Private Sector Partnership Opportunities in Southern Africa: Request for Applications


Female small-holder farmer checking plants

 Through this Request for Applications (RFA), the Feed the Future Market Systems and Partnerships (MSP) Southern Africa Agricultural Trade & Investment Activity, managed by DAI on behalf of USAID/South Africa, is offering opportunities for co-investment with private sector businesses in southern Africa in strengthening agricultural trade and investment.

To apply, begin by registering online at the DAI online grants platform and explore the RFA and other key materials.

MSP seeks to channel firm resources, expertise, technology and influence to contribute toward one or more of the following objectives:

  • Increase agricultural trade from regional countries to South Africa
  • Increase agricultural investment from South Africa to the region
  • Increase agricultural exports from southern African countries to the United States through the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)

MSP will issue performance-based grants to establish partnerships with businesses and investors with a required 1:1 matching. Proposed activities must demonstrate an increase of trade to South Africa or the United States from at least one of the following countries: Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, and/or Zambia.


Available grant funding and type

MSP performance-based grants ranging from US $250,000-1,000,000. Applicant contribution from prospective partners is required to be a cash investment to the activity of equal to or greater than the value of MSP’s grant.

Period of performance

Partnership grants will be implemented over no more than a 24-month period.

Eligible applicants

Financial institutions, investors, businesses, business service organizations, industry/sector organizations, trade or other private sector associations legally registered to operate in Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and/or Zambia are eligible to apply.

Eligible activities

Eligible activities include novel ideas and innovative business models in input distribution, supply chain management, business services, and other support services, defined further in the text box above.  Proposed activities must include a South African or American partner or investor and demonstrate an increase of trade to South Africa or the United States from at least one of the following countries: Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, and/or Zambia. Multi-country concepts are preferred.

Application process

DAI will apply a streamlined two-stage review and selection process that begins with registering online at the DAI online grants platform ( Submitted concept papers will be evaluated according to the criteria below if considered complete based on the requirements in the full RFA (application instructions).

  1. Register Online to receive the full RFA via;
  2. Submit questions on or before 5:00PM EST March 11, 2022 to regarding the process or activity;
  3. Submit concept paper via on or before March 25, 2022 8:00PM EST in compliance with the full RFA document.

Concept paper evaluation criteria

Proposed Business Concept - A new or expanded business concept that is feasible, viable and innovative and provides a market-based solution to an identified business challenge aligned with core business goals.  Potential business concepts could include a supply chain or marketing model, or a new product or service offering and should be a new/different business model from current business efforts.

Development Impact (Result) - The specific, measurable, and significant impact on MSP USAID target populations (e.g. smallholders suppliers, bottom of the pyramid (BOP) consumers, small and growing businesses) and contribution to industry-wide concerns/growth the applicant seeks to directly achieve through the proposed partnership—aligned with the objectives of the Southern Africa Agricultural Trade & Investment Activity.

Sustainability - The strategy for the business concept to successfully continue without additional donor assistance beyond the life of the MSP partnership.

Scale - Projection of the potential pathway to scale-when the investment or approach will expand and by how much.

Funding Justification - The justification of why the applicant cannot execute the proposed concept on their own, without MSP’s participation.

Issuance of this announcement does not constitute an award or commitment on the part of DAI, nor does it commit DAI to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of applications. Further, DAI reserves the right to reject or approve any or all submitted applications.


The MSP Activity is advancing learning and good practice in market systems development and private sector engagement within USAID, USAID partners and market actors. For more information, access to technical resources and opportunities to engage, visit


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