bidders with a demonstrated methodology and approach to get the work done as per scope requirements /35
• Suitability of work plan and delivery schedule /10
The financial proposal of only those firms which secure a minimum score of 80/100 in the technical evaluation will be opened.
St= Score for the Technical Evaluation
b) Financial Criteria
Once the technical offers have been evaluated, the bidder with the highest technical score and that is within a financial offer of a fixed total budget of USD 180,000 including all taxes applicable shall be considered for contract award.
8. Submission Requirements for Technical and Financial Proposals
A specific outline must be followed to facilitate the Smart Africa Secretariat’s review and evaluation of the responses received.
A response to this RFP must include the following sections in the order listed:
• A cover letter confirming the firm’s interest in providing the services required
• Administrative documents (Company registration certificates, Tax clearance certificates). Failure to submit will lead to automatic disqualification of the offer.
• A technical proposal containing the following content:
o Executive summary
o Business experience/Profiles
o Approach and Methodology
o Work Plan / Schedule
o Mission team experience/profiles
o Updated Curriculum Vitae for the team and academic certificates requested
o At least three (3) Recommendation letters signed and stamped
• Financial Proposal containing the following tables.
o Summarized Total Cost VAT Inclusive (Value of tax indicated on final cost)
o Breakdown of a remuneration package
o Breakdown of reimbursable expenses
o All companies should quote in United States Dollars (USD) as currency.
All bidding firms/ companies should Indicate their preferred payment terms
• All financial proposals/offers should be password protected and Smart Africa will request it for bidders who have been qualified in the technical evaluation.
NOTE: All financial proposals/offers must not be higher than 180k USD, all applicable taxes inclusive.

9. Submission of tender Process
Technical and financial proposals must be submitted via email in pdf format showing each the nature of the offer concerned (technical or financial offer), marked as follow: 065/S.A/RFP/04/2022: Recruitment of a consulting firm for theTechnical Advisory services for the Execution of the Smart Africa Digital ID Pilot Project not later than 11th May 2022 at 05:00 PM local time (Kigali) prompt to the Procurement Unit
10. Rights Reserved
This RFP does not obligate the Smart Africa Secretariat (SAS) to complete the RFP process. SAS reserves the right to amend any segment of the RFP prior to the announcement of a selected firm. SAS also reserves the right to remove one or more of the services from consideration for this contract should the evaluation show that it is in SAS’s best interest to do so. SAS also may, at its discretion, issue a separate contract for any service or groups of services included in this RFP. SAS may negotiate a compensation package and additional provisions to the contract awarded under this RFP.
11. Enquiries
Any enquiries will only be received and addressed 3 days or more prior to the bid submission deadline. Prospective respondents who may have questions regarding this RFP may submit their enquiries to
Job Info
Job Category: Tenders in Rwanda
Job Type: Full-time
Deadline of this Job: 11 May 2022
Duty Station: Kigali
Posted: 19-04-2022
No of Jobs: 1
Start Publishing: 19-04-2022
Stop Publishing (Put date of 2030): 19-04-2065
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