Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund


  1. The Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund

The AECF is a leading African-owned and led development Organization that supports innovative enterprises in the agribusiness and renewable energy sectors with the aim of reducing rural poverty, promoting resilient communities, and creating jobs. AECF has raised over to provide catalytic funding and technical advisory support to enterprises that struggle to meet traditional risk-return standards for commercial investors. In just over a decade, we have supported over 375 businesses in 26 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, impacted more than 30 million lives, created over 27,000 direct jobs, and leveraged US $771 million in matching funds.

We surface and commercialize new ideas, business models and technologies designed to increase agricultural productivity, improve farmer incomes, expand clean energy access, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and improve resilience to the effects of climate change while also addressing the crosscutting themes of women, youth, and fragility. AECF is committed to working in frontier markets, fragile contexts, and high-risk economies where few mainstream financing institutions dare to go. In 2021, the AECF launched a refreshed strategy with the objective to build resilience and sustainable incomes for rural and marginalized communities in Africa.

  1. AECF Programs

AECF provides matching grant financing and technical assistance (TA) to innovative renewable energy businesses/business ideas across Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The programs use a competition-based challenge fund model to select innovative or early-stage companies. It also includes tools for lower-risk scale enterprises through a results-based payment facility as well as very early-stage investments through an innovation fund. TA is provided for both business enhancement and investment fundraising. The REACT SSA has invested in eight improved cook stoves (ICS) companies in six countries (Kenya, Burkina Faso, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Mali, and Liberia). We are seeking a product design and operations/production specialist to provide advisory support to investees in the clean cookstoves sub-sector.

  1. About the Assignment
    1. Objectives of the Assignment

Smoke from open cooking fires and polluting cookstoves is estimated to cause millions of premature deaths and lead to a variety of illnesses. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) Household air pollution is responsible for an estimated 3.2 million deaths per year.

Efficient and clean cookstoves have proven to reduce harmful emissions and reduce the amount of fuel used by households and cost. The overall objective of the assignment is to provide technical advisory support to three investee companies (two in Kenya, and one in Mozambique) to boost productivity and the quality of the stoves they are manufacturing. These companies are transitioning from artisanal to large-scale production. There is a huge potential to achieve efficiency gains and enhance quality and productivity in existing ICS manufacturing processes. The consultant will support investees in generating a stove production blueprint, product design and standard improvement and enhancing efficiency in the cookstove production. The production process will be enhanced to reduce throughput time, improve workmanship, and maintain a consistent level of production quality and possibly move to high Tier. Other elements will be an improvement of factory organization and work safety. The assignment will involve the application of lean and mass manufacturing principles to evaluate alternative designs and materials in relation to minimizing costs while meeting end-user requirements.

    1. Specific duties and responsibilities (the “Services”) of the consultant

The consultant will be expected to deliver on the following general scope of the assignment, which will be refined further depending on the needs assessment for each of the three companies.

  1. Conduct a needs assessment to identify gaps in the stove design and production process
  2. Provide technical support in the improvement of design and material selection

This is an integral part of cost reduction that assesses product purpose, the operating conditions and the process of manufacturing. The objective will be to ensure the longevity of the product and the safety of the user while minimizing raw material and processing costs. This will include an assessment of the use of pre-manufactured components e.g., steel/wooden, cast-iron pot stands/grates to determine effective ways to save costs on material processing for the intricate components without compromising the quality.

  1. Provide technical support in design for manufacturing and assembly

The aim of this task is to support the companies simplify the design as much as possible. The design will be providing support in the determination of materials required and processing time per part to be able to reduce number (quantity) of parts, complexity and size to lower material costs.

  1. Production process design

With the completion of the design above, the consultant will undertake a cost-benefit analysis of a centralized and decentralized production method that would be most suited for the specific company.

  1. Process optimization

Using the Critical Path Model, identify the critical workflow path for optimizing speed and efficiency while doing a process failure analysis. Also, establish an efficient supply chain management system.

  1. Verification and Validation

The consultant will validate the design and process recommendation during the technical support process

  1. Training

Develop appropriate training material and train the teams in the company’s production unit.

  1. Advise and recommend possible suppliers of recommended t raw materials can be sourced.
  2. Prepare and submit to AECF a report presenting insights from this assignment
    1. Specific deliverables

For each of the three companies, the deliverables/outputs for this assignment are outlined below:

  • The stove design and production process assessment report for each company
  • Manufacturing blueprints containing detailed engineering drawings specifying all required design tolerances and material selections and the design failure mode and effects analysis documentation which identifies all potential design failure modes and mitigation measures
  • Production process design based on the suitable production method, for centralized or decentralized
  • Assembly blueprint consisting of Process Control Plans, Process Flow Charts, and Standard Work Instructions. This should include documentation on process failure mode and effects analysis.
  • Materials / new design improved cook stoves quality testing certificate.
  • Training kit covering correct use of equipment, workshop/factory safety and organization, social standards of work and environmental management among others identified during the assessment.
  • An insights report from this assignment, to inform AECF’s future investments and support to the sector.
  1. Requirements
  • Relevant manufacturing/engineering degree. (Industrial, process, Mechanical or Production Engineering or related field)
  • More than five years of experience in an operations environment. Experience gained in SME manufacturing companies within the stove industry is a significant advantage.
  • Professional accreditation with an industry-related body would be advantageous
  • Experience with CAD software.
  • Ability to design processes and layouts
  • Experience in lean manufacturing, Failure Mode Effects Analysis, continuous improvement and problem-solving process improvement and error-proofing techniques
  • Understanding of design and production costs to include waste, downtime, scrap and re-work
  1. Duration of the assignment

The assignment will take 50 days and is expected to commence in March2023 and end in May 2023.

  1. Proposal submission

Qualified consultants/consulting firms are invited to submit An Expression of interest that includes the following:

  1. Qualification and experience of the consultant/team
  2. Approach and methodology to undertake this assignment underpinned by a demonstration of value for money.
  3. Previous experience in similar assignment(s)

NB: More information will be provided to the shortlisted candidates that will allow a better understanding of the requirement and preparation of a more detailed proposal.

  1. Reporting

The consultant will report to the Enterprise Development Lead. They will work closely with the Senior Technical Advisors in the AECF Advisory Studio.

  1. Evaluation Criteria

An evaluation committee will be formed by the AECF and may include employees of the businesses to be supported. All members will be bound by the same standards of confidentiality. The consultant should ensure that they fully respond to all criteria to be comprehensively evaluated.

The AECF may request and receive clarification from any consultant when evaluating a proposal. The evaluation committee may invite some or all the consultants to appear before the committee to clarify their proposals. In such event, the evaluation committee may consider such clarifications in evaluating proposals.

In deciding the final selection of qualified bidder, the technical quality of the proposal will be given a weighting of 80% based on the evaluation criteria.

The mandatory and desirable criteria against which proposals will be evaluated are identified in the table below.

Key Areas for Evaluation/ Assessment

Weighted Award

(A)Expression of Interest


i)An understanding of the consultancy requirements


ii) Methodology and work-plan that will deliver the best value on the assignment:


iii)Relevant services undertaken by the bidder in past engagements:


iv)Detailed reference list- indicating the scope and magnitude of similar assignments and at least 2 Letters of reference signed from past customers or associates to the consultant


v) Qualification and experience of the consultant/team and evidence of relevant certifications


  1. Tax

The AECF is obliged by the Kenyan tax authorities to withhold taxes on service contract fees as well as ensure that VAT, is charged where applicable. Applicants are advised to ensure that they have a clear understanding of their tax position with regards to provisions of Kenya tax legislation when developing their proposals.

  1. Disclaimer

AECF reserves the right to determine the structure of the process, the number of short-listed participants, the right to withdraw from the proposal process, the right to change this timetable at any time without notice and reserves the right to withdraw this tender at any time, without prior notice and without liability to compensate and/or reimburse any party.

How to apply

  1. Application details

To be considered, your proposal reference “EOI CONSULTANCY TO ENHANCE PRODUCTION EFFICIENCY FOR COOK STOVE MANUFACTURING COMPANIES IN ANGLOPHONE” must be addressed to by 1700Hrs (EAT), 9th March 2023. For any clarifications, please write to procurement at

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