The African Agriculture Fund (AAF) Technical Assistance Facility (TAF): Impact brief
The African Agriculture Fund (AAF) Technical Assistance Facility (TAF) officially closed on 31 October 2018 after seven years of implementation. The TAF had a mandate to increase economic and physical access to food for low-income Africans by providing technical assistance to the portfolio companies of the AAF. The objective of TAF’s projects was either to strengthen companies’ core operations by delivering consulting expertise to enable them to grow, and hence contribute to food security through increased production and food availability, or to facilitate the implementation of new business models that extend their reach to poor consumers, producers or employees through ‘inclusive business’ initiatives.
IFAD was contracted by the European Commission to manage the facility and TechnoServe was competitively selected as the implementing agency responsible for implementing TA directly and through service providers.
TAF’s projects ultimately enabled AAF portfolio companies to extend their direct reach to over 26,000 low-income beneficiaries, of whom 50 per cent are women; generating over US$5 million in additional smallholder sales and US$2.5 million in increased SME revenues directly attributable to TAF projects.
The impact brief highlights TAF’s accomplishments and lessons learned from 2011 to 2018. The report is supported by a repository of project outputs online at www.aaftaf.org.
This programme has been a proof of concept: using the vehicle of an independently managed technical assistance facility to challenge traditional businesses to think in a more ‘inclusive’ way and, in doing so, push companies outside their comfort zone to experiment with new ways of reaching the poor to generate mutual financial benefits.