Team: Programs | Commitment: Consulting | Location: Ghana

STTA: Market researchers in target ECOWAS countries


The Investment Promotion and Business Linkages Activities Project in Ghana falls under Key Result 4 of Ghana Employment and Social Protection programme and focus on the following interventions:

·         Key activity c) promoting equity and quasi equity-based investment into SMEs with a focus on the agribusiness value chain following a structured sequence of investment promotion activities, such as identifying potential investors, preparing investment briefs to key target investors, supporting promotion campaigns, providing investor management. A preferred target of this activity will be ‘Impact Investment Funds’, which measure their return on investment not only in financial terms, but also in terms of jobs created as well as social and environmental impact; and

·         Key activity d) promoting business linkages in selected value chains between large companies and local small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). This activity follows a structured approach, including identifying lead companies and viable local suppliers of goods and services, which will be strengthened to ensure specifications for service and product delivery can be met and foster contractual business relationships with large corporations and facilitate access to finance.

The Project which is based in Accra but will cover the whole of Ghana has a focus on the agri-business sector and is to be implemented in close cooperation with the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), building on their significant network of SMEs in Ghana.

The direct beneficiaries of the contract are the Small and Medium sized Enterprises, large companies and investors (foreign and domestic notably impact investors). Other stakeholders include Private Sector organisations and the European Business Organisation in Ghana (EBO Ghana) as well as Public institutions such as: the Ghana Investments Promotion Centre (GIPC) which should be involved at all steps.

Overall objective, Purpose and Results of the Project

The overall objective of the Investment Promotion and Business Linkages Project is to contribute to the holistic approach of the Ghana Employment and Social Protection programme by supporting employment and social protection and supporting the agenda of the Government of Ghana (GoG) as far as MSMEs and their development with business development services, advocacy and access to finance predominantly along the agricultural value chain given its employment potential.

Furthermore, the purpose of the Project is to subsidizes the implementation of the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda II (GSGDA II) with specific inputs to the Private Sector Development Agenda and the National Export Strategy.

The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) is the implementing Partner of the Project which is expected to achieve the following main results:

·         Result 1: Equity based investment in Ghanaian Agribusiness Value Chains is promoted, and in particular the presence of Impact Investment Funds is increased in Ghana;

·         Result 2: Business between large companies at the top of a value chain and new suppliers is generated; and

·         Result 3: Export development in the ECOWAS region is promoted.



The assignments should confirm top segment markets’ attractiveness and import conditions for a number of agro-processed products from Ghana in specific target countries in the ECOWAS region.  

Expected results

The non-key short-term Experts should measure the marketing and import viability of pre-selected products from Ghana in terms of quantity and quality, as well as price, identification of entry markets’ options (e.g.: diaspora operators, tourism and catering sectors, importers or large traders which in-country distribution capacity) or large retailers…), profiling (size, taste, weight…) of the ideal products for each one of importers or market segments, listing of suitable distribution channels and outlining requirements / constraints to imports of similar products.



·         The non-key Experts are experienced in marketing strategies for product development and or innovation market profiling and have a deep knowledge of the distribution channels for imported agro-processed products and purchasing conditions in their home countries;

·         The target countries are keen to respect ECOWAS trade agreements and import conditions are fairly conducive: and

·         The non-key Experts provide consistent and relevant information within the estimated duration of the assignment.


·         The pre-selected products are not attractive for the target countries and markets or import conditions are unacceptable or impossible to meet;

·         The non-key Experts do not have the appropriate professional background and fail to understand the objective and scope of the assignment and do not perform as expected; and

·         The outputs from the non-key Experts are not relevant enough to enable the design of effective export plans and/or product development.



The Technical Assistance has undertook to pre-select a number of medium-size industries in Ghana operating in various sectors of the agriprocessing value chain and whose products may have an export potential to the ECOWAS region. Namely in countries where there may be afair demand of these products and GDP per capita is high and enables product(s’) differentiation.

Eventually but not certain countries where the Ghanaian diaspora is relevant and/or where there is a tradition of importing food products from Ghana.

The assigment shall be carried out with the key objective of understanding / analyzing the interest of major importers / distributors in the specified pre-selected products. These analysis will be performed with the use of digital samples (product pictures and specifications).

In order to conduct  the meetings with major importers /distributors in the most productive way and all the necessary information can be obtained, the consultant is required to primary prepare a questionnaire to use as a reference in the meetings. This questionnaire should first be sent to the contracting entity for validation and only then can be used.

The overall goal is to understand what major importers / distributors think about the product, if they are interested, if they feel there is demand, if the packaging (design, quality, quantity) is in line with what the market demand, if the branding can target the consumers, if there is any kind of improvement that should be done in the products to strive with a bigger chance of success.

Although in an early stage, it is also crucial to perceive what value the major importers /distributores are willing to pay for the products. The aim is to comprehend a value base by which the products can be traded and to understand if there is truly a possibility of future business.

The consultant should also try to figure information about any constraints that major importers report may exist (if they existe, how they can overcome them) for the import of these products (e.g. customs, certifications).

The interest in exporting these products is only to the top end markets. All street markets, small street stores and small supermarkets should not be taken into account. Therefore, major importers / distributors must be of the highest credibility and with proven market intelligence. Traders, small importers who have difficulty entering the market, with payment difficulties, with a history of conflicts with customers should be discarded.

The products listed below are mentioned only for reference. Pictures and complete description will be sent  before the start of the assigment. For reference considere that most of the products have a fair marketing approach based on a qualitative packaging with an attractive design.

·         Primium virgin coconut oil & regular coconut oil for cooking or direct consume;

·         Natural cocoa powder (to be mixed with water or milk or for bake cakes);

·         Gari (cassava flour in bags of various sizes, 1 kg, 2 kg, 5 kg);

·         White & brown sugar (sachets, sticks that can be personalized by demand)

·         Tombrown & other breackfast cereals (from rice,maize, sorghum)

·         Chicken, meat and fish seasonings and spices

·         Instantaneous drinks (chocolate milk) and foods (garim mix, that include cassava flour, peanuts and sugar) and ready to cook meals(palm oil soup in can)

·         Granola & healthy snacks (dried fruits and coconut chips)

·         Natural Cosmetics (pure and made from shea butter, cocoa, coconut, carvon, etc) for eg. soaps, body and face creams, facial and body scrubs.

The consultant in the end of the assignment should provide:

·         Executive Summary (no more than 1,500 words).

·         List of major importers / distributors that operate in the top end market.

·         Questionnaires filled with all necessary information (after having been previously validated).

·         Customs information regarding target products importation (by all transport methods),

·         Required certifications (process explained with expectable timeline) and which Ghana certifications are accepted (or can be converted) to enter in the market.

·         Conclusions and Recommendations

Geographical area to be covered:

The assignment shall take place in the following countries of the ECOWAS region:

1.       Cabo Verde

2.       Côte D’Ivoire

3.       Mali

4.       Burkina Faso

Technical deliverables

The Experts are expected to submit the following deliverables:

·         Workplan of the assignment;

·         Questionnaire for market research:

·         Market research with the following outputs:

a.       A list of who are the major importers / distributors (at least five) who operate in the top end markets and in what conditions (prices, payment conditions, CIF or FOB).

b.       What do they think about the products, suggestions for improvement and if they are interested in working with the companies that own the products?

c.        What difficulties can major importers / distributors have in order to import these products at the level of certifications, customs, prices, language, size, consumer culture.

d.       Who are the national competitors (if any) and how do these products compare with national ones?

e.       Research in the agencies responsible for accepting imported products if certifications from Ghana are accepted and which certifications are required (if Ghana certifications are not accepted or insufficient or cannot be converted) for the products to be sold in the country (procedure and timing)

f.         Inquiry customs to gathered information related to taxes and conditions for imports from Ghana and by type of transport.

Management and coordination

The non-key Experts work under the supervision of the Team Leader and shall, ultimately, report to the Project Manager at AESA.

However, all technical and operational guidance will be secured by the Business Development Expert in charge of coordinating the activity. The Team Leader will replace the Business Development Expert as and if need.

The non-key Experts will liaise with the Project office, namely the Business Development Expert, prior to the commencement of the training assignment in order to clarify the objectives and outputs and discuss the activity schedule with key milestones for each one of the assignments.

Exchanges between the Project and the non-key Experts will take place by skype and/or WhatsApp and/or email.

Report should be submitted as a word document with a supporting presentation in power point.



Each one of the non-key Experts will be allocated a target country in the ECOWAS which is where s/he will be located.

Start date & Contract duration

The intended start date is August 2019 and the intervention are for an estimated total of 60 working days and each one of the non-key Experts will be allocated a maximum of 15 working days to perform her/his own individual assignment.

The breakdown of working days allocated to each task will be indicated in the activity schedule to be submitted by each non-key Expert prior to the start of his/her assignment (see section Management and Coordination).

Requirements: General

  • Higher education degree in Economics, Business Management, Marketing, International Trade or other degree relevant to the assignment. Alternatively, a minimum of 6 years of experience in performing market research activities;
  • Background in export development, ideally oriented to the agro-processing sector;
  • Substantial knowledge and experience of the business environment in the country of intervention;
  • Computer literate (Word, Excel, PowerPoint); and
  • ·         Fluency in written and spoken French and English are required for Côte D’Ivoire, Mali, and Burkina Faso.

  • Fluency in written and spoken Portuguese and English are required for Cabo Verde

Requirements: Specific

  • Effective working experience in the agro-processing sector performed at company level;
  • Effective proven experience in strategic marketing, namely in the areas of product development and securing distribution channels in the country of the intervention;
  • Relevant 5 years’ experience in the import/export sector and developing new markets and identifying entry point requirements and compliances (e.g.: customs, taxes, certifications, quotas, labelling…)applying to the exporter; 
  • At least 5 years of experience in market research duly proven with a minimum of 4 similar assignments; and
  • Knowledge of Ghana’s economy and its agro-processing sector are considered an advantage.

Reporting Requirements

The short-term Expert is required to submit one short final report at the end of the intervention.

In addition, all non-key Experts are required to report back weekly by email against the agreed activity schedule and milestones (see section Management and Coordination).

Submission and approval of reports and technical documents

Approval of report(s) is secured by the Team Leader at the end of the assignment and following initial endorsement of all technical products (see Technical Deliveries section) by the Business Development Expert responsible for the coordination of the assignment.

However, AESA is the ultimate responsible for the approval of the report.

Regardless the non-key Experts are responsible for her/his own contributions. As such s/he will be required to provide clarifications or enhance contributions as seen fit by AESA and/or the Contracting Authority.


Definition of indicators

Satisfactory performance reflected in the timely and professional accomplishment of the assignment including delivery of workplan activities and tasks falling under their responsibility and timely submission of proficient technical outputs.