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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

General Information

The Skills Initiative for Africa (SIFA) is an initiative of the African Union Commission (AUC) supported by the German Government and the European Union (EU) to strengthen the occupational prospects of young people in Africa. Under SIFA, a Financing Facility for Skills Development has been established. The Facility is implemented by the African Union’s Development Agency - New Partnership for Africa’s Development (AUDA-NEPAD), with financing from Germany and the European Union through KfW Development Bank.

The SIFA Financing Facility provides funding for skills development projects in selected African countries (SIFA partner countries). Grants are allocated on a competitive basis through three different Funding Windows.

The eight SIFA partner countries are Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Togo and Tunisia. SIFA funding is available for projects in these participating countries only.

A Funding Window is a funding category with a specific goal. Each funding window has specific criteria defining who is eligible to apply, what type of project can be funded, and minimum and maximum grant amounts.

There are three (3) funding windows under the SIFA Financing Facility. They are summarised here: SIFA Funding Windows.

Eligibility

SIFA funding is available for applicants in the SIFA partner countries. Applicants must be experienced stakeholders (legal entities, e.g. institutions, organizations, companies) in the field of skills development.

The Eligibility Criteria are different for each Funding Window.

Funding Window 1:

  • Lead: Domestic public or private accredited training provider
  • Primary Partner: Domestic private sector entity

Funding Window 2:

  • Lead: International company with training activities (present or planning to be in one of the participating SIFA countries with its own business operations), international chambers of commerce, international industry organisations/associations, or foundations of international companies; National industry organisations/associations are also eligible if they can demonstrate a significant/active number of international member companies.
  • Primary Partner: National public TVET schools or providers
  • Secondary partners (optional): Regulatory agencies, chambers of commerce or industry/employer associations

Funding Window 3:

  • Professional TVET entities from the public and private sectors, academia, civil society, and
    organisations supporting entrepreneurship (publicly accredited and/or legally registered)
  • Projects can be submitted as stand-alone applicants or as partnerships between organisations or institutions

Please check the full list of Eligible Applicants, and the Guide for Applicants (to be published when a call opens) for details.

No, individuals are not eligible to apply for SIFA funding. Only registered legal entities (institutions, organizations, companies) can apply.

Application Process

The application process is summarized in the "Apply" section of the website. For details about the application process, please check the Guide for Applicants available to download from the "Apply" section of the website.

Applications for SIFA can be submitted via our online application system (SmartME) only. To register on SmartME, please go to the “Sign In” section of the website. Please note that applications can only be submitted during open calls for proposals. The current status of calls for proposals for all Funding Windows can be found at https://skillsafrica.org/apply#funding.

For details about the application process, please check the Guide for Applicants, available to download from the "Apply" section of the website.

The current status of calls for proposals for all Funding Windows can be found at https://skillsafrica.org/apply#funding.

Currently, only Funding Windows I and II have been launched. They are opened for each participating country individually. You can view open calls and deadlines for each country here: Funding Window I / Funding Window II / Funding Window III

You can view open calls and deadlines for each country here: Funding Window I / Funding Window II / Funding Window III

Please note: The exact deadline for each call is displayed in the online application system SmartME as a countdown in the section “My Applications”.

Call openings are announced on the website. Please check the current status of calls for proposals at https://skillsafrica.org/apply#funding, and regularly check the "News" section of the website for updates.

SmartME Online Application System

To register on SmartME, please go to https://skillsafrica.org/register and follow the instructions.

If you already have an account, you can login at www.skillsafrica.org/signin.

If you did not receive an email with the confirmation link after registering in SmartME, please check your "junk mail" folder and make sure your mailbox is not full. If you still have not received the confirmation e-mail, please repeat the registration process and make sure you enter your e-mail address correctly.

If you encounter technical problems in the SmartME system, please consult the SmartME Helpdesk (available in the "Support" section when logged in to the system).

INFORMATION FOR GRANTEES (selected Applicants)

Procurement Guide (click on the link)