World news story

Call for bids: Testing a new model to support UK infrastructure projects in Southern and East Africa

The British High Commission in Pretoria is inviting bids from organisations seeking to carry out prefeasibility and feasibility study work to support the development of infrastructure projects in these regions.


The call opens on 27 September 2017 and will close at 5pm SAST on 13 November 2017.

UK Prosperity Fund

The 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review announced a £1.3bn Prosperity Fund over the next 5 years to promote the economic reform and development needed for growth in partner countries. Our global priorities will include the development of infrastructure that increases the economic development of partner countries, contributing to a reduction in poverty. We expect these reforms to create opportunities for international business including UK companies.

The role of the Fund is also set out in the UK aid strategy, Tackling Global Challenges in the National Interest.

The Prosperity Fund will form a small but integral element of the UK’s total Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment of 0.7% of GNI. It will primarily be focused on ODA eligible middle income countries, contributing to poverty reduction and complementing DFID’s work in poorer countries. In this way, the Fund will contribute towards meeting the new Sustainable Development Goals. ODA spend under the Fund will be fully consistent with OECD DAC


These specific grants will be funded from a small portion of the Fund that is not classified as ODA. Bids should set out opportunities where UK Government funding will support the financial feasibility of an infrastructure project with demonstrable UK content/value. Successful bids will clearly evidence how UK Government funding will ultimately unblock the project. UK Ministers have identified South Africa as the highest priority country in these regions for Prosperity Fund activity and consequently bids for activity in South Africa will be given greater weighting. The attached Grant Proposal Form demonstrates the methodology through which this weighting will be incorporated in evaluation.

Application instructions

To apply, please download, complete and send the Grant Proposal Form (MS Word Document, 291KB) to Southern Africa Prosperity and Policy Programmes Team by 5pm SAST on Monday 13 November 2017 when this Call for Bids will close:

  1. A copy of the Grant Proposal Form (in MS Word format, with an e-signature); and

  2. Evidence of stakeholder engagement and local buy-in.

Supplementary information not included within the Grant Proposal Form will not form part of the evaluation process.

Bids will be accepted for funding of up to £100k. Bidders are welcome to submit multiple separate proposals. All bids will be rigorously scrutinised to ensure value for money and impact, and the Grant Proposal Form indicates the weighting associated with each component.

Successful proposals will need to demonstrate the components of the work funded by this grant can be delivered and spent in full by March 2018. Bidders should familiarise themselves with how proposals are assessed in the Central Guidance for Implementers and the FCO’s Standard Grant Contract before applying.

Bidding Timeline

Date Activity
Wednesday 27 September 2017 Call for Bids published
Monday 13 November 2017 (5pm SAST) Deadline for bids to be submitted

It is anticipated that firms will be informed of the outcome of their bids by 18 December 2017 with contracts signed and funds disbursed by 15 January 2018.

UK government contacts

Bidders are strongly encouraged to contact the Department for International Trade Infrastructure Sector leads for Southern and East Africa respectively to discuss potential bids in advance:

Raksha Maharaj, Southern Africa Trade Development Manager for Infrastructure: +27 (0) 11 537 7207 and Eric Olanya, East Africa Trade Development Manager for Infrastructure: +256 312 312000

Published 27 September 2017