DAI through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is seeking applications from prospective partners to implement activities that will enhance the competitiveness of Afghan export-oriented businesses and create sustainable economic growth in targeted value chains.
USAID’S Afghanistan Competitiveness of Export-Oriented Businesses Activity (ACEBA) project works to increase the competitiveness of export-oriented businesses, through a combination of key value chain support activities and export acceleration facilities designed to promote sustainable nationwide economic growth.
ACEBA will help Afghan businesses increase the sales-worthiness of their products in international markets, by working to improve production processes, increase productivity, and export products that meet international demand at competitive prices. The targeted product value chains are natural stone (including marble and granite, onyx, and travertine), gemstones and jewelry, carpets, cashmere, and saffron. ACEBA will operate through “regional export accelerators” in the country’s main urban economic centers
The program’s primary objectives are to:
- increase volume of exports in targeted value chains;
- Increase sales in targeted value chains;
- Create new jobs in targeted value chains.
The total amount of funding currently available for this APS is approximately USD 6 million (approximately 456,000,000 AFA) for a period of up to one (1) year; funding beyond one year is subject to grantee performance and funding availability.
The following types of assistance may be funded by ACEBA’s grants program:
- Export performance grants to exporters and micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to de-risk and incentivize investments in upgrading production, processing, and marketing capacity (including equipment acquisition or the attainment of internationally recognized certifications).
- Investment-readiness grants to moderately and highly sophisticated exporters with high-potential production capacity, for technical assistance or equipment purchases required by identified capital investors.
- Value chain improvement grants to assist exporters in providing stewardship to MSMEs in their supply chains to improve inputs and intermediary products and “de-bottleneck” supply chains. This may also include assistance to enterprises and non-government organizations (NGOs) to advocate for business environment reforms essential to value chain growth.
- Workforce development grants directly tied to expanding export transactions and primarily targeting skills development and preparation of youth and women for jobs. May include apprenticeship programs, vocational and technical training, and certification of skilled workers.
This APS is issued as a public notice to ensure that all interested and eligible organizations have a fair opportunity to submit applications for funding. To be eligible for grant awards, the organization:
- Must be a non-governmental, non-profit, or profit-making organization (restrictions on costs paid under grants to profit-making organizations apply).
- Local organizations must be legally registered in accordance with the laws of the Government of Afghanistan.
- Must have sound operating or business practices and must not engage in child labor.
- Must support outcomes and results consistent with and linked to ACEBA and its objectives.
DAI will not award grants to the following entities:
- Any governmental organization;
- Faith-based organizations whose objectives are discriminatory;
- Organizations from foreign policy restricted countries (Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria);
- Any U.S. entity which is a “Private Voluntary Organization” (PVO) but has not registered as such with USAID;
- Any “Public International Organization” (PIO);
- Organizations included in the List of Parties Excluded from Federal Procurements and Non-Procurement Programs. In addition, organizations are not eligible for awards if they have members who appear in the U.S. Department of Treasury’s List of Specially Designated Nationals (OFAC’s Sanctions List) and Blocked Persons or who have been designated by the United Nations Security (UNSC) sanctions committee established under UNSC Resolution 1267 (1999) (the 1267 Committee) as an individual or organization linked to terrorism;
- Any entity affiliated with DAI and DAI subcontractors or any of its directors, officers, or employees; and
For more information, visit http://www.acbar.org/rfq/12019.jsp