Proposed combined facility for in-Africa delivery of Australia Awards and extractives technical assistance programs
The Australian Government is currently delivering over 500 scholarships a year and providing a range of training and technical assistance support to African countries in areas such as agriculture, extractives sector and public policy. This is primarily being delivered through two multi-country programs, the Australia Awards in Africa (AAA) and the Australia Africa Partnership Facility (AAPF). These programs, due to end in June 2015, are delivered through separate managing contractors.
The next phase of the AAA and a new extractives technical assistance program are currently in design.
The AAA program will likely cover around 20 countries (predominantly in East and southern Africa but not exclusively); have a sectoral focus on agriculture, extractives and public policy; and deliver between 400 and 500 Awards a year.
The technical assistance facility will focus exclusively on extractives (minerals, oil and gas) and deliver a mix of responsive and longer-term assistance across the areas of skills development, community partnerships and the enabling environment.
Delivery of both these programs is anticipated to be over four years from mid-2015 with potential extension options.
To ensure alignment between these two programs and for cost efficiencies DFAT is proposing a single delivery model. This will involve a single tender for a managing contractor or consortium to deliver both programs. DFAT seeks contractors or consortiums that will provide the logistical capacity to deliver an Awards program across a number of African countries, but also has the strategic and technical capacity to share Australian and international expertise in the extractives area. The contractor(s) will need to work closely with DFAT in Canberra and Australia's missions in Africa. The contractor will help DFAT to manage innovative partnerships, including with industry and NGOs, in areas such as skills development, infrastructure planning and promoting broader benefits for mining communities.
DFAT will release further information on the program components as the design process proceeds. It is envisaged that a draft of the design for the combined implementing arrangement will be released during September / October 2014, at which point an industry briefing will be held (likely in South Africa). We expect to launch a tender for the combined implementing arrangement in the second quarter of 2014-15.