USTDA Call for Energy Project Proposals in Sub-Saharan Africa

ARLINGTON, Va. – The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) today announced today a call for initial proposals from project sponsors in sub-Saharan Africa, including U.S. companies working with African project sponsors.

“This is a special opportunity – the chance to make a lasting difference in a dynamic, developing region and demonstrate the capability and commitment of the U.S. private sector,” said Thomas Hardy, USTDA’s Acting Director. “We are looking for the most inventive and creative project ideas in our infrastructure space, and we believe that we will see just that.”

The proposal should include a brief description of the project’s size and status, including project location, economic fundamentals, equipment and technology requirements, legal and regulatory considerations, and the purpose and amount of USTDA funding requested. The proposal should also outline the sponsor’s experience, potential options for financing the project, risks that the project faces, and estimated potential for U.S. content in the project’s implementation.

These entities are invited to submit an initial concept paper (not to exceed five pages) on energy-related projects to USTDA no later than Tuesday, October 31, 2019 at 12:00pm Eastern Time to be considered for funding. Grant funding from USTDA can be used for feasibilities studies or technical assistance to create bankable infrastructure projects.

USTDA is an implementing agency of Power Africa, a U.S. Government-led partnership coordinated by the U.S. Agency for International Development, which seeks to increase access to electrical power and support private sector investments in African energy infrastructure. USTDA’s investments under these programs provide critical early-stage support to advance new power generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure.

Eligibility Criteria

USTDA accepts proposals to support infrastructure project development in low/middle-income countries throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Teams comprised of qualifying U.S. businesses and eligible African entities from the public or private sectors may submit proposals wherever the U.S. business meets USTDA’s nationality requirements. See USTDA’s Guidelines for Sole Source Project Proposals for more details. Eligible African entities who intend to engage a U.S. business but have not yet selected such a business may also submit proposals. If selected for funding, USTDA will assist these entities in identifying a U.S. business to conduct a mutually agreed-upon scope of work.

Evaluation Criteria

USTDA will employ the following criteria among others to evaluate proposals and make programming decisions:

  1. Potential for U.S. exports. USTDA’s mission is to create export opportunities for manufacturing enterprises in the United States. Proposals will be evaluated based in part on the potential those projects represent for U.S. manufacturers and service providers.
  2. Potential for financing and implementation. Exports are never realized when the project isn’t built. Proposals will be evaluated to determine the potential those projects have to eventually achieve a capital raise and, subsequently, implementation. Offerors are expected to demonstrate how USTDA’s grant capital will catalyze public and private investment, and lead to new infrastructure capacity.
  3. Size of the project. USTDA supports large infrastructure projects. While there is no formal minimum or maximum for project size, projects generally are in the US$40 million to US$400 million capital expenditure range.
  4. Potential for development impact. As an implementing partner of Power Africa, USTDA strives to help catalyze public and private investment in the region’s power sectors. Proposals will be evaluated based on the potential those projects represent for adding capacity, modernizing transmission or distribution, achieving new connections, and/or catalyzing investment.
  5. Strength of the offeror. USTDA will consider the credentials of the host country project sponsor and, where applicable, the expertise of the U.S. firm.

To get further information and begin the proposal process, please contact USTDA will also host a conference call on Wednesday October 9 from 12:00-1:00pm ET to answer questions. Please email if you are interested in joining this call, and call-in details will be shared.