RFP for transactional advisory services for Uganda agro-industrial parks

ISF Advisors



Jun 23

Through this RFP, ISF Advisors (“ISF”) is seeking an individual or team (“subcontractor”) to work with ISF and provide transactional advisory services to facilitate investment opportunities in the Uganda Busia Trade Logistics Cluster (TLC) and identify opportunities for broader engagement with agro-industrial parks within the USAID Uganda Zone of Influence. 

USAID/Uganda is considering an activity with the Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA) program that will come online in approximately 12 months. The activity will focus on building linkages between the eventual agro-processing and logistics services available in Busia TLC with agribusinesses and producers in the surrounding areas. 

In the interim period, USAID (via the Feed the Future Market Systems and Partnerships Activity) will engage ISF Advisors to support the development of the Busia TLC concept by providing transactional advisory services to facilitate investment and identify tenants for the park. The transaction advisory team will help unlock investment opportunities and structure a special purpose vehicle (SPV) or other relevant structure to facilitate joint ventures or public-private partnerships between the Government of Uganda and investors. 

In parallel, the subcontractor will work with ISF to conduct a landscape assessment to identify opportunities for USAID investment in agro-processing tied to agro-industrial parks within the USAID Zone of Influence (ZOI), which includes approximately 12-13 parks in Northern, Eastern, and Southwestern regions of Uganda. Of the 12-13 parks in the ZOI, the assessment will focus on a subset of up to five parks. 

Proposals should include the following: 

  • Organizational overview (if submitting as a team) 
  • Qualifications of team member(s) and CVs 
  • Examples of relevant past performance 
  • Total budget, including cost assumptions and explanations (e.g., staff LOE, travel, etc.) 

Evaluation criteria: 

  • Transactional advisory skills, experience, and track record 
  • Experience advising on setup of funds and investment structures, including special purpose vehicles 
  • Familiarity/experience in the agriculture industry in Uganda 
  • Familiarity with regional agriculture finance, processing, and trade 
  • Experience working with senior officials from government and private sector in Uganda 
  • Knowledge and networks with relevant regional and global funders/investors 

Submission process: 

  • Submissions must be received by July 9, 2021 at 6:00pm EST and should be submitted electronically to procurement@isfadvisors.org 
  • Any questions on the tender should be submitted by Friday, July 2nd and should be submitted to procurement@isfadvisors.org 


Overview of the Subcontractor’s Task: The subcontractor will mobilize a full-time transaction advisor who will work in collaboration with an ISF Advisors team and provide full-time coverage of the Busia TLC for a period of 18 months. The full time advisor will be supported by additional transaction advisors and experts, including from the ISF Advisors team who will provide remote support. 

Task 1: Initial Financial Assessment of Busia TLC 

Provide a full-time transaction advisor who will support TMEA with the Busia TLC activity for a period of 18 months. The transaction advisor will lead the initial financial assessment of the park which will form the foundation for the pipeline development and deal execution to be performed in Task 2. The advisor, supported by other remote and regional team members will: 

  • Update Busia financial model and assess financing needs. Review the pre-feasibility study performed by TMEA and update or expand as needed. 
  • Assess financial and commercial viability of Busia TLC. 
  • Support ISF to evaluate structuring options for a special purpose vehicle or similar investment vehicle, as appropriate. 
  • Identify key risks and mitigation strategy. 

Task 2 – Transaction Advisory Services and Special Vehicle Set-up 

Develop an initial pipeline of investment opportunities based on the structuring recommendations put forward in Task 1. Together with ISF Advisors, the GoU and TMEA, the transaction advisor will help develop relevant investor materials (including teasers, pitch deck, prospectus) and support investor outreach. 

Once the outreach strategy is accepted, the advisor will work with ISF Advisors team members to support deal execution, including but not limited to the following: 

  • Develop reporting and governance structures 
  • Support pipeline financiers, developers, tenants through to financial and commercial close; illustrative activities include: 

o Support negotiation 

o Manage inquiries 

o Draft/revise term sheets 

o Liaise with lawyers and/or accountants to complete documentation 

  • Facilitate arrangements between the Government of Uganda (GoU) and potential investors/ financiers by concluding MoUs 
  • If necessary, advise and support set-up of investment vehicle designed in Task 1 (e.g., special purpose vehicle or other) 

Task 3 – Pre-Feasibility Study of Agro-Industrial Parks 

The third activity will be a broader landscape analysis of the agro-industrial park program, specifically focusing on up to five which are in the Feed the Future Zone of Influence. The subcontractor will work in a blended team led by ISF Advisors to provide local context and carry out the following activities:

Initial Framing and Desk Review 

  • Review existing literature and feasibility assessments (including those that analyze the outcomes of donor investment in and support of agro-industrial parks in other countries), including USAID Uganda strategy. Engage with the Uganda Investment Authority (and the Uganda Free Zones Authority) to learn about any current or planned incentive regimes to attract investors. Meet with donors to learn about the details of any current or planned support to the parks. 
  • Assess country-level and regional commodity market dynamics as related to agricultural processed products with a focus on priority commodities from the USAID Uganda Country Plan (e.g., size, growth, market volatility, seasonality, distribution, domestic/regional trade, processing value-add, consumption, regional competitiveness) 

Assessment of Agro-Industrial Parks 

  • Assess economics and growth potential of select agro-industrial parks. Identify potential subsectors and support services which would be viable for each specific park. 
  • Identify current barriers to growth (e.g., sufficiency/stability of raw material, market linkages, infrastructure, investment, policy, labor efficiency). 
  • Identify key political and economic risks and mitigants for agro-processing at the parks. 
  • Evaluate potential for job creation, improvement of productivity, local sourcing of raw material, and alignment with other USAID priorities. 
  • Identify strategies that could attract private sector investment in agro-industries. Identify investor after-care support needed as well as the delivery unit or government entities that could provide such investment facilitation services. 

Synthesis and Implications 

  • Assess opportunities to better align market dynamics of agro-industrial parks with USAID goals by leveraging funding and resources from other public / private stakeholders, and the assets of organizations currently serving the target commodities. 
  • Identify areas of potential USAID engagement to support the Government of Uganda to implement the National Development Plan III with respect to agro-industrialization. 
  • Identify potential opportunities that highlights the breadth or depth of potential future USAID engagement with Uganda agro-industrial parks. 

o Define a discrete set of interventions that could be pursued. 

o Define criteria and prioritize potential investments/interventions. 

o Identify potential USAID modalities for engagement (challenge fund, prioritizing partnerships or policy work within existing FTF programming, etc.) 


ISF is an advisory group committed to transforming global food and agriculture value chains. ISF’s work includes engagement at the production side of the value chain, as well as supply chain SMEs and multi-national companies seeking to innovate, scale and build inclusive and sustainable sourcing. ISF’s work also involves engagement with public, donor and multilateral partners seeking to mobilize appropriate forms of capital. Combining industry-leading research with hands-on technical expertise, ISF develops practical, profitable, and sustainable solutions for a broad range of stakeholders in global food and agriculture systems.

ISF’s primary role is to act as a "design catalyst." ISF conducts industry-leading research on a broad range of topics, including the evolution of the global food and agriculture system. ISF also supports clients in mobilizing funding for rural enterprises and seeding replication of innovative models. ISF works with public and private investors to develop new business models, partnerships, and funding structures that can drive services and capital to food system stakeholders and transform the economies in which they operate. This typically includes a combination of strategy and partnership development while layering in financial inclusion and investment structuring expertise. 

ISF’s team includes financial experts from investment banking and impact investing backgrounds and management consultants from leading strategy firms. ISF team members have significant experience in designing and creating investment facilities and performing market analyses similar to those in this engagement. ISF also has extensive experience supporting clients with raising capital for newly created facilities, and has an extensive network with both commercial and concessional impact investors. 

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