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Call For Application For The Identification Of Country Partners In Burkina Faso And Ghana

 Issue Date: October 2, 2020

Deadline for Questions: October 15, 2020 5:00 p.m. Local Cameroonian time

Closing Date: October 22, 2020

Closing Time: 5:00 p.m. Local Cameroonian Time

 Subject: Country Partnership Opportunity for Ghana and Burkina Faso

Project Title: “Social entrepreneurship for sustainable development in Sub-Saharan Africa: Lessons learnt from business incubation in Cameroon, Burkina Faso and Ghana”


The Nkafu Policy Institute at the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation – Cameroon is seeking applications for a partnership agreement from qualified entities in Ghana and Burkina Faso to implement the project: Social Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Development in Sub-Saharan Africa. This 2-year project is funded by the Canadian International Development Research Centre (IDRC). Eligibility for this award is not restricted.

Nkafu will partner with the applicant who best meets the objectives of this opportunity based on the review criteria described in this call. Eligible parties interested in applying are encouraged to read this call thoroughly to understand the type of partners sought, application submission requirements and the selection process. To be eligible, potential partners must provide all information as required. Proposals must be submitted in English or French.

Please send any questions to the point of contact shown below. The deadline for questions is shown above. Responses to questions received prior to the deadline will be published on All costs incurred in preparing and submitting a proposal are at the applicant’s expense.

Thank you for your interest in this project.


Louis-Marie Kakdeu, PhD
Project Leader

Download the Full Call For Application Pdf Version

About the Nkafu Policy Institute

The Nkafu Policy Institute is a think tank at the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation, which works to catalyze the transformation of African countries by focusing on social entrepreneurship, science, technology, health, and the implementation of development policies that will create economic opportunities for all. Nkafu Policy Institute is a leading African think tank with a mission to provide independent, in-depth and insightful policy recommendations that allows all Africans to prosper in free, fair, democratic and sustainable economies. The Institute is engaged in promoting policies that strengthen the private sector and has created a Small Business and Entrepreneurship Center in which it promotes business incubation.

The Nkafu Policy Institute is implementing a two (2) year project – funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) entitled: “Social entrepreneurship for sustainable development in Sub-Saharan Africa: Lessons learnt from business incubation in Cameroon, Burkina Faso and Ghana” – and is looking for Partner organizations in Burkina Faso and Ghana in order to carry out country activities.

The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) is a Canadian Organization with the mandate “to initiate, encourage, support, and conduct research into the problems of the developing regions of the world and into the means for applying and adapting scientific, technical, and other knowledge to the economic and social advancement of those regions.” To achieve this, the organ works in collaboration with partners by funding projects as such that foresees as an eligible activity the provision of financial support to third parties, as a mean to achieve its own objectives.

About the project

Business incubators provide the structural support that enables new businesses to grow and become financially independent, which in turn strengthens the private sector and propels an economy. In the last decade, Sub-Saharan Africa has seen a proliferation of business incubators, and it is hoped that they will play a key role in attaining the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially with regards to gender equality and the promotion of sustained and inclusive economic growth. Yet, the effectiveness and impact of these business incubators remains largely unexplored. Likewise, their role in accelerating the economic transformation of Africa seems hard to be established. This study will be carried out in this exploratory phase in 3 sub-Saharan African countries with specific economic dynamics. The selected countries are: Burkina Faso, Ghana and Cameroon. The estimated budget for each country (Ghana and Burkina Faso) is 60,000 USD each with an implementation timeframe of 22 months.

Research Objectives

The overall research objective is to map the business incubation practice in selected Sub-Sahara African countries, and to see how these contribute to the attainment of SDGs 5, 8 and 9.

The relationship between success of business incubators and the country’s ecosystem for “science and innovation” is extremely important to elucidate. Innovation and science systems can be thought to entail four major components; (i) a scientific program on innovation at the ministerial level in a country; (ii) a strategy for technology diffusion in light of research and development; (iii) a science-based industrial park for technological commercialization and (iv) engagement of experts and capacity building for entrepreneurs and innovators. This project therefore seeks to better understand the initial conditions of business incubators in pilot countries, the relationship with the science and innovation ecosystem in the country, and how development partners can engage for greater and sustained impact.

Specifically, this project will investigate:

  • The connection of incubation to the ecosystem for innovation and science: How conducive is the research environment in supporting innovators? How to strengthen these ecosystems in a way that is conducive to innovation and SDG? Who can do what in such ecosystems?
  • The relationship between business creation and SDGs 5, 8 and 9: what is done, what are the gaps and what should be done?
  • Opportunities and challenges resulting from the national fiscal and regulatory framework to successfully scale up.
  • The process of scaling up with a particular interest in the factors of success and failure and an analysis of the role of public policies: which are the most critical areas where innovation can make a difference?
  • Success of incubation-to-scale: generalizability of best practices observed in one country to another.

Objectives of the Call

The Nkafu Policy Institute is looking for one (1) Partner organization in Burkina Faso and one (1) Partner organization in Ghana in order to serve as Focal points for the implementation of the Research project in these countries.

Expectations of country Partners

This project targets states, companies, investors, NGOs, local authorities and schools, and local citizens, and needs resource structures/persons to ensure public relations, data collection and analysis, and organization of research events like workshops. Project activities include:

  1. Review of the literature on business incubation in sub-Saharan Africa.

Deliverable: A detailed methodological plan

  1. Organization of an inception workshop: Presentation of the research project to the partners and discussion of the implementation plan in the field.

Deliverable: An inception report

  1. Official launching of the research in various countries.

Deliverable: A launching report

  1. Monitoring of country research.

Deliverable: A monitoring report

  1. Debriefing/Restitution of country results: Each country partner presents its results to the coordination team and discusses it.

Deliverable: A preliminary country report

  1. Organization of country panel discussion with other experts and business incubation actors.

Deliverable: A final country report

  1. Organization of an international symposium to discuss the results of the combined country reports with experts and actors of others sub-Saharan African countries.

Deliverable: A preliminary general report

  1. Project final evaluation at the country level: An external consultant is hired to evaluate the implementation of the project in various countries.

Our project implementation approach

The Nkafu Policy Institute intends to work at country level with strong partners and research institutions in order to collect and process information. The coordination team launches this open call in order to select a partner organization in each country (one in Ghana and One in Burkina Faso). A partnership agreement will then be signed with that country organization with a list of specifications. The country Partner will work with the central coordination team to design a survey geared toward entrepreneurs and the primary targets of Business Incubators (BI) and will have the charge to administer the survey in partnership with major entrepreneur labs and co-working spaces to better understand their perception of BI. The survey will examine organizations currently part of BIs or their alumni network to understand the financial, economic and social impact of respective BIs. They will have to fulfil the 5 research goals determined in the specific objectives of this research project.

Country visits will be organized by the coordination team in order to ensure the effective launching of the research, the monitoring, and the restitution of results. At the level of each country, a national panel will be organized before the writing of the final country report in order to discuss the country results with stakeholders and a wide range of experts with deep knowledge of the country’s economy. The coordination team will combine the results of all the countries and convene an international symposium in order to discuss the findings with international experts from other sub-Saharan African countries. The results will be discussed and formalized with stakeholders and subsequently presented at the end to the IDRC.

Ethical considerations

In order to control and secure the ownership of data, the Nkafu Policy Institute will ensure that:

  • Authors of primary, secondary and tertiary data will be quoted.
  • Data will be made available to all.
  • Raw data collected by us will be submitted to IDRC for their database;

The country partners will equally be expected to coordinate country inspection activities and monitoring when foreign partners pay visits for all the times necessary for the proper execution of the project.

Who can apply?

This call is opened only to legally registered organisations, associations, research centres or think tanks based in Ghana and Burkina Faso.

How to apply?

All applicants should use the Application Portal to submit the following documents:

  • A cover-letter
  • Administrative documents (to indicate legal existence)
  • Proof of financial strength and stability (financial statements of the last two years or audit reports from the past two years, or both)
  • Curriculum vitae of at least three (3) team members demonstrating expertise
  • List of current or previous projects successfully executed with referees

For any inquiries you can contact: Wun Joshua Mbanfu, Project Assistant, [email protected] with copy to:

FriAsanga, COO D&L Foretia Foundation, [email protected] 

Dr. Louis-Marie Kakdeu, Project leader, [email protected] 

Application Timeline

Submission deadline: October 22, 2020 at 5PM Local Cameroonian Time

Download the Full Call For Application Pdf Version

Activities Date
Publication of the call for proposals
October 2, 2020
Proposal submission deadline, online
October 22, 2020
Notice of award to selected candidates (and opening of due diligence, where necessary)
November 1, 2020
Signing of the grant agreement with selected candidates
November 10, 2020

Language: Applications can be submitted in French or English. Expertise in both languages will be of added value.

Evaluation criteria:

  • A copy of registration/legal documents (proof of appropriate registration e.g. as non-profit organization)
    • 40%: Financial viability and operational capacity of the applicant
      • Financial reports of the last two years or audit reports from the past two years, or both
      • Relevant previous projects or activities
      • Scale and breadth of operations within the country
    • 40%: Technical capacity of the team to implement the proposed project
      • Curriculum Vitae of at least three (3) subject matter experts or research personnel
      • Relevant publications or achievements  
      • Applicant’s experience in the research permit application process in the country
    • 20%: Applicant’s experience in the social entrepreneurship and innovation sector

For inquiries, please still contact the above addresses.

Download the Full Call For Application Pdf Version