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General Information

The Skills Initiative for Africa (SIFA) is an initiative of the African Union Commission (AUC) supported by the German Government to strengthen occupational prospects of young people in Africa. Under the 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 through KfW.

SIFA Financing Facility provides funding for skills development projects in selected African countries. Projects should contribute to employment-oriented skills development for young people. Selected projects can receive a grant between EUR 0.2 to 3 million for sustainable and innovative initiatives. Grants are allocated on a competitive basis through three different windows.

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

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

Currently, there are eight (8) participating countries for SIFA: Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Togo and Tunisia. SIFA funding is available for projects in these participating countries only.

For detailed information about SIFA, please visit our website www.skillsafrica.org and download the Instruction Guide for Applicants available on the "Apply" section of the website.

SIFA’s policy is to offer fair and transparent opportunities to all applicants. Therefore, we cannot provide personal consultations, or review documents sent to us via e-mail.

If you have questions, please check the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on the website www.skillsafrica.org, and the Instruction Guide for Applicants available to download from the “Apply” section of the website.

If you cannot find the right answer, please send your question to us through the contact form on the website www.skillsafrica.org. The questions and answers will be published on the "FAQ" section of the website.

Eligibility

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

One responsible Lead will always form a consortium with either one or two partners, according to the eligibility criteria 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
  • Primary Partner: Domestic public or private accredited training provider

Funding Window 3:

  • Lead: Domestic public or private entity
  • If the Lead is public then one of the partners must be private.

Please check the full list of Eligible Applicants, and the chapter “Eligible Applicants for each Window” of the Instruction Guide for Applicants for details.

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

Each Applicant must consist of one responsible Lead in consortium with either one or two partners. This means the Lead must always have a Primary Partner, and can optionally also have a Secondary Partner.

Funding Windows 1 and 2

A combination of 5 technical and didactical interventions:

  1. Procurement of training equipment
  2. Construction, rehabilitation or expansion of learning infrastructure
  3. Training of trainers*
  4. Curriculum design*
  5. Learner scholarships*

*The activities 3-5 can be funded only in combination with the core activities 1 and/or 2 and only up to 5 % of the total project cost.

Funding Window 3

Smaller, innovative (pilot) projects, such as the following technical and didactical interventions:

  • Image campaigns for promoting skills development
  • ICT-based approaches to skills development
  • Entrepreneurship/mentorships programs
  • Equipping of workshops, classrooms, alternative/innovative learning spaces
  • Student or Learner Scholarships
  • Curriculum design
  • Training of Trainers Program (excluding recurrent costs)

Please check the complete Eligibility Criteria and the Instruction Guide for Applicants for details.

Each Applicant must provide the following evidence as proof of eligibility of the consortium:

  • Copies of documentation of legal status / registration showing that the Lead and its Partners belong to the list of eligible entities
  • Copies of accreditation documents of training providers
  • Audited or certified financial statements of the Lead for the last three years
  • Number and qualifications of relevant staff
  • At least one reference of a project with a financial scope that is similar to the proposed project idea
  • Commitment letter for counterpart funding, showing breakdown of estimated value of proposed complementary (in-kind) measures

The following costs (activities) are NOT supported by the SIFA Financing Facility:

  • Normal recurrent costs such as staff salaries, rental or maintenance of equipment
  • Import duties, VAT, or other public charges

However, these costs may be financed through the applicant’s counterpart contribution.

Counterpart Contribution

The Counterpart Contribution is the Applicant's own funds (cash or in-kind) contributing to the grant project.

The available options for Counterpart Contribution are:

  1. Co-financing of invoices
  2. Implementation of project-related (in-kind) measures that can be quantified in cash terms
  3. Payment of taxes (e.g. VAT, import duties and other public charges) on works, goods and services rendered to the project
  4. Recurrent costs, such as salaries for additional project-related staff, and utility charges (e.g. water, electricity, heating) for the duration of the project

For more details, please check the chapter “Requirements for the Counterpart Contribution” of the Instruction Guide for Applicants.

  • Funding Window 1: at least 10% of the total project cost
  • Funding Window 2: at least 30% of the total project cost
  • Funding Window 3: at least 10% of the total project cost

Example for Funding Window 1:

If the total cost of your project is 1,000,000 EUR (100%), the grant you can apply for is up to 900,000 EUR (90%) and the counterpart contribution must be at least 100,000 EUR (10%).

To apply for the maximum grant amount of 3,000,000 EUR for Funding Window 1, your counterpart contribution must be at least 333,333 EUR so the total project cost would be at least 3,333,333 EUR.

No, there is no template for the commitment letter for the counterpart contribution. As a minimum, the commitment letter must:

  • Specify the total value of the counterpart contribution
  • Specify which counterpart option(s) is/are proposed (see options I-IV described in the Instruction Guide for Applicants)
  • For option II "Implementation of project-related (in-kind) measures": specify the proposed project-related (in-kind) measures, with break-down of the estimated value
  • For option III "Payment of taxes": indicate the tax/VAT registration number
  • Optional: specify the role of each partner within the consortium regarding the Counterpart Contribution

Salaries for any existing staff are not eligible, neither for SIFA funding, nor as counterpart contribution, since such salaries are already paid by someone; shifting existing staff to a SIFA project is also not eligible.

However, salaries for permanent new staff, specifically employed for the SIFA project, can be financed through the counterpart contribution (option IV - "Recurrent costs, such as salaries for additional project-related staff, and utility charges (e.g. water, electricity, heating) for the duration of the project").

Eligible for counterpart contribution (option IV) are also overtime payments for existing staff if they work on the SIFA project, if the Grantee can prove that (timesheets, salary slips showing such overtime payments).

External short-term trainers/experts can be financed through SIFA funding (Activity 3 "Training of Trainers" and Activity 4 "Curriculum Design").

Application Process

The SIFA Application Process is in two stages, comprising:

  • Stage 1: Submission of Concept Note
  • Stage 2: Submission of Full Proposal - ONLY for shortlisted Concept Notes

The process is summarized in the "Apply" section of the website. For a detailed description please check the Instruction Guide for Applicants.

A Concept Note is a brief project proposal, to be submitted during the first stage of the application process. The Concept Note is intended to be brief, focusing on the fulfilment of the eligibility and selection criteria of the proposal/applicant and introducing the key aspects of the activity proposed to be supported.

Concept Notes 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.

For details about the application process, please check the Instruction Guide for Applicants.

The selection of project proposals is guided by the following Assessment Criteria:

  • Viability and readiness to implement
  • Innovation
  • Sustainability
  • Regional impact and replicability
  • Involvement of the private sector
  • Access for/impact on women, youth, and vulnerable groups including refugees, migrants and internally displaced persons, the disadvantaged and disabled
  • Overall quality of the proposal
  • Relevance

The total maximum score is 100 points. All eligible proposals will be scored and ranked and the highest ranked will be selected. To qualify for shortlisting, the proposal must obtain a minimum score of 60 points. The three highest ranked concept notes for each participating country will be shortlisted and invited to submit Full Proposals.

Please check the presentation of the Assessment Criteria and the Instruction Guide for Applicants for details.

Calls for Proposals

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

Currently only Funding Windows I and II have been launched. Calls for proposals are opened for each participating country individually, thus each country also has a different submission deadline. You can view open calls and deadlines for each country here: Funding Window I / Funding Window II

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

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).

RECEIVED QUESTIONS

Unfortunately, we cannot provide more details regarding the time of call openings for Funding Windows 2 and 3 yet.

Please note that for South Africa, Funding Window 2 is already closed, but Funding Window 3 has not be launched yet and could still provide an opportunity for you to apply. Application requirements and modalities for Funding Window 3 are currently under revision, and updated information will be published on the website www.skillsafrica.org soon. You can always view the current status of calls for proposals for all Funding Windows at https://skillsafrica.org/apply#funding. Please check the website regularly for updates.

SIFA provides funding for skills development projects in selected African countries (Currently: Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Togo and Tunisia). Applicants must be experienced stakeholders (institutions, organizations, companies) in the area of skills development. Individuals are not eligible to apply. For detailed eligibility criteria and information how to apply for SIFA Funding, please check the Instruction Guide for Applicants available to download from the “Apply” section of the website www.skillsafrica.org, and the “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) on the website.

Please note that currently there are no open calls for proposals. Call openings will be announced on the website. You can always view the current status of calls for proposals at https://skillsafrica.org/apply#funding.

Unfortunately, we cannot provide support to individuals. SIFA is designed to provide funding for large skills development initiatives, and only legal entities (institutions, organizations, companies) are eligible to apply.

For more information please check the “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) on our website www.skillsafrica.org.

Pour le Cameroun, aucun appel à projets est ouvert en ce moment [novembre 2019]. Les appels à projets pour les guichets de financement 1 et 2 sont déjà clos, et pour le guichet 3 les appels à projets n’ont pas encore été lancés. Les modalités de candidature pour le guichet 3 sont actuellement en cours de révision et des informations actualisées seront publiées sur le site web www.skillsafrica.org prochainement. Vous pouvez à tout moment consulter l'état actuel des appels à projets sur https://skillsafrica.org/fr/#funding. Veuillez consulter régulièrement le site web pour des mises à jour.

Avant de postuler, veuillez vérifier votre éligibilité au financement SIFA. Notamment, les candidats doivent être des entités légales (institutions, organisations, entreprises) expérimentées dans le domaine du développement des compétences. Les particuliers ne sont pas éligibles. Pour plus de détails sur les critères d'éligibilité et les différentes étapes du processus de candidature, merci de consulter la rubrique « Soumissionner » du site web, et la « Foire aux questions » (FAQ) du site web.

Unfortunately, Uganda is not one of SIFA’s participating countries, thus applicants based in Uganda presently cannot apply for SIFA funding.

In Nigeria, the call for proposals under Funding Window I has not opened yet, and at the moment we cannot foresee yet when it will open. You can always view the current status of calls for proposals for all Funding Windows at https://skillsafrica.org/apply#funding. For Funding Window I, the calls status and submission deadlines per country can be found here.

We apologize that this information is currently not very easy to find on the website. We are working to improve our website for future calls for proposals. Please check the website regularly for updates.

SIFA provides funding for skills development projects in selected African countries. Please note that for Kenya, calls for proposals under Funding Window I and II are already closed. However, Funding Window III might provide an opportunity for you to apply. Application requirements and modalities for Funding Window III are currently under revision, and updated information will be published on the website www.skillsafrica.org soon. You can always view the current status of calls for proposals for all Funding Windows at https://skillsafrica.org/apply#funding. Please check the website regularly for updates.

For detailed eligibility criteria and information how to apply for SIFA Funding, please check the Instruction Guide for Applicants available to download from the “Apply” section of the website, and the “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) on the website.

Unfortunately, Uganda is not one of SIFA’s participating countries, thus applicants based in Uganda presently cannot apply for SIFA funding. Please also note that SIFA is designed to fund large skills development projects with grant amounts between EUR 0.2 million and EUR 3 million, proposed by experienced stakeholders in the area of skills development.

For more information, please check the Instruction Guide for Applicants available to download from the “Apply” section of the website www.skillsafrica.org, and the “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) on the website.

Please note that Funding Window 2 in South Africa is already closed, and at present it is not foreseen to re-open any calls for Funding Window 2.

However, Funding Window 3 might still provide an opportunity to apply from South Africa. Application requirements and modalities for Funding Window 3 are currently under revision, and updated information will be published on the website www.skillsafrica.org soon. You can view the current status of calls for proposals for all Funding Windows at https://skillsafrica.org/apply#funding. Please check the website regularly for updates.

SIFA provides funding for skills development projects in selected African countries. Applicants must be experienced stakeholders (institutions, organizations, companies) in the area of skills development. Individuals are not eligible to apply. For detailed eligibility criteria and information how to apply for SIFA Funding, please check the Instruction Guide for Applicants available to download from the “Apply” section of the website www.skillsafrica.org, and the “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) on the website.

SIFA provides funding for skills development projects in selected African countries. For detailed eligibility criteria and information how to apply for SIFA Funding, please check the Instruction Guide for Applicants available to download from the “Apply” section of the website www.skillsafrica.org, and the “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) on the website.

SIFA provides funding for skills development projects in selected African countries. For detailed eligibility criteria and information how to apply for SIFA Funding, please check the Instruction Guide for Applicants available to download from the “Apply” section of the website www.skillsafrica.org, and the “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) on the website.

Unfortunately, we cannot provide more details regarding the time of call openings for Funding Window 3 yet. Application requirements and modalities for Funding Window 3 are currently under revision, and updated information will be published on the website www.skillsafrica.org soon.

You can view the current status of calls for proposals for all Funding Windows at https://skillsafrica.org/apply#funding. Please check the website regularly for updates.

Malheureusement, l'appel à projets pour le guichet de financement 2 au Cameroun est déjà clos. Une seconde édition d'appels à projets pour le guichet 2 au Cameroun n'est pas prévue pour le moment.

Cependant, des appels à projets sont prévus pour le guichet de financement 3, y compris au Cameroun. Les modalités de candidature pour le guichet 3 sont actuellement en cours de révision et des informations actualisées seront publiées sur le site web www.skillsafrica.org prochainement. Vous pouvez à tout moment consulter l'état actuel des appels à projets pour tous les guichets sur https://skillsafrica.org/fr/#funding. Veuillez consulter régulièrement le site web pour des mises à jour.

Unfortunately, we cannot provide more details regarding the time of call opening for Funding Window 1 in Nigeria yet. Call openings will be announced on the website www.skillsafrica.org. Please check the website regularly for updates. You can view the current status of calls for proposals for all Funding Windows at https://skillsafrica.org/apply#funding.

A présent, une seconde édition d'appels à projets pour le guichet de financement 1 n'est pas prévue. Cependant, des appels à projets sont prévus pour les guichets de financement 2 et 3. L'ouverture des appels sera annoncée sur le site web www.skillsafrica.org. Vous pouvez à tout moment consulter l'état actuel des appels à projets pour tous les guichets sur https://skillsafrica.org/fr/#funding.

Unfortunately, Sudan is not one of SIFA’s participating countries, thus applicants based in Sudan presently cannot apply for SIFA funding.

We currently cannot foresee if and when more countries will join the SIFA program, as this depends on negotiations between governments and the African Union Commission. Please check the “News” section of our website www.skillsafrica.org regularly for updates.

Unfortunately, Uganda is not one of SIFA’s participating countries, thus applicants based in Uganda presently cannot apply for SIFA funding.

For detailed information how to apply for SIFA Funding, please check the Instruction Guide for Applicants available to download from the “Apply” section of the website www.skillsafrica.org, and the “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) on the website.

Please note that currently [as of 15th Oct 2019] there are no open calls for proposals. Call openings will be announced on the website. You can view the current status of calls for proposals and submission deadlines at https://skillsafrica.org/apply#funding. We recommend to check the website regularly for updates.

Applications for SIFA funding can be submitted via our online application system (SmartME) only. For detailed information about the application process, please check the Instruction Guide for Applicants available to download from the “Apply” section of the website www.skillsafrica.org, and the “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) on the website.

Please note that currently [as of 8th Oct 2019] there are no open calls for proposals. Call openings will be announced on the website. You can view the current status of calls for proposals and submission deadlines at https://skillsafrica.org/apply#funding. We recommend to check the website regularly for updates.

According to the General Rules described in the Instruction Guide for Applicants, Concept Notes must be submitted in English or French language. Information in other languages will not be considered for evaluation. If your Concept Note is in another language, you need to translate it to English or French before submitting.

If required certificates are in a language other than English or French, please provide the original and attach a simple translation. For such documents, an official translation to English or French will have to be provided at Full Proposal stage if you are shortlisted.

Unfortunately, we cannot provide more details regarding the time of call openings for Funding Window 2 and 3 yet. Call openings will be announced on the website www.skillsafrica.org. Please check the website regularly for updates.

You can view the current status of calls for proposals and submission deadlines at https://skillsafrica.org/apply#funding.

Please note that SIFA cannot provide support to potential applicants in finding suitable partners for their project. It is the responsibility of applicants to form a partnership (consortium) according to the eligibility criteria.

To apply for SIFA funding, please check the current status of calls for proposals and submission deadlines at https://skillsafrica.org/apply#funding.

Applicants are free to assign specific tasks and roles within the consortium in the way that they consider most appropriate for their proposed project. However, the Lead entity will always have the ultimate contractual and financial responsibility and will be the entity accountable towards AUDA-NEPAD in case of contract award.

For Funding Window 1, the Lead must be an accredited domestic training provider, as specified in the eligibility criteria.

For detailed information how to apply for SIFA Funding, please check the Instruction Guide for Applicants available to download from the “Apply” section of the website www.skillsafrica.org, and the “Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)” on the website.

No, Namibia is not one of SIFA’s participating countries. Therefore, applicants based in Namibia presently cannot apply for SIFA funding.

For detailed information how to apply for SIFA Funding, please check the Instruction Guide for Applicants available to download from the “Apply” section of the website www.skillsafrica.org, and the “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) on the website.

Funding Window 3 has not been launched yet (as of September 2019). Call openings for all Funding Windows will be announced on the website www.skillsafrica.org. You can view the current status of calls for proposals and submission deadlines at https://skillsafrica.org/apply#funding. Please check website regularly for updates.

Effectivement, le Bénin ne fait pas partie des pays participants de SIFA. C'est pourquoi les candidats basés au Bénin ne sont actuellement pas éligibles au financement SIFA.

SIFA finance des projets de développement des compétences. Les subventions sont octroyées sur la base d'une compétition dans 3 guichets différents. Pour plus d'informations sur les critères d'éligibilité et le processus de candidature, merci de consulter la rubrique "Soumissionner" du site web www.skillsafrica.org.

L'état actuel des appels à projets pour tous les guichets de financement est disponible sur https://skillsafrica.org/fr/#funding.

Applicants need to be able to demonstrate that they have previously managed/implemented a project that is similar in terms of size or financial volume. It is not required that the reference project was (partially) funded by a grant. However it can be an advantage if the applicant is already familiar with related procedures. The reason is that applicants need to have the necessary experience and capacity to be able to successfully implement and manage their proposed project if awarded the SIFA grant.

Thus if you can demonstrate that your past project was similar to the one you wish to propose, you could still be eligible according to this criteria as set out in the Instruction Guide for Applicants.

At Concept Note stage, it is sufficient for Applicants to upload their own budget file, including simple breakdown of project components/activities, under Section 5.1 of the application form in SmartME. It is not required to fill the SmartME budget template in addition.

For detailed information about SIFA including eligibility criteria to apply for SIFA funding, please check the Instruction Guide for Applicants, available to download from the "Apply" section of the website www.skillsafrica.org.

If you have specific questions and you cannot find the answer among the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on the website, please send us your question through the contact form on the website.

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.

Yes, Engineering Departments offering such courses in TVET can apply for a SIFA grant as accredited training provider.

Please note that Applicants must form a consortium consisting of a Lead entity with one or two partners, according to the eligibility criteria for each Funding Window. For details, please check Instruction Guide for Applicants available to download from the “Apply” section of our website www.skillsafrica.org.

‘Accredited’ means registered and licensed to operate as a TVET provider. Proof of accreditation/registration and license must be attached.

Unfortunately, Uganda is not one of SIFA’s participating countries, thus applicants based in Uganda presently cannot apply for SIFA funding.

Applications for SIFA can be submitted via our online application system (SmartME) only. To register and create your application in SmartME, please go to the "Sign In" section of our website www.skillsafrica.org.

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

At the moment, SIFA funding is available for skills development projects in the 8 participating countries only. We cannot foresee if and when more countries will join the SIFA program, as this depends on negotiations between governments and the African Union Commission. Please check our website www.skillsafrica.org regularly for updates.

Unfortunately, we cannot provide more details regarding time of call openings for Funding Windows 2 and 3 yet. Call openings will be announced on the website www.skillsafrica.org. Please check the website regularly for updates.

For detailed information how to apply for SIFA Funding, please check the Instruction Guide for Applicants available to download from the “Apply” section of the website www.skillsafrica.org, and the “Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)” on the website.

The estimated time between the submission deadline of Concept Notes and the notification about the evaluation result and invitation of shortlisted Applicants to submit Full Proposals is eight (8) weeks. All Applicants will be notified about the shortlisting result.

The estimated overall timeline for the application and selection process for each call is presented in the chapter “Call Schedules and Timelines” in the Instruction Guide for Applicants, available to download from the "Apply" section of the website www.skillsafrica.org.

For detailed information about SIFA including eligibility criteria to apply for SIFA funding, please check the Instruction Guide for Applicants, available to download from the "Apply" section of the website www.skillsafrica.org.

If you have specific questions and you cannot find the answer among the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on the website, please send us your question through the contact form on the website.

For detailed eligibility criteria, please check the Instruction Guide for Applicants, available to download from the "Apply" section of the website www.skillsafrica.org, and the "Frequently Asked Questions" (FAQ).

Applications for SIFA funding can be submitted via the online application system (SmartME) only. To create your account and start creating your application, please go to the "Sign In" section of the website.

For Funding Window 1, an incubation centre or product development company that is seeking to be a Primary Partner must be domiciled or represented in the country of the Lead Applicant. The Lead Applicant must be a training institution or training provider (public or accredited private institution), an NGO accredited to offer skills training or a National TVET Agency responsible for TVET provision. Under Funding Window 1, the Lead Applicant cannot be a company.

Uganda is not one of SIFA’s participating countries, thus applicants based in Uganda presently cannot apply for SIFA funding.

For more details about eligibility for SIFA funding, please check the "Apply" section and the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on our website www.skillsafrica.org.

SIFA does not offer research funds. SIFA only supports skills development initiatives for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). For more details about eligibility for SIFA funding, please check the "Apply" section and the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on our website www.skillsafrica.org.

Applications for SIFA funding can be submitted via the online application system (SmartME) only. To create your account and start creating your application, please go to www.skillsafrica.org/signin. In the application form, there is also an option to click “View as PDF”. However please be aware that the PDF might not show all questions, notably those which appear only if a certain option has been selected. Thus, for completeness the online form should always be consulted.

If you would like to apply from South Africa, please note that the Call for proposals for Funding Window 1 in South Africa has already closed. For further opportunities to apply for a SIFA grant (e.g. through Funding Window 3), please check our website regularly for updates. You can check the call status for all Funding Windows at https://skillsafrica.org/apply#funding.

Somalia is not one of SIFA’s participating countries, thus applicants based in Somalia presently cannot apply for SIFA funding.

Tanzania is not one of SIFA’s participating countries, thus applicants based in Tanzania presently cannot apply for SIFA funding.

Sierra Leone is not one of SIFA’s participating countries, thus applicants based in Sierra Leone presently cannot apply for SIFA funding.

Zambia is not one of SIFA’s participating countries, thus applicants based in Zambia presently cannot apply for SIFA funding.

Currently, only Funding Window 1 has open calls for proposals. They are opened for each participating country individually, thus each country has a different submission deadline. You can view the call status for each country for Funding Window 1 here. As of 07 August 2019, only the call for Ethiopia is open, with submission deadline on 07 October 2019.

You can check the call status for all funding windows at https://skillsafrica.org/apply#funding.

SIFA supports skills development initiatives for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). SIFA does not provide funding for primary education.

SIFA finances skills development projects in selected African countries only. India is not one of SIFA’s participating countries, thus applicants based in India cannot apply for SIFA funding.

We currently cannot foresee if and when more countries will join the SIFA program, as this depends on negotiations between governments and the African Union Commission. Please check our website www.skillsafrica.org regularly for updates.

SIFA’s policy is to offer fair and transparent opportunities to all applicants. Therefore, we cannot review documents sent to us by e-mail. Applications for a SIFA grant can be submitted via our online application system (SmartME) only. The system provides a template that must be filled online. To register and create your application in SmartME, please go to the "Sign In" section of our website www.skillsafrica.org.

For details about the application process, please check the "Frequently Asked Question" (FAQ) on the website, and the Instruction Guide for Applicants available to download from the "Apply" section of the website.

‘Accredited’ means registered and licensed to operate as a TVET provider. Proof of accreditation/registration and license must be attached.

The precise role of each partner in the proposed project has to be defined by the Applicant in their proposal, and will be part of the evaluation. Thus, it is possible that the primary/secondary partner(s) contribute only in a specific aspect of implementation, as long as it is demonstrated that the partner set-up can ensure overall successful and sustainable implementation of the proposed project.

You can specify the financial or in-kind contribution of the partner(s) to the project in your Commitment Letter for the Counterpart Contribution.

For detailed assessment criteria, please check the chapter "Assessment Criteria and Scoring of Proposals" of the Instruction Guide for Applicants.

Applicants need to be able to demonstrate that they have previously managed/implemented a project that is similar in terms of size or financial volume. It is not required that the reference project was (partially) funded by a grant, however it can be an advantage if the applicant is already familiar with related procedures.

The reason is that applicants need to have the necessary experience and capacity to be able to successfully implement and manage their proposed project if awarded the SIFA grant.

Legal proof of tenancy/lease agreement is required and this must be endorsed by the local government authorities.

Funding Window 1 is designed to include private sector entities as Primary Partner in order to ensure that supported skills development initiatives are relevant and employment-oriented, matching the needs of the labor market. The precise role of the Primary Partner in a proposed project has to be defined by the Applicant in their proposal, and will be part of the evaluation.

This is also reflected in the assessment criteria, which include notably: “Involvement of the Private sector” (Proposed project must involve the private sector from the start and show evidence of involvement of private sector in design of training, institutionalisation of the involvement in design and delivery of training and further institutionalisation in the form of internships and job fairs supported by relevant MOUs). In addition, the assessment criteria "Overall quality of the proposal" covers coherence of the proposed project including the proposed partner set-up and roles.

You can specify the financial or in-kind contribution of the Primary Partner to the project in your Commitment Letter for the Counterpart Contribution.

For detailed assessment criteria, please check the Instruction Guide for Applicants available to download from the "Apply" section of the website www.skillsafrica.org.

Interested applicants are responsible for finding suitable partners on their own. SIFA does not provide assistance in this regard.

According to the eligibility criteria for Funding Window 1, private sector entities can only apply as a Primary Partner, in consortium with an accredited training provider as Lead. Accordingly, you can select the type of organisation "Domestic public or private company" only under section 2.1 ("Primary Partner") of the application form in SmartME.

For detailed eligibility criteria, please check the Instruction Guide for Applicants available to download from the "Apply" section of the website www.skillsafrica.org.

SIFA’s policy is to offer fair and transparent opportunities to all applicants. Therefore, we cannot provide personal consultations.

If you have questions, please check the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on the website www.skillsafrica.org, and the Instruction Guide for Applicants available to download from the “Apply” section of the website.

If you cannot find the right answer, please send your question through the contact form on the website. The questions and answers will be published on the "FAQ" section of the website.

If you would like to apply for SIFA funding, please check the detailed eligibility criteria described in the Instruction Guide for Applicants, available to download on the "Apply" section of our website www.skillsafrica.org, and the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on the website.

Applications for SIFA can be submitted via our online application system (SmartME) only. The system provides a template that must be filled online. To register and create your application in SmartME, please go to the "Sign In" section of our website www.skillsafrica.org.

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

Call openings for all Funding Windows will be announced on the website www.skillsafrica.org. Please check the current status of calls for proposals and submission deadlines for each country at https://www.skillsafrica.org/#funding and check the “News” section of the website for updates.

Applications for SIFA can be submitted via our online application system (SmartME) only. The system provides a template that must be filled online. To register and create your application in SmartME, please go to the "Sign In" section of our website www.skillsafrica.org.

For Funding Window 1, the counterpart contribution must be at least 10% of the total project cost.

Applicants are free to share the counterpart contribution between the Lead and the partner(s) in a way they find most suitable. This means not all partners of the consortium have to contribute the same amount, but the combined total counterpart contribution must be equal to at least 10% of the total project cost.

At present it is not foreseen to re-open any calls for Funding Window 1.

However, Funding Window 3 might provide an opportunity to apply from South Africa. Application requirements and modalities for Funding Window 3 are currently under revision, and updated information will be published soon.

Please check the website www.skillsafrica.org for updates.

Yes, Concept Notes can only be submitted via the online application system SmartME. The system provides a template that must be filled online. Where applicable, word limits for individual sections are shown in the application form.

To register and create your application in SmartME, please go to the "SIGN IN" section of the website www.skillsafrica.org.

If you would like to apply for SIFA funding, please check the detailed eligibility criteria described in the Instruction Guide for Applicants, available to download on the "Apply" section of our website www.skillsafrica.org, and the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on the website.

SIFA supports employment-oriented skills development projects in priority growth sectors. In your application, you can explain why and how your proposed project is linked to a growth sector in your country/region.

The selection of project proposals is guided by the following Assessment Criteria: Viability and readiness to implement; Innovation; Sustainability; Regional impact and replicability; Involvement of the private sector; Access for/impact on women, youth, and vulnerable groups; Relevance; and Overall quality of the proposal.

For detailed Assessment Criteria and Eligibility Criteria, please check the Instruction Guide for Applicants, available to download on the "Apply" section of the website www.skillsafrica.org, and the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on the website.

The call for proposals for Funding Window 1 in Ethiopia has opened today 15 July 2019, with deadline for submission of concept notes on 07 October 2019.

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

The available options for Counterpart Contribution are:

  1. Co-financing of invoices
  2. Implementation of project-related (in-kind) measures that can be quantified in cash terms
  3. Payment of taxes (e.g. VAT, import duties and other public charges) on works, goods and services rendered to the project
  4. Recurrent costs, such as salaries for additional project-related staff, and utility charges (e.g. water, electricity, heating) for the duration of the project

For Funding Window 1, Applicants must contribute to the project with their own funds for at least 10% of the total project cost. That means out of the total 100% project cost, maximum 90% can be financed through the SIFA grant and minimum 10% must be financed through your counterpart contribution.

At Concept Note stage, Applicants must submit a commitment letter for the counterpart contribution. At Full Proposal stage, evidence for the (estimated) costs for the counterpart contribution must be submitted. During the course of project implementation, evidence needs to be provided for all counterpart contributions.

For more details, please check the Instruction Guide for Applicants, available to download from the "Apply" section of the website www.skillsafrica.org, and the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on the website.

According to the eligibility criteria, NGOs can be eligible for the following:

Funding Window 1:

  • Secondary Partner: International NGO accredited to offer skills training

Funding Window 2:

  • Primary Partner: Domestic NGO accredited to offer skills training
  • Secondary Partner: Domestic NGO accredited to offer skills training

Funding Window 3:

  • Application requirements and modalities are currently under revision - Updated information will be published on the website www.skillsafrica.org soon.

For details, please check the Instruction Guide for Applicants, available to download from the "Apply" section of the website www.skillsafrica.org.

At Concept Note stage, it is sufficient for Applicants to upload their own budget file (including breakdown of individual project components/ activities) under Section 5.1 of the application form in SmartME. So you do not need to fill the template in the separate budget tab in addition.

If you encounter technical difficulties with your application, please consult the SmartME Helpdesk, available in the "Support" section when logged into your SmartME account.

For detailed information about SIFA funding opportunities and eligibility criteria, please check our website www.skillsafrica.org, and the Instruction Guide for Applicants freely available to download on the “Apply” section of the website.

According to the eligibility requirements for Funding Window 1, the Primary Partner must be a legally registered domestic entity, able to demonstrate financial capacity for the last three years, and belong to one of the following:

- Domestic public or private company

- Domestic Chamber of Commerce or Industry and Employer Association that supports skills development

- Incubation centre or company involved in product development

If an Industry Advisory Committee can fulfill these requirements, then it would be eligible as Primary Partner.

For detailed eligibility criteria, please check the Instruction Guide for Applicants available on the "Apply" section of the website www.skillsafrica.org.

If you would like to apply for SIFA funding, please check the detailed requirements described in the Instruction Guide for Applicants, available to download on the "Apply" section of the website www.skillsafrica.org.

Applications can be submitted via our online application system (SmartME) only. To register on SmartME, please go to the "Sign In" section of the website.

Call openings for all Funding Windows will be announced on the website www.skillsafrica.org. Please check the current status of calls for proposals and submission deadlines at https://skillsafrica.org/apply#funding, and check the “News” section of the website for updates.

At Concept Note stage, it is sufficient for Applicants to upload their own budget file (including breakdown of individual project components/ activities) under Section 5.1 of the application form in SmartME. So you do not need to fill the template in the separate budget tab in addition.

The exact deadline for each call is displayed as a countdown in the online application system SmartME in the section “My Applications”. This countdown in SmartME shows the actual time remaining for submission in your time zone.

For Funding Window 1:

If the Lead Applicant is a training provider but not yet accredited, evidence must be provided that accreditation process has been engaged.

The Primary Partner must be either a domestic public or private company, a chamber of commerce or industry/employer association, or an incubation or product development company. The Primary Partner cannot be a training provider, however a training provider can be a Secondary Partner. A sector-specific industry body qualifies as a Primary Partner.

Yes, universities can apply if they offer TVET/skills development projects.

According to the general eligibility criteria, both the Lead and its partner(s) must be legally registered entities and provide proof of their legal status/registration at Concept Note stage.

In addition, Applicants must be able to demonstrate financial and human capacity: If you are the Lead, you must submit financial statements for the past three years, thus you need to be in existence for at least three years. If you are a partner, this is not mandatory, but recommended.

For detailed eligibility criteria, please check the Instruction Guide for Applicants available to download from the "Apply" section of the website.

For detailed information about SIFA Funding opportunities and eligibility criteria, please check the "Frequently Asked Questions" (FAQ) on our website www.skillsafrica.org, and the Instruction Guide for Applicants available to download from the "Apply" section of the website.

To verify if you are eligible to apply for SIFA Funding, please check the Eligibility Criteria and the Instruction Guide for Applicants on the "Apply" section of our website www.skillsafrica.org.

Once you have submitted your application, it cannot be modified anymore. If you wish to add additional documents, please submit a complete new (second) application, in which you include all previous information and these additional documents.

Question 1: At Concept Note stage, submission of audited or certified financial statements for the last three years is mandatory for the Lead only. It is not mandatory for the partner(s), but recommended. If you cannot provide financial statements for the Primary Partner, please use the box "Explanation of Audited Financial Statements" to explain the reason.

Question 2: If the furniture is linked to training provision, yes.

At Concept Note stage, it is sufficient for Applicants to upload their own budget file, including breakdown of individual project components/ activities, under Section 5.1 of the application form in SmartME.

Yes, Applicants should upload financial statements for the 3 most recent available years. If this does not correspond to the years provided in the description, please use the box "Explanation of Audited Financial Statements" to specify for which years you have uploaded financial statements.

Prière de consulter le Guide de candidature disponible dans la rubrique « Soumissionner » du site web www.skillsafrica.org, pour plus de détails sur le processus de candidature et les critères d’éligibilité pour une subvention dans le cadre de l'Initiative Compétences pour l'Afrique (SIFA).

Both the Lead and its partner(s) must be legally registered entities and provide proof of their legal status/registration.

Concerning financial capacity, proof of audited or certified financial statements for the last three years is required for the Lead only. It is not mandatory for the partner(s).

Dans les cases à remplir au niveau de la partie 7 « Pertinence », vous ne pouvez entrer que des chiffres (valeurs numériques), mais pas de lettres ou caractères spéciaux. Dans la case « Nombre de définitions de compétences », veuillez entrer le nombre de domaines/matières de formation proposés dans le cadre de votre projet.

Si vous rencontrez d'autres problèmes techniques dans le système SmartME, merci de consulter le centre d’assistance SmartME (disponible dans la rubrique « Support » lorsque vous êtes connecté au système).

The estimated time between submission deadline of Concept Notes and notification about the evaluation result / invitation of shortlisted Applicants to submit Full Proposals is eight (8) weeks. All Applicants will be notified about the shortlisting result.

The estimated overall timeline for the application and selection process for each call is presented in the chapter “Call Schedules and Timelines” in the Instruction Guide for Applicants, available to download from the "Apply" section of the website www.skillsafrica.org.

The deadline for submission of Concept Notes for SIFA Funding Window 1 in South Africa is 10 July 2019.

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

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

Purchase of buildings is not possible under SIFA, since construction/rehabilitation/expansion details must be evaluated against standard SIFA procedures and rates. Furthermore, the construction/rehabilitation must respond to environmental standards and the design/architectural drawings will have to be approved by SIFA.

There is no standard Partnership Agreement template. It is important that the Partnership Agreement clearly defines the roles and responsibilities of the partners, with exit clauses, if applicable. The document must be signed, dated and stamped.

SIFA’s policy is to offer fair and transparent opportunities to all applicants. Therefore, we cannot provide personal consultations, or review documents sent to us via e-mail.

If you have questions, please check the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on the website www.skillsafrica.org, and the Instruction Guide for Applicants available to download from the “Apply” section of the website.

If you cannot find the right answer, please send your question to us through the contact form on the website. The questions and answers will be published on the "FAQ" section of the website.

SIFA’s policy is to offer fair and transparent opportunities to all applicants. Therefore, we cannot provide personal consultations, or review documents sent to us via e-mail.

If you have questions, please check the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on the website www.skillsafrica.org, and the Instruction Guide for Applicants available to download from the “Apply” section of the website.

If you cannot find the right answer, please send your question to us through the contact form on the website www.skillsafrica.org. The questions and answers will be published on the "FAQ" section of the website.

If you tried to register on SmartME and did not receive an email with the confirmation link, 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 within the SmartME system, please consult the SmartME Helpdesk (available in the "Support" section when logged in to the system).

The current status of calls for proposals for all Funding Windows can be found at https://skillsafrica.org/apply#funding. Please click on the link provided under Funding Window 1 for an overview of call openings and deadlines per country for Funding Window 1.

Calls for proposals for Funding Window 1 are opened for each participating country individually, thus each country also has a different closing date.

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

Salaries for any existing staff are not eligible, neither for SIFA funding, nor as counterpart contribution, since such salaries are already paid by someone; shifting existing staff to a SIFA project is also not eligible.

However, salaries for permanent new staff, specifically employed for the SIFA project, can be financed through the counterpart contribution (option IV - "Recurrent costs, such as salaries for additional project-related staff, and utility charges (e.g. water, electricity, heating) for the duration of the project").

Eligible for counterpart contribution (option IV) are also overtime payments for existing staff if they work on the SIFA project, if the Grantee can prove that (timesheets, salary slips showing such overtime payments).

External short-term trainers/experts can be financed through SIFA funding (Activity 3 "Training of Trainers" and Activity 4 "Curriculum Design").

Salaries for any existing staff are not eligible, neither for SIFA funding, nor as counterpart contribution, since such salaries are already paid by someone; shifting existing staff to a SIFA project is also not eligible.

However, salaries for permanent new staff, specifically employed for the SIFA project, can be financed through the counterpart contribution (option IV - "Recurrent costs, such as salaries for additional project-related staff, and utility charges (e.g. water, electricity, heating) for the duration of the project"). Eligible for counterpart contribution (option IV) are also overtime payments for existing staff if they work on the SIFA project, if the Grantee can prove that (timesheets, salary slips showing such overtime payments).

External short-term trainers/experts can be financed through SIFA funding (Activity 3 "Training of Trainers" and Activity 4 "Curriculum Design").

No, there is no model or template for the partnership agreement. Applicants may use their own model.

Yes, for Funding Window 1 the Secondary Partner can be based in a third country. However, the Lead and Primary Partner must be domestic entities registered in the country of application, as specified in the Instruction Guide for Applicants.

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.

Calls for proposals for Funding Window 1 are opened per country, and always for the whole country. Thus for the call for proposals in South Africa, Applicants from anywhere within South Africa can apply.

It is correct that funding cannot be used for salaries, only 5% of the total project cost can be used for expert input on Curriculum Design or on ToT or for learner scholarships. The reason is that the funding is for investment projects, especially under window 1. Thus the funding is to be used mainly for construction, rehabilitation or purchase of equipment. Thus the funding is tied to these project components.

However, as there is expected an own contribution of 10% to the investment, the salaries for ‘new or additional’ staff can be costed and used as own contribution to the project. Additional information is available in the Instruction Guide for Applicants which can be downloaded from the SIFA website: www.skillsafrica.org.

The application requirements and modalities for Funding Window 3 are currently under revision. Updated information on Funding Window 3 will be published on the website www.skillsafrica.org soon. Please check the current status of calls for proposals and submission deadlines at https://skillsafrica.org/apply#funding.

1. La rubrique 1.2 porte sur l’entité du partenaire principal et son expérience en général, alors que la rubrique 1.4 porte sur le projet proposé par le candidat pour l’obtention d’une subvention SIFA.

2. « Justification ou explication des états financiers » : Cette case peut être utilisée pour fournir des explications sur les documents fournis si besoin, par exemple si les années des documents fournis ne correspondent pas à celles désignées au niveau des cases de téléchargement dans le formulaire.

3. Non, il n’y a pas de modèle pour la lettre d’engagement pour le financement de la contrepartie du candidat. La lettre doit au minimum :

  • Spécifier la valeur totale de la contrepartie ;
  • Spécifier quelle(s) option(s) de financement est/sont proposée(s) pour la contrepartie (voir options I-IV décrites dans le Guide de candidature) ;
  • Pour l’option II « Mise en œuvre de mesures en nature liées au projet » : détailler les mesures liées au projet (en nature) proposées, avec répartition de la valeur estimée ;
  • Pour l’option III « Paiement de taxes » : indiquer le numéro d’enregistrement TVA.
  • Facultatif: spécifier l’engagement / le rôle de chaque partenaire au sein du consortium.

4. Non, la rubrique 11 ne se limite pas au(x) partenaire(s) associé(s), mais porte également sur d’autres mesures d’implication du secteur privé prévues dans le cadre du projet proposé.

Yes, if your Lead Partner is an accredited training provider (according to the Eligibility Criteria for Funding Window 1), you can apply as a Secondary Partner.

Yes, currently (as of May 2019), only calls for Funding Window 1 are open and only in selected countries. Please check the current status of calls for proposals and submission deadlines at https://skillsafrica.org/apply#funding, and check the “News” section of the website for updates.

Call openings for all Funding Windows will be announced on the website www.skillsafrica.org. Please check the current status of calls for proposals and submission deadlines at https://skillsafrica.org/apply#funding, and check the “News” section of the website for updates.

SIFA’s policy is to offer fair and transparent opportunities to all applicants. Therefore, we cannot provide personal consultations or review documents sent to us via e-mail. If you have specific questions, please send them to us through the contact form on the website www.skillsafrica.org. The questions and answers will be published on the "FAQ" section of the website.

For detailed information about SIFA, please check the Instruction Guide for Applicants available to download from the “Apply” section of the website.

The deadline for submission of Concept Notes for SIFA Funding Window 1 in Kenya is 05 August 2019.

Please note: In the online application system SmartME, the exact deadline for each call is displayed as a countdown on the “My Applications” page.

Concept Notes can be submitted via the online application system SmartME only. To start creating your Concept Note, please register in SmartME at https://www.skillsafrica.org/register. If you already have an account, you can login through the “Sign in” section of our website www.skillsafrica.org. In the application form, you will need to fill requested information about the Lead and Partner entities as well as the proposed project, and upload required supporting documents.

For detailed information about the application process, please check the Instruction Guide for Applicants, available to download from the “Apply” section of our website www.skillsafrica.org.

In Ghana, the legally mandated agency for accrediting skills training institutions (NGOs and private training providers) is the Council for TVET (COTVET).

Funding Window 1 is designed for well-established training institutions that are experienced in skills development. Hence a yet-to-be established skills development centre cannot apply for funding under Funding Window 1.

However, Funding Window 3 may provide an opportunity to apply. For detailed Eligibility Criteria please check the Instruction Guide for Applicants available to download from the “Apply” section of our website www.skillsafrica.org.

For detailed information about SIFA, please check the Instruction Guide and the “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) on the website www.skillsafrica.org.

SIFA’s policy is to offer fair and transparent opportunities to all applicants. Therefore, cannot not provide personal consultations. If you have specific questions, please send them to us through the contact form on the website. The questions and answers will be published on the FAQ section of the website.

SIFA does not provide funding for start-ups or individuals.

Eligible projects must be skills development initiatives proposed by experienced stakeholders in the area of skills development. For detailed eligibility criteria, please check the Instruction Guide for Applicants available to download from the “Apply” section of our website www.skillsafrica.org.

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.

There is no provision in the SIFA guidelines for the use of intermediaries at the concept note stage. Applicants may use the services of experts to write their proposals but at their own cost, unlike the case of SDF in Ghana where intermediaries are paid. The use of such intermediaries/consultants is not a guarantee for success, and they remain anonymous in the SIFA concept note application process.

However, applicants whose concept notes have been shortlisted may benefit from SIFA support to complete their Full Proposals under certain conditions.

An overview of the steps of the application process is provided in the “Apply” section of our website www.skillsafrica.org. For detailed information, please check the Instruction Guide for Applicants, available to download from the "Apply" section of the website.

The Concept Note is the first stage of the application process. It is intended to be brief, focusing on the fulfilment of the eligibility and selection criteria of the proposal/applicant and introducing the key aspects of the activity proposed to be supported.

Concept Notes must be submitted via the online application system SmartME, in the format provided by the system. Applicants need to fill requested information about the Lead and partner entities as well as the proposed project, and upload required supporting documents. To start creating a Concept Note, please register in SmartME at https://www.skillsafrica.org/register.

For detailed information about the application process, please check the Instruction Guide for Applicants, available to download from the “Apply” section of our website www.skillsafrica.org.

We currently cannot foresee if and when more countries will join the SIFA program, as this depends on negotiations between governments and the African Union Commission. Please check the “News” section of our website www.skillsafrica.org for updates.

For detailed information about SIFA, please check the Instruction Guide for Applicants available to download on the “Apply” section of the website.

The activities 3, 4 and 5 (Training of Trainers, Curriculum design, and Learner Scholarships) must not constitute more than 5% of the total cost for the entire project, which is to be supported by a SIFA grant. This is given that your counterpart contribution is not higher than the required minimum (10% for Funding Windows 1 and 3, and 30% for Funding Window 2).

You are of course free to add/increase any of the above mentioned activities at your own cost i.e. by increasing your counterpart contribution to the project.

Yes, this constellation is possible, given that both entities are registered as required for the respective Funding Window:

  • Window 1: Lead + Primary Partner must be domestic
  • Window 2: Lead must be international, Primary Partner must be domestic
  • Window 3: Lead must be domestic

For more details please check the eligibility criteria described in the Instruction Guide for Applicants available to download on the “Apply” section of our website www.skillsafrica.org.

Si, lors de votre inscription sur SmartME, vous n’avez pas reçu d’e-mail avec le lien de confirmation, consultez votre dossier "courrier indésirable" et assurez-vous que votre boîte aux lettres électronique n'est pas pleine. Si, après avoir effectué cette vérification, vous n’avez toujours pas reçu d’e-mail de confirmation, répétez le processus d’inscription en vous assurant de saisir correctement votre courrier électronique.

For more information on call openings and submission deadlines, please check the current status at https://skillsafrica.org/apply#funding, and check the “News” section of our website www.skillsafrica.org for updates.

For more information about the estimated timelines of the application process for each call, please check the chapter “Call Schedules and Timelines” in the Instruction Guide for Applicants available to download on the “Apply” section of our website.

If you have further questions, please send us a message using the contact form on the website.

Yes, a private college accredited with the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) is eligible to apply under Funding Window 1.

For detailed information about SIFA, please check Instruction Guide for Applicants freely available to download on the “Apply” section of our website www.skillsafrica.org.

Uganda is not one of SIFA’s participating countries, thus applicants based in Uganda presently cannot apply for SIFA funding. For more information about SIFA, please check our website www.skillsafrica.org.

For detailed information about SIFA funding please check the Instruction Guide for Applicants available to download on the “Apply” section of our website www.skillsafrica.org. Please check the status of calls for proposals at https://skillsafrica.org/apply#funding and consult the News section of the website for updates.

If you would like to apply for SIFA funding, please check the “Apply” section of our website www.skillsafrica.org for details about the application process and the requirements for eligible applicants and eligible projects.

The call for proposals for Funding Window 1 in South Africa is scheduled to open on 17th April 2019. Please check the News section of the website www.skillsafrica.org for further updates.

Prière de consulter le site Web www.skillsafrica.org, rubrique « Soumissionner », pour plus de détails sur le processus de candidature. La date limite de soumission des notes conceptuelles pour le Guichet de financement 1 en Tunisie est fixée au 31 mai 2019.

Individual skills capacitation is not part of the SIFA program. For detailed information about SIFA, please check our website www.skillsafrica.org.

If you would like to apply for SIFA funding, please check the requirements for eligible applicants and eligible projects, described in the Instruction Guide for Applicants available to download on the “Apply” section of our website www.skillsafrica.org.

Please note that SIFA cannot provide support to potential applicants in finding suitable partners for their initiative/project. It is the responsibility of potential applicants to form a partnership (consortium) according to the eligibility criteria if they wish to apply for SIFA funding. For detailed information about the eligibility criteria, please check the Instruction Guide for Applicants available to download on the “Apply” section of our website www.skillsafrica.org.

If you would like to apply for SIFA funding, please check the requirements for eligible applicants and eligible projects, described in the Instruction Guide for Applicants available to download on the “Apply” section of our website www.skillsafrica.org.

If you would like to apply for SIFA funding, please check the requirements for eligible applicants and eligible projects, described in the Instruction Guide for Applicants available to download on the “Apply” section of our website www.skillsafrica.org.

Regarding the Counterpart Contribution: For Funding Windows 1 and 3, Applicants must contribute to the project with their own funds for at least 10% of the total project cost. That means out of the total 100% project cost, maximum 90% can be financed through the SIFA grant and minimum 10% must be financed through your counterpart contribution. For example, if the total cost of your project is 1,000,000 EUR, the grant you can apply for is up to 900,000 EUR and the counterpart contribution must be at least 100,000 EUR. To apply for the maximum grant amount of 3,000,000 EUR for Funding Window 1, your counterpart contribution must be at least 333,333 EUR so the total project cost would be at least 3,333,333 EUR.

With regard to the counterpart contribution, the available options are:

  1. Co-financing of invoices
  2. Implementation of project-related (in-kind) measures that can be quantified in cash terms (e.g. use of project-related specialized workshop/training equipment, or use of project-related specialized facilities owned or long term leased by the applicants, like dormitories or kindergartens for children of female trainees/learners)
  3. Payment of taxes (e.g. VAT, import duties and other public charges) on works, goods and services rendered to the project
  4. Recurrent costs, such as salaries for additional project-related staff, and utility charges (e.g. water, electricity, heating) for the duration of the project

At Concept Note stage, Applicants must submit a commitment letter for the counterpart contribution. At Full Proposal stage, evidence for the (estimated) costs for the counterpart contribution must be submitted. During the course of project implementation, evidence needs to be provided for all counterpart contributions.

Regarding the closing date for applications: Calls for proposals for Funding Window 1 are opened for each participating country individually, thus deadlines for submission are also different for each country. Please check call status at https://skillsafrica.org/apply#funding and the News section of our website www.skillsafrica.org for updates. In the SmartME online application system, the specific deadlines are clearly shown for each call. Applications cannot be submitted after the deadline.

Uganda is not one of SIFA’s participating countries, thus applicants based in Uganda presently cannot apply for SIFA funding.

For detailed information about SIFA, please check the Instruction Guide for Applicants freely available to download on the “Apply” section of our website www.skillsafrica.org.

Le compte SmartME doit être créé par une personne physique. Une fois connecté au compte, vous pourrez choisir l’appel à projet pour lequel vous voudrez soumissionner. C’est dans le formulaire de candidature qu’il faut fournir des détails sur l’entité (personne morale) et sa personne de contact. Ceci aussi bien pour le partenaire principal que pour le(s) partenaire(s) associé(s).

La personne qui doit signer la lettre d'engagement de la contrepartie est la personne qui est désignée comme Partenaire principal (ou Lead) dans le système de candidature SmartME.

Prière de consulter le Guide de candidature et la « Foire aux Questions » (FAQ) sur le site www.skillsafrica.org pour plus de détails sur SIFA. Si vous ne trouvez pas la bonne réponse, veuillez nous contacter en utilisant le formulaire sur le site, rubrique « Contact ». Les questions (sous forme anonyme) et réponses seront publiées dans la rubrique FAQ.

If you would like to apply for SIFA funding, please check the detailed requirements for eligible applicants and eligible projects, described in the Instruction Guide for Applicants freely available to download on the website www.skillsafrica.org.

Prière de consulter le Guide de candidature sur le site www.skillsafrica.org, rubrique « Soumissionner », pour plus de détails sur le processus de candidature et les critères d’éligibilité pour une subvention dans le cadre de l'Initiative Compétences pour l'Afrique (SIFA).

Ghana has recently become one of SIFA’s participating countries. The information on the website www.skillsafrica.org and in the Instruction Guide for Applicants have been updated accordingly. The Call for Concept Notes in Ghana will open on Monday 8th April 2019. Please check the website for further updates.

SIFA finances skills development projects in selected African countries only. India is not one of SIFA’s participating countries, thus applicants based in India cannot apply for SIFA funding.

Please note that submitting a proposal via e-mail is not permissible and will not be accepted. All proposals must be submitted in the application format in the SmartME online management system, as explained in the Instruction Guide for Applicants freely available to download on the website www.skillsafrica.org.

Please go to www.skillsafrica.org/signin if you wish to create and submit an application.

Yes, as accredited skills development provider in South Africa you are eligible to apply for a SIFA grant in all three Funding Windows. Your consortium and your project must fulfill the eligibility criteria for the respective Funding Window. For details please check the Instruction Guide for Applicants available to download on our website www.skillsafrica.org.

You can submit an application once the call for proposal for the respective Window is opened in your country. Call openings will be announced on the website.

If you would like to apply for SIFA funding, please check the detailed requirements for eligible applicants and eligible projects, described in the Instruction Guide for Applicants freely available to download on the website www.skillsafrica.org.

Les organisations non gouvernementales (ONG) et associations sont tout à fait éligibles si elles sont habilitées à donner des formations.

Pour plus de détails sur les critères d’éligibilité veuillez consulter le Guide de Candidature, disponible pour téléchargement sur www.skillsafrica.org.

If you would like to apply for SIFA funding, please check the detailed requirements for eligible applicants and eligible projects, described in the Instruction Guide for Applicants freely available to download on the website www.skillsafrica.org.

You can apply once the call for proposals is opened in your country. Call openings will be announced on the website. To submit an application, please register on our online application system (SmartME) at www.skillsafrica.org/signin.

Applications for SIFA can be submitted via our online application system (SmartME) only. To register on SmartME, please go to our website www.skillsafrica.org and follow the link provided in the section SIGN IN.

For more details about the application process, please check the Instruction Guide freely available to download from the website.

SIFA finances skills development projects in selected African countries only. Applicants must be experienced stakeholders in the field of skills development, and form a consortium consisting of 2 or 3 eligible entities, according to the eligibility criteria for each Funding Window. Individuals are not eligible to apply.

For detailed definitions of eligible applicants and eligible projects for each Funding Window, please refer to the Instruction Guide freely available to download on the website www.skillsafrica.org.

Oui, les candidats peuvent soumettre les états financiers des 3 dernières années disponibles (ou moins) et ajouter des notes explicatives dans les cases correspondantes.

SIFA Funding Window 3 is designed to finance smaller, innovative (pilot) projects such as image campaigns for skills development, ICT-based approaches to skills development, and entrepreneurship/mentorship programs. For detailed conditions, please check the Instruction Guide freely available to download on the website.
Calls for proposals for Funding Window 3 will be launched in SIFA’s participating countries at a later stage, and openings will be announced on the website.

We have fixed these issues. Please try again and get back to us if you still encounter these or other problems. For purely technical issues, please use the HelpDesk in SmartME (accessible when logged into your SmartME user account).

Ethiopia is one of SIFA’s participating countries, thus applicants based in Ethiopia will be able to apply for SIFA funding once a Call for proposals is launched in Ethiopia. Call openings will be announced on the website www.skillsafrica.org. Please check the Instruction Guide for Applicants for detailed eligibility criteria.

Oui, selon les critères d’éligibilité spécifiées dans le Guide de candidature, les Ministères en charge des questions d'emplois des Jeunes peuvent être Partenaire principal ou Partenaire associé secondaire pour le guichet de financement 1, s’ils sont chargés de la coordination de l’offre en EFTP ou engagés dans le développement des compétences.

Comme spécifié dans le Guide de candidature dans la section « Critères d’éligibilité », chaque candidat (consortium) doit fournir moins une référence d’un projet d’envergure financière similaire à celle du projet proposé. Cela veut dire qu’il est suffisant si seul le partenaire principal dispose d’une telle expérience.

Concernant la capacité financière, seul le partenaire principal doit obligatoirement fournir des copies des états financiers audités ou certifiés des trois dernières années.

As specified in the Instruction Guide, eligible applicants for Window 1 include “Incubation center or company involved in product development” as primary partner. This means functioning incubation centers that have the capacity to incubate new products or technology processes. Start-ups as well as start-up incubators that have never done any incubation activity are not eligible.

For detailed information on eligibility for each Funding Window, please refer to the Instruction Guide freely available to download on the website www.SkillsAfrica.org.

To become a participating country of SIFA, the national government of the country must send an official Expression of Interest to the Commissioner for Human Resource, Science and Technology (HRST) of the African Union Commission (AUC) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for consideration. Only countries can apply to join SIFA, not individuals or institutions.

Funding through SIFA Financing Facility is available only through the 3 Funding Windows as presented on www.skillsafrica.org.

Botswana is not one of SIFA’s participating countries, thus applicants based in Botswana presently cannot apply for SIFA funding. For detailed information on eligibility for each Funding Window, please refer to the Instruction Guide freely available to download on the website www.skillsafrica.org.

Funding Window 1 will be launched in all participating SIFA countries, but Calls for Proposal are opened for each country individually. Currently, only the call for Cameroon has opened. Call openings for the other participating countries including South Africa are expected at a later stage and will be announced on the website.

Uganda is not one of SIFA’s participating countries, thus applicants based in Uganda presently cannot apply for SIFA funding.

Funding Window 1 will be launched in all participating SIFA countries, but Calls for Proposal are opened for each country individually. Currently, only the call for Cameroon has opened. Call openings for the other countries are expected at a later stage and will be announced on the website.

  1. Oui, les Instituts Privés d'Enseignement Supérieur (IPES) sont éligibles aux projets SIFA, selon la définition des candidats éligibles dans le Guide de Candidature, disponible pour téléchargement sur www.skillsafrica.org.
  2. Pour évaluer vos chances de réussite, veuillez vous référer aux critères d’évaluation des propositions, qui sont notamment : Viabilité et prêt à être mis en œuvre ; Innovation ; Pérennité ; Impact régional et réplicabilité ; Implication du secteur privé ; Accès pour/impact sur les femmes, les jeunes et les groupes vulnérables ; Qualité globale de la proposition ; Pertinence. Les critères sont décrites en détail dans le Guide de Candidature et dans la section « Critères d'évaluation » sur https://skillsafrica.org/fr/soumissionner.
  3. Les options de financement de la contrepartie du candidat sont décrites en détail dans le chapitre « Contrepartie du candidat » dans le Guide de Candidature. Ainsi, l’option I (« Mise en œuvre de mesures liées au projet en nature pouvant être quantifiées en espèces ») et l’option IV (« Prise en charge de coûts récurrents ») pourraient inclure par exemple des frais de logement ou des bourses d’études. Par contre, la contrepartie du candidat ne peut pas provenir d’investissement d’un autre fond.

For detailed information, please check the Instruction Guide available to download on the website www.skillsafrica.org, and the “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) section on the website.

If you have specific questions, please send them to us through the contact form on the website. The questions and answers will be published on the FAQ section of the website.

Funding Window 1 will be launched in all participating SIFA countries, but Calls for Proposal are opened for each country individually. Currently, only the call for Cameroon has opened. Call openings for the other countries are expected at a later stage and will be announced on the website.

Pour des informations détaillées, veuillez consulter le Guide d’instruction et la « Foire aux questions » (FAQ) disponibles sur le site Web www.skillsafrica.org.

La politique de SIFA est d’offrir des opportunités équitables et transparentes à tous les candidats. Par conséquent, nous ne pouvons pas offrir de consultations personnelles. Si vous avez des questions spécifiques, veuillez les envoyer via le formulaire de contact disponible sur le site Web. Les questions et réponses seront publiées dans la section FAQ du site Web.

1. Anyone with a potential concept note fulfilling the overall requirements for a call can submit an application. For detailed definitions of eligible applicants and eligible projects for each Funding Window, please refer to the Instruction Guide freely available to download on the website www.skillsafrica.org.

2. At the Concept Note stage, eligible candidates have to provide audited or certified financial statements of the Lead for the last three available years. Certified financial statements are normally signed by the Chairman of the Board of Directors or the Chairman of the Governing Board of the training institution. This may be compared with the externally audited financial statements which are signed by the External Auditor. At the Full Proposal stage, shortlisted applicants will be required to submit their 3-year audited accounts.

Funding Window 1 will be launched in all participating SIFA countries, but Calls for Proposal are opened for each country individually. Currently, only the call for Cameroon has opened. Call openings for the other countries are expected at a later stage and will be announced on the website.

For detailed information, please check the Instruction Guide and the “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) on the website www.skillsafrica.org.

SIFA’s policy is to offer fair and transparent opportunities to all applicants. Therefore, we cannot provide personal consultations. If you have specific questions, please send them to us through the contact form on the website. The questions and answers will be published on the FAQ section of the website.