Technical assistance consultancy to assess Posts’ digital readiness for e-commerce in 10 African countries


The purpose of this call for tenders is to solicit strategic consultants with strong experience in e-commerce and digital transformation to support the UPU in undertaking an assessment of digital readiness for e-commerce (DRE) and to provide recommendations on the development of e-commerce in 10 African countries. 

The 10 selected countries will be divided into two workstreams of five countries each, based on language (i.e. English or French) and geographical distribution. 

The consultants will work primarily with the UPU and its partners, and will undertake field missions in Africa from July to October 2021.

Deadline: 28 June 2021 at 16.00 CEST


Questions and answers



Article 4.2 : le Master est-il totalement prioritaire ?

+ l’expérience de 7 ans au moins également ?

C'est une préférence.


Article 4.3: nous sommes une agence, il faut donc vous présenter 3 consultants ?

Vous pouvez présenter jusqu'à 3 consultants


Nous souhaiterions avoir les précisions suivantes concernant l’appel d’offre concernant le commerce électronique et les Postes dans 10 pays d’Afrique :

Pourriez-vous confirmer s’il est possible de candidater pour un seul axe (1 ou 2)?

Vous pouvez postuler pour 1, 2 ou tous les axes.


Pourriez-vous partager la liste des pays envisagés ? Cela nous aiderait à mobiliser l’équipe adaptée et à chiffrer le budget de déplacement en conséquence

Les 10 pays cibles sont identifiés et en attente de confirmation. La liste n'est pas publique.


A question on scope of the consultancy services: It is mentioned that the terms of methodology and organization of work shall be based on the digital readiness for e-commerce methodology provided in annex-1. It is expected that this will be reviewed and enhanced by the consultants at the outset of the mission, in consultation with and subject to the validation of the UPU. Our understanding is that:  
 The annex-1 would be reviewed and updated as required at the outset of the project and actions/recommendations and Enablers/Assistance mentioned are not required to be delivered as part of this project. 

Actions and recommendations are required to be delivered.     Enablers/Assistance are not required to be delivered.

Deliverables mentioned in the RFP section 4.1 and 4.4 are required to be delivered as part of this project.'' Please confirm
 Please confirm our above understanding is correct

Yes, you are correct.


Reference to point 2.12 of the TOR on language of tender documents. Since method will be the same for the countries, can you pls explain if the point 2.12 means we have to translate the methodology section to have both languages and all other parts of our bid (except CVs and bios) can be in English.

Yes, this is acceptable.


Also, regarding language of the project management and deliverables, please confirm if the 2 work streams (French and English) will be project managed separately and deliverables submitted in respective language or if Project management and communication should happen in English and only deliverables to be drafted in respective languages.

Deliverables are expected in the respective language. Project management, communication and documentation within the project will be a mixture of English and French.


Is there any flexibility on the start date and timelines of the project?

The timelines are as published

Does the UPU have a wider list of countries targeted from which the consultant/UPU and other relevant stakeholders will have to shortlist?

The 10 target countries are already identified but not publicly available.

Procurement rules: Assuming that assessment work will lead to implementation assistance in some countries, will the firm selected to do this study be excluded from applying for potential follow up implementation assistance work?  

No. The follow-on activities will be autonomous, demand driven and independent.

We would like to ask the following questions concerning ““RFP-2021-007 – Technical assistance consultancy to assess Posts’ digital readiness for e-commerce in 10 African countries”.

Scope: What should be the focus segment for e-commerce in this study: B2C, B2B or both?

All segments are expected to be assessed

Deliverables: In what language are the final reports supposed to be created? 

They should be available in the preferred language of the country or sub-region – English or French.

Deliverables: Which level of detail regarding the following demand is expected?

A) A thorough analysis of all (or only 10) African countries done by consultants; 


B) a collection of ideas / best practices what stakeholders in the markets? 

(See 4.1: "The consultants will also ensure that the African Union and the member states have the necessary information on existing solutions in Africa to facilitate the development of e-commerce and the identification of partners that can be mobilized to replicate initiatives in other countries")

A suitable level of detail and sharing of best practices that enables policymakers and senior executives to prepare informed strategies.

Deliverables: "the provision of key strategic recommendations for the digital transformation of postal services in the countries within the scope of the study..." 

Does this also include concrete implications for implementation/roll-out, or is it strictly focused on strategic recommendations? 

The focus will be on strategic recommendations and roadmaps. The concrete implementation/roll-out actions are a separate and independent activity following acceptance of the recommendations.

Deliverables: Does the assessment part also include the technological dimension (technical capabilities, tech. readiness, etc.)? 


Approach: Should the stakeholder identification & analysis be done before the actual assessment starts?

Yes, conceptually this will be important first step in preparing the in-country mission, to ensure it can be efficiently executed given the tight schedule.

References: Do we need to provide a personal contact on client side (incl. contact details) for all 3 references? Can we provide more than 3 references? 

If possible, personal contact of no more than 3 references will facilitate efficient verification.

We received your RFP-2021-007 – Technical assistance consultancy to assess Posts’ digital readiness for e-commerce in 10 African countries and have the following questions :

Could you please precise the list of countries included in Workstream 1 and Workstream 2 ?

The 10 target countries are identified but not publicly available.

Could you please send us the Annexes of the RFP, especially the referenced Annex 1, in which you provide "the digital readiness for e-commerce methodology"?

The annexes can be found on the UPU website at this link 

Has UPU already selected the ten countries for which the DRE assessments are to be carried out? If not already selected, can the applicant firms propose the countries?

Yes, the 10 target countries are known and awaiting confirmation.

Considering the number of working days proposed for the entire assignment and country-level assessments, will UPU support the consulting firms with the list of stakeholders and with arranging the stakeholder consultations?

As stated in section 4.1 the consultants are to provide the UPU suggestions on the relevant stakeholders in each country based on their local knowledge. The UPU will provide support to arrange the stakeholder consultations.

TOR mentions that the consultants may work remotely from their home country for the desk research and writing of reports. They will be required to visit the African countries in question for the stakeholder consultations (page 12, point no. 4.5). However, with the specified budget of CHF 50,000 and working days, travel might not be possible. Can the consulting firm carry out virtual consultations for out of home country locations?

The location of the services are stated in paragraph 4.5. The proposals should outline how the in-country stakeholder consultations will be conducted, subject to the travel situation with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Ref par. 3.6: Is it expected to submit a bid for one workstream or is it possible to submit for both?

It’s possible to submit for both.

Ref par. 3.6 and par. 4.7: we would like to have more clarification regarding the travel subsistence cost versus the total project budget. In other words, is the living cost considered within the budget? Is it non-inclusive of the daily rate? 

There is no separate subsistence allowance. The living cost is considered within the budget.


Ref par. 2.3 and par. 4.5: Are the 10 countries already known or will they be nominated eventually and on which basis.

Yes, the 10 target countries are known and awaiting confirmation.