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Sierra Leone

Gender Mainstreaming in Digital Financial Services Policies and Regulations across ECOWAS

Financing Agreement reference:   P-Z1-H00-091

Project ID No.:                             5120155000004

The WEST AFRICAN MONETARY AGENCY (WAMA) has received financing from the African Development Bank toward the cost of the Gender Mainstreaming in Digital Financial Services Policies and Regulations across ECOWAS, and intends to apply part of the agreed amount of USD 75,000 to payments under the contract for the consultant.

The services included under this project are

  • Reinforce financial inclusion strategy across ECOWAS by taking stock of any progress in women’s financial inclusion initiatives in the region, identifying gaps and opportunities and using insights to develop the regional financial inclusion strategy.
  • Inform data analytics framework and strategy design using gender gap analysis to determine gender identifiers for gender-disaggregated data and explore the use of data analytics for behavioural insights on how women access and use digital financial services.
  • Review and address policy barriers that hinder women from accessing DFS and opportunities such as agency banking, micro loans, savings and insurance.
  • Review policies aimed at promoting digital identities (IDs) to help address challenges that prevent women from accessing ID, Know-Your-Customer (KYC) and investment opportunities.
  • Explore how digital payments are being addressed and the opportunity for enforcing gender identifiers to provide a consolidated view of how both men and women use financial services.

The WEST AFRICAN MONETARY AGENCY (WAMA) now invites eligible consultants to indicate their interest in providing these services. Interested consultants must provide information indicating that they are qualified to perform the services (brochures, description of similar assignments, experience in similar conditions, availability of appropriate skills among staff, etc.). Consultants may constitute joint-ventures to enhance their chances of qualification.

Eligibility criteria, establishment of the short-list and the selection procedure shall be in accordance with the African Development Bank’s “Procurement Framework of October 2015”, which is available on the Bank’s website at

Interested consultants may obtain further information at the address below during office hours 8.30 am – 5.00 pm.

Expressions of interest must be delivered to the address below by 20th September, 2021 before 5.00 pm.                                                 

West African Monetary Agency

1k Scan Drive, Off Spur Road

Freetown – Sierra Leone

Tel:( +232) 30 398 733/76 985 747                                                        


wama logo




Terms of Reference (TOR) – Recruitment of Consulting Firm

Program:                        Gender Mainstreaming in Digital Financial Services Policies and Regulations across ECOWAS

Organization:                West African Monetary Agency (WAMA)/Africa Development Bank (AfDB)

Duty Station:                 Sierra Leone (with ECOWAS presence)

Duration:                       2 Years (Non-Consecutive Working Days)

Regions covered:          ECOWAS Countries

Expert Profile:              Firm

Skills Required:            Gender, Research and Policy/Regulatory work

Expected Start Date:    As Soon as Possible


  1. About WAMA

The West African Monetary Agency (WAMA) is an autonomous and specialized agency of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). WAMA and ECOWAS Commission work closely together to integrate economic activities across Member States, especially in commerce, transport, monetary and financial issues. Following the transformation of the West African Clearing House (WACH), WAMA was established in 1996 and tasked with the responsibility of monitoring, coordinating and implementing the ECOWAS Monetary Cooperation Programme (EMCP), with the ultimate goal of creation of the ECOWAS single currency. WAMA operates under the supervision of the Committee of Governors of ECOWAS Central Banks, which have responsibility to advice the Authority of Heads of States on monetary and economic integration process in the ECOWAS. The WAMA Committee of Governors also has the responsibility to determine the modalities and procedures on the operations of the payment and settlements systems.

  1. About the Project

WAMA is currently working on the ECOWAS Payment and Settlements Systems framework that will be put in place by ECOWAS Member States. As such, the Agency intends to seize this opportunity to initiate a prospective gender analysis with concrete recommendations on how to best mainstream gender into the framework. WAMA intends to map the digital financial payments regulatory landscape in the ECOWAS region and use the insights to design gender responsive policies and regulations that will impact regional digital financial inclusion strategies and interventions for women. To do this, WAMA has singled out the ongoing regional activity on the Payment and Settlements Systems framework as a strategic start to the project that will present an opportunity to identify gender-responsive strategic interventions in their: i) financial inclusion strategy; ii) data analytics strategy for gender disaggregated data; iii) digital payment services such as microloans; iv) digital identity; and v) digital payments infrastructure.

As part of the execution of this project, WAMA will work under the authority of the Committee of Governors. Once policies and regulations are revised, they will be forwarded to the Committee of Governors, for consideration. This would be followed by advocacy for adoption across the ECOWAS region.

  1. Potential Impact of the Project on the promotion of Gender Equality and Women Empowerment

West Africa has one of the largest gender disparities in the continent with a Gender Development Index of 0.825, lower than the African average of 0.871. Gender inequality in West Africa is driven largely by unequal opportunities in education and health, rather than income distribution across the population. Statistics show that 64.2% of women live below the poverty line compared to 63.8% of the total population. In the area of education, considerable challenges remain, with gender disparities widening at each cycle of the education system (including financial literacy). Unequal access to education limits women's opportunities in the skilled employment segment, although women are highly integrated into the informal trade sector, where they make up more than 70% of the population in vulnerable employment with limited or no access to digital financial services. In the area of intra-regional trade, Women in Informal Cross-Border Trade (WICBT) represent 60% of traders, and they face many challenges, including an array of non-tariff barriers, Gender-Based Violence, harassment at borders and lack of entrepreneurial skills. Through this project, WAMA intends to unearth the issues barring gender mainstreaming in DFS policies and regulations; a process to systematically engage women professionals in the design of DFS policies and regulations; design of gender-sensitive indicators and promote the use of sex-disaggregated data to promote financial inclusion for men and women.

  1. Project Overarching Objective

The rationale of this project is to design gender-transformative digital financial services regulatory standards in the ECOWAS region and enhance the capacities of the central bankers towards the adoption of gender-friendly digital financial regulatory frameworks at national and regional levels.

  1. Scope of Work and Expected Outputs

The project's specific activities and their respective targets will include:

  1. Mapping the digital financial regulatory landscape in the ECOWAS region, including documentary review of digital financial regulations and financial inclusion programmes in each of the ECOWAS Member States to identify the gaps in terms of gender equality;
  2. Undertaking a baseline survey that will provide key sex-disaggregated data and establish the benchmark to monitor progress towards gender equality goals in financial inclusion;
  3. Conducting a gender analysis to identify the needs assessment of gender gaps in the prevailing national and regional regulations;
  4. Designing and kick-starting a programme on digital finance information (DFI) or data repository in the ECOWAS region, including building sex-disaggregated regional DFI database;
  5. Working with other regional and national regulatory agencies to develop gender-responsive standards and frameworks for promoting and regulating DFI at both levels;
  6. Undertaking capacity building for gender-transformative, for financial system regulators in the Member States, including stakeholder meetings, policy dialogues, focus group discussions, and advocacy;
  7. Developing region-specific and gender-sensitive digital financial index with benchmarks to track progresses, as well as a monitoring and evaluation framework will be put in place at national and regional levels. Knowledge sharing platforms will also be developed;
  8. Aligning to the detailed project plan as developed by WAMA.

The Consulting firm will undertake the following tasks:

  1. Provide technical support in:
    1. Developing the gender gap analysis, designing the tools and needs assessment, and revising the detailed project plan. This design to integrate gender lens and gender sensitive indicators;
    2. Designing sampling approach and methodology for the proposed stakeholders in the ECOWAS region as well as executing the fieldwork and stakeholder interviews, focus group discussions, and desk review of DFS policies and regulations; The Consulting Firm will be expected to work closely with WAMA’s team;
    3. Analyzing data and identifying the key challenges and gaps relating to gender mainstreaming in sectoral DFS policies and regulations;
    4.  Formulation and review of recommendations to WAMA with a view to integrating the gender dimension into existing DFS policies and regulations;
    5. Drafting DFS gender responsive policy and regulations revisions, based on insights from work with stakeholders and debrief sessions with WAMA team; and
    6. Building a monitoring and evaluation framework for the project.
  1. Design the implementation framework for:
    1. Identifying the existence of a database on Digital Financial Services and financial inclusion in the ECOWAS Member States;
    2. Sensitization of key stakeholders on existing DFS policies and regulations and why gender mainstreaming is critical, execution of stakeholder meetings, advocacy and demand creation (advocacy and demand creation will be aligned to established processes of WAMA);
    3. Develop gender-sensitive indicators and ensure the application of these indicators in the assessment and drafting of the report; and
    4. Support to develop the platform for the dissemination of gender-sensitive indicators and better sharing of knowledge on the DFS.
  2. Peer review all reports before submission to AfDB.

The expected deliverables of the consultancy are:

table 1

6. Eligibility, Criteria and Selection Process

A Consulting firm is eligible if it satisfies the following criteria:

  • It is legally constituted or incorporated in a country that is a member of the African Development Bank (AfDB), or State Participant of African Digital Financial Inclusion Facility (ADFI);
  • It is a national of a country that is a Member of the AfDB, or State Participant of ADFI, as determined by the law of its place of incorporation;
  • It has its principal place of business in a country that is a Member of the AfDB, or State Participant of ADFI.

A Consulting Firm shall justify a minimum of three years of existence and consist of at least three permanent professional employees with appropriate academic qualifications (Masters or PhD) and professional experience in a relevant field such as gender, policy and regulation, Digital Financial Services and Anthropology or other Social Sciences Research. The team to be assigned to the project should be bilingual (French and English), must have at least Five (5) years of experience working on similar engagements in ECOWAS region, and demonstrate experience in designing gender intentional DFS policies and regulations. The team members must satisfy the nationality criteria of eligibility.

A review team from WAMA will evaluate and score all applications based on the following considerations and weighting:

table 2

7. Team members’ expertise and qualification requirements

table 3

8. Institutional arrangements

The Consulting firm will work under the guidance and facilitation of the WAMA Programme Manager during the consultancy period. A briefing and debriefing meeting will be organized with WAMA Staff at the beginning and end of the assignment. The Consulting firm will report to Director General and WAMA Project Manager for each of the deliverables. 

9. Remuneration

The remuneration is expected to be based on the deliverables detailed in section V above. Kindly note that all the expenses required for carrying out the assignment will be borne by the consulting firm and should be included in the financial offer as a lump sum comprising of: (i) Honorarium; (ii) other expenses.

10. Duty Station

Freetown - Sierra Leone, with ECOWAS presence.

Interested Consulting Firms can email the application to: or

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