Skip to main content

FAQs: ADFI Call for Proposals 2023

The Africa Digital Financial Inclusion Facility (ADFI) aims to remove barriers to the growth and use of digital financial solutions to accelerate financial inclusion in Africa. The facility works through three main pillars, namely (i) digital infrastructure (ii) policy and regulation (iii) products and innovation with gender inclusion and capacity building as cross-cutting themes.

In line with our 2023 work program, ADFI has launched a Call for Proposals to select viable and scalable digital financial solution (DFS) initiatives aimed at fostering access, quality, and usage of financial services as drivers of sustainable financial inclusion, especially among the most vulnerable, including women, youth and small businesses.

Please find information: ADFI 2023 Call for Proposals document and ADFI 2023 Call for Proposals template .


To support proposal submissions, please find FAQs: ADFI Call for Proposals 2023 below

ADFI CALL FOR PROPOSALS 2023: Selection process

What is the schedule of activities after the selection date of 31 July 2023?

The Call for Proposal evaluation will culminate in the shortlisting of approximately seven (7) to eleven (11) projects.  Shortlisted projects will go through AfDB/ADFI project preparation cycle. Only projects approved by AfDB Board or ADFI Governing Council (GC) will be awarded a grant or a loan.

The timeline from shortlisting to AfDB Board or GC approval could range between 4 to 7 months depending on the projects level of preparedness.

ADI CALL FOR PROPOSALS 2023: Applicant organisations

Are consortia eligible to apply?

A consortium can apply, as long as the lead applicant is Africa-based and/or registered in a regional or non-regional member country of the AfDB and that the consortium members are aligned to the objectives of digital financial inclusion and ADFI’s pillars of intervention (visit our website for more information).

What are the chances for a consortium whose lead partner is a private entity and other partners have been in operation for more than 3 years. Are the years of the other partners able to complement that of the lead partner?

In the case of consortia, the designated lead partner should meet all the eligibility requirements.

Are international agencies eligible to submit proposals?

International agencies are eligible to apply in partnership with entities from the public or private sector that they are working with and for a specific project/s. 

Are NGOs eligible to submit proposals?

NGOs are eligible to apply in partnership with entities from the public or private sector that they are working with and for a specific project/s. 

What are the requirements in providing information on expertise and track record?

Please provide an outline of both the level (years and depth of experience) and nature of expertise.

For consortia, should all partners demonstrate profitability and positive cash flows over the last three years and provide three year audited accounts?

The requirements to demonstrate profitability and positive cash flow are on the consortium lead who must demonstrate compliance. If shortlisted for further consideration and depending on the nature of the consortium and roles of the participants, further vetting may be undertaken of the other consortium members.

If a director of the lead applicant also serves on the board of partner companies, will these partner companies be regarded as an independent partner?

There are no requirements for companies applying as consortia or joint ventures to have independents partners. Therefore, there are no application restrictions for directors as lead applicants who also serve as board members of partner companies.

Can an institution partner with a Central Bank?

Yes, an institution can partner with a Central Bank who are among the eligible entities.

Are organisations that received funding from ADFI’s Call for Proposals 2019 eligible to submit a proposal for ADFI’s Call for Proposals 2023?

A company that was awarded a grant in ADFI's Call for Proposals 2019 is eligible to apply for ADFI’s Call for Proposals. 2023.

ADFI CALL FOR PROPOSALS 2023: Financial proposal

Can a project be proposed that does not aim for financial return but purely social impact?

A project proposal may be submitted if the goal is social impact as long as it can demonstrate its sustainability over time.

What is the ROI expectation relative to the budget execution? Is providing the revenue elements sufficient or providing a detailed perspective desirable or mandatory in the circumstance?

The requirement is for the financial status revenue elements to be provided.

Should proposals include a cost projection & benefit analysis?

At this stage the project proposal should contain a cost benefit analysis. If information, supported with evidence, is available to provide projections, then this can also be included.

Kindly note that even with information over and above what has been requested, applicants will need to adhere to the prescribed 32 page limit (16 pages for the main document and 16 pages for the annexes).  

ADFI CALL FOR PROPOSALS 2023: Regional initiatives

Can an international organisation with required experience but without regional coverage submit a proposal?

International organisations are eligible to submit a proposal. However, applicants must demonstrate how they will operationalise their projects in countries where they do not have coverage.  Please note that the Call for Proposal allows the building of partnerships.

Can a single organisation engage in a bid process at both country (Lot 1) and regional level (Lot 2)?

Yes, a single organisation can submit proposals for both a country and regional project.


ADFI CALL FOR PROPOSALS 2023: Country level initiatives

Can proposals for countries other than those listed (Algeria, Angola, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Guinea, Morocco, Nigeria and Tanzania) be considered?

Proposals for countries other than those listed are not eligible for this Call for Proposals.

However, they may be considered as part of a regional initiative.

Should countries and activities be defined in the proposal?

Countries and activities should be defined in the submitted application. 

Can a single proposal under Lot 1 be considered eligible if it includes more than one of the priority countries (with individual set of activities respectively)?

A single proposal under Lot 1 which includes more than one of the priority countries (with individual set of activities respectively) would be eligible.

Can a proposal include more than one area of intervention from the same pillar? Can a proposal have area(s) of intervention other than the ones provided in the Call for Proposals, but still under the proposed pillars?

Yes, a single proposal can target more than one area of intervention from the same pillar.

Proposals should focus on the areas of intervention specified in the ADFI Call for Proposals 2023: Document.

Is it permissible for applicants to submit a proposal involving more than one country (under Lot 1) or region (under Lot 2) and does this imply that the maximum size of grant would be multiplied by the number of countries/regions covered?

A proposal submitted under Lot 1 will receive the budgeted amount for the Lot regardless of number of countries targeted. The same applies to a proposal submitted for Lot 2/regional proposals.


What are the terms and conditions of loans and debts mentioned in the “Funding Allocation” section?

These will be discussed with the shortlisted applicants at the point of detailed project design.

How will the maximum grant funding under Lot 1 (country level) of USD 1 million be allocated across project proposals? What is the allowable percentage of overhead (indirect costs) in the total grant amount?

The USD 1 million refers to the maximum grant amount for a single proposal under Lot 1.

Operational expenses will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. However, institutions that are able to meet their own operational costs will have a clear advantage.

What would be the schedule of disbursement?

The schedule of disbursement will vary per project and will be reviewed and agreed with shortlisted applicants during proposal processing.


What are the requirements for proposal information on impact evaluation?

Applicants should provide a project monitoring plan and describe their current mechanisms for measuring project impact. Further, if the project is a scale up of previous project, they should provide any impact evaluation reports by including a hyperlink or as an attachment.

For implementation schedule, is there a requirement for the project to launch and/or go live within 3 to 4 years?

The full project cycle should be completed within the stipulated duration as stated in the ADFI Call for Proposals 2023: Document.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay updated with our quarterly newsletter showcasing the latest blogs and interviews, news, project updates and event listings related to digital financial inclusion in Africa.