The USAID Africa Trade and Investment (ATI) program is designed to bolster the U.S. Government’s ability to boost trade and investment to, from, and within the African continent. The continent-wide program is USAID’s flagship effort in support of the Prosper Africa initiative and will expand and accelerate two-way trade and investment between African nations and the United States.
Driven by market demand, ATI embraces innovative approaches to achieve its goals. The program is designed as a small, core set of centrally coordinated technical and institutional support activities, and a large, flexible performance-based subcontracting and grants under contract facility designed to support the needs and opportunities that USAID Missions and the private sector identify.
This Annual Program Statement (APS) is written in response to the current global food crisis' impact on Africa. The Russia-Ukraine conflict has had a severe impact on African food security and economies. Russia and Ukraine have long been key exporters of agricultural commodities and crude oil worldwide. Many countries on the African continent are particularly reliant upon Ukrainian and Russian food, fertilizer and fuel. For example, in 2021, Kenya imported almost 30 percent of its wheat from Russia and Ukraine. That same year, Cameroon imported 44 percent of its fertilizers from Russia[i]. However, when Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, it sparked a series of economic consequences that have left nations worldwide scrambling to address rising food insecurity and fuel shortages.
The impacts of the Russia-Ukraine conflict are already being felt on the African continent. Currently, food shortages caused by the closure of vital port operations in the Black Sea have caused unprecedented increases in the price of wheat, sunflower, and crude oil[ii]. This rampant inflation, coupled with climate-related shocks and the longer-term socioeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 global pandemic, is expected to have devastating effects on food security across the continent. As many African countries enter their next planting cycles, the Russia-Ukraine conflict will cause stark impacts on the availability of fertilizers for African farmers—further exacerbating food insecurity. Finally, skyrocketing fuel prices will continue to place steep barriers on the import and export of key commodities.
In response to these pressing needs, the USAID Africa Trade and Investment Program (ATI) is exploring opportunities to use private-sector mechanisms, solutions, and partnerships to address the impacts of the Russia-Ukraine conflict on African food security. In accordance with its mandate, ATI will seek innovative private-sector approaches to address the challenges outlined above as well as those designed to build African resilience in the long-term.
Through this Annual Program Statement (APS) via APS-ATI-002, ATI is seeking partners to work with USAID to scale access to, and availability of, agricultural inputs, technologies, and food that directly respond to the food security and resilience impacts of ongoing price and availability shocks associated with the Russian war against Ukraine.
ATI is seeking concepts that work towards one or multiple of the following overarching objectives and related target outcomes below. The examples of interventions and outcomes are illustrative, and other partnership models and results will also be considered in support of the overarching objectives.
Objective 1: Increased Food Security
- Support to established businesses, farming associations, and sourcing partnerships that can rapidly scale access to key inputs such as seeds and fertilizers
- Partnerships with companies to scale production of food crops critical to food security and nutrition across multiple markets
- Export deals for key inputs to food insecure regions
- Facilitate trade deals that deliver food from regions of surplus to those of scarcity
Objective One Anticipated Outcomes: Increased trade and export of key agricultural products (grains, pulses, edible oils, seed, and fertilizers) to key markets in Africa at risk due to the Russia-Ukraine war; improved access to key value chain crops critical to nutrition and food security
Objective 2: Resilience of Food Systems
- Transaction identification, facilitation, and deal structuring pertaining to Africa’s resilience and food security
- Development of new financing solutions addressing issues of Africa’s resilience and food security in order to accelerate access to key inputs or food products and scale production of essential value chains
- Expand farmers’ access to technologies that reduce reliance on rain-fed agriculture, reduce post-harvest loss, and reduce/replace use of diesel/fuel
- Strengthening and optimization of supply chains, such as the use of technology and data to quickly drive decision making and respond to new resilience shocks
Objective Two Anticipated Outcomes: Increased or faster access to essential inputs (e.g. financial and agricultural) for farmers and businesses, increased investment in Africa’s near and long-term resilience, new solutions created or scaled to address barriers tied to increased resilience
Additional cross-cutting objectives and outcomes
- Creation of private sector jobs
- Empowerment of women, youth and vulnerable communities
- More resilient, inclusive economic ecosystems across countries, regions and the continent
- Value chain activities that span countries and crowd in various enterprises
- Fostering private sector-led response to food security and building market based productive capacities
This APS is a tool for engaging the private sector in transformational partnerships that advance market-based solutions to achieve private sector objectives and development objectives. Eligible activities include novel ideas and innovative business models related to food security, food systems resilience and other support services as described in the text box in Section 1 and above. Innovative ideas that combine the various objectives in a manner that also deliver increased trade and investment as a package are encouraged.
Proposed activities will be evaluated on several factors with priority given to those concepts able to achieve results on a timeline and scale that directly address the food security and resilience risks outlined above (see more details under Section IV). Activities with the potential to engage women, youth or vulnerable populations are also priorities. By fulfilling a multitude of these priorities, the hope is that awardees will address shortages and price increases of essential commodities to build a better, more resilient economic ecosystem in the countries they operate in. Note that concepts for opportunities that would have significant negative impact on US exports or US jobs are likely to be deemed ineligible.
ATI may leverage USAID and Prosper Africa’s previous and existing programming to further develop the economies and financial systems on the African continent to combat the effects of high food, fuel, and fertilizer prices caused by the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Examples of illustrative activities that USAID may consider funding under the respective objectives include but are not limited to:
Illustrative Examples under Objective 1: Increased Food Security
- Cost-shared partnerships working with buyers and suppliers (e.g. farmers and cooperatives) to quickly scale production and export products to key African markets at risk of food insecurity
- De-risk corporate opportunities to build out African supply chains that are immediately tied to food insecurity and malnutrition on the African continent
- Support for African exporters, especially those increasing intra-Africa trade, to meet export requirements and/or accelerate the implementation of the existing Africa Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) export protocols such as trade in goods, trade in services, e-commerce, etc.
- Strategic/sector-level technical assistance to overcome transaction challenges for businesses working in value chains critical to food security and nutrition (e.g. wheat, soya, etc.)
Illustrative Examples under Objective 2: Resilience of Food Systems
- Development or scaling of new financial approaches, products, and structures, to accelerate access to finance for businesses and agricultural institutions critical to the building resilience
- Transaction facilitation and deal structuring in order for a fertilizer company to expand its production, buy more inputs or enhance their technological capabilities to increase yields
- Catalytic funding to mobilize additional investment and/or de-risk for transaction opportunities tied to the resilience of food systems and markets on the African continent
- Interventions providing a lower cost food alternative, thus reducing reliance on imported food products or inputs
[i] Sen, Ashish Kumar. “Russia's War in Ukraine Is Taking a Toll on Africa.” United States Institute of Peace, United States Institute of Peace, 15 June 2022, https://www.usip.org/publications/2022/06/russias-war-ukraine-taking-toll-africa.
[ii] Sacko, Josefa, and Ibrahim Mayaki. “How the Russia-Ukraine Conflict Impacts Africa | Africa Renewal.” United Nations, United Nations, 21 Apr. 2022, https://www.un.org/africarenewal/magazine/may-2022/how-russia-ukraine-conflict%C2%A0impacts-africa.