Invitation for Expressions of Interest for Implementation and Operation of Smart Africa Trust Alliance Data Interoperability Platform (SATA-DIP)

Smart Africa Secretariat

SMART Africa is a bold and innovative commitment from African Heads of State and Government to accelerate sustainable socio-economic development on the continent, ushering Africa into a knowledge economy through affordable access to Broadband and usage of Information and Communications Technologies.

Rate this employer
Average: 4.3 (16 votes)


Invitation for Expressions of Interest for Implementation and Operation of Smart Africa Trust Alliance Data Interoperability Platform (SATA-DIP)  

Client Address

Smart Africa Secretariat

10th Floor, Career Centre Building

KG 541 ST, Kigali, Rwanda,

PO Box: 4913

Tel: +250784013646| +250 788-300-581




Release date:

07th March, 2023

Closing date:

07th  April, 2023; 5pm (Local time, Kigali)



For any questions or enquiries, please write to:

For Proposal Submissions:


Smart Africa is a bold and innovative commitment from African Heads of State and Government to accelerate sustainable socio-economic development on the continent, ushering Africa into a knowledge economy through affordable access to Broadband and usage of Information and Communications Technologies.

In 2013 in Kigali Rwanda, 7 African Heads of State (Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Mali, Gabon, Burkina Faso) adopted the Smart Africa Manifesto in recognition of the need to adopt a harmonized digital transformation process in Africa. In 2014, all Heads of State and the Government of the African Union endorsed the Smart Africa Manifesto at the 22nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union in Addis Ababa.

The Smart Africa Alliance has since grown to include 36 African Heads of State and countries that represent close to 1.1 billion people: Algeria, Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Congo, DR Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Madagascar,  Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome & Principe, Sierra Leone, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The Alliance is also a partnership bringing together all African countries adhering to the Manifesto, the African Union (AU), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the World Bank, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the GSMA, ICANN, academia, and the Private Sector. Besides its initial membership, other organizations and countries sharing the same vision, interests, and goals will be admitted to the Alliance.

Smart Africa’s vision is to transform Africa into a single digital market by 2030. This vision will be reached by delivery towards 3 strategic objectives:

  • build resilient and sustainable digital Infrastructure for Africa,
  • drive agile policy and regulatory harmonization to attract investment to the African digital landscape, and
  • leverage technology to accelerate the inclusive uptake of digital public goods and services across Africa.

Smart Africa strategy for years 2023-2025 features concrete action plan to realize the objectives. Among the strategic initiatives and priorities, the development of digital identity interoperability and data interoperability through the Smart Africa Trust Alliance (SATA) are central. These will be the backbones of Africa’s transformation into a single digital market, as identity and data exchange are the basic enablers for cross-border digital trade and services.


Africa has a market size of 50+ countries with a population of 1.4 billion, the world’s youngest population profile, and the highest growth rates. However, digital markets are developing mostly in a national level and do not (yet) benefit from the scale of the continent.  Currently, intra-Africa trade represents approximately 16.6% of Africa’s GDP only, while intra-European trade represents 69% of the European Union’s GDP, for instance. One reason for this is the coexistence of 50+ separate and distinct national regulatory frameworks in Africa, and the lack of a system to establish mutual trust and recognition across national digital ID schemes and private sector solutions.

According to the World Bank, an estimated 1 billion people worldwide cannot officially prove their identity, making it difficult or impossible to vote, bank, travel, or buy property. Of the 1 billion people without proof of identity, nearly half those people, approximately 500 million, are estimated to live in sub-Saharan Africa.

Without proof of identity, millions of African people are missing out on basic legal, social, and economic rights and opportunities. Faced with these challenges to sustainable development, African countries are considering the most effective solutions to identify their citizens and residents and adapted to the realities of the continent. One promising solution is already being deployed in some countries: Digital or Electronic Identification. Identity is a crucial element for each individual as it defines a set of traits to uniquely identify a person. Similarly, digital identity is equally important as it helps establish confidence in user identities presented digitally to a system.

Smart Africa’s audacious vision is to build a single digital market by 2030, with digital products and services accessible easily throughout the continent and operate seamlessly with the rest of the world. Digital identity represents the backbone of Africa’s transformation into a single digital market, as it is a basic building block for access to both public and private services.

On February 11, 2019, at the 7th meeting of Smart Africa's Board in Addis, Ethiopia, the board requested the Smart Africa Council of ICT Ministers to spearhead and coordinate the collaboration of key public and private sector stakeholders to develop a blueprint for a continental framework that could assist Member States in designing and implementing interoperable individual digital ID schemes in a manner that would facilitate and enable trusted cross-border transactions across Africa by leveraging the public sector where appropriate.

This would be a key practical contributor to the future success of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) as digital ID schemes designed to facilitate cross-border recognition will undoubtedly promote national financial and economic inclusion, enhance public services, and create wide-ranging new economic opportunities in their home markets and across Africa.

In line with the instructions of the Board, the Smart Africa Secretariat (SAS) launched a Working Group to provide a platform for collaboration with and among a range of stakeholders. The Working Group developed the digital ID blueprint as well as a continental concept – named the Smart Africa Trust Alliance (SATA) – to establish institutional ownership and accountability combined with a trust framework based on standards and trust assurance mechanisms to facilitate cross-border interactions.

In order to bring cross-border digital ID to life, the first stage of SATA will be to interconnect the national digital registers and other information systems following a set of mutually agreed data-sharing rules and technical standards by Smart Africa Member States and supported by a certification and evaluation system, plus a shared data exchange platform. This will be in line with SATA’s objectives to contribute to the transformation of Africa into a single digital market.

In addition to the digital ID cross-border use, SATA data exchange framework will support single digital market more widely by allowing dataflows across the borders between governments, government-to-business and vice versa, also business-to-business and business-to-customer in a trusted and efficient ways.

In 2022-23, SAS has developed a more detailed concept, strategy as well as implementation roadmap of SATA and the data exchange framework. Among the first steps will be the implementation of a Data Interoperability Platform (SATA-DIP), as the building block for cross-border digital ID and wider data exchange in the next years. The first use case identified for initial implementation of SATA-DIP is cross-border Mobile SIM card registration, and currently 4 Smart Africa Member States have expressed willingness to be the piloting partners: Benin, Ghana, Senegal and Togo. More countries may join the process.


Smart Africa Secretariat (SAS) seeks for a Data Interoperability Platform Technology Solution (Technology) and a potential partner (Provider) to implement, operate and support the Smart Africa Trust Alliance Data Interoperability Platform (SATA-DIP) as the first SATA solution. 

This process will serve as a pre-qualification process with-which selected applicants will be invited to a final process that shall lead to contract negotiation and signing. 

The selected Provider will be remunerated or reimbursed based on the Commercial Model proposed by Provider and agreed upon with the Smart Africa Secretariat and key SATA members. SAS intent is to find a Provider who would be willing to take up maximum possible initial and ongoing financial investment into launching and operations of SATA-DIP, in return the provider should secure the return on investment (ROI) based on cost reimbursement and/or revenue sharing model  in later stages of operations. In essence, SAS seeks a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) engagement with the Provider. 

SATA – DIP must be designed and deployed as a highly scalable technical solution as a service that will be hosted in Africa from the pilot stage to the full scale and operation stage. The environment for the Technology should be a self-contained cloud installation. 

Technology should support the achievement of the first use-case goals and targets, but be easily scalable to any use-cases. The first use-case of the SATA-DIP will be the Cross-border SIM registration through SATA. The next use cases and the relevant data exchange volumes will be agreed and are to be implemented in course of SATA implementation and scaling. SAS expects that within course of 3 years, at the very least 5 more high-impact cross-border data exchange use-cases will be implemented between interested Member States on top of SATA-DIP. 


The Provider proposing the Technology implementation, operation and support for SATA-DIP is expected to perform the following activities:

  1. Setup of cloud resources for the solution;
  2. Installation and configuration of all required components;
  3. Testing of the solution;
  4. Creation of operational manuals;
  5. Training of the operations and users’ technical teams;
  6. Support of the users’ integrations.
  7. Support of the Technology during the course of operations;
  8. Processing of certificate signing and revocation requests;
  9. Processing of member registration and deletion;
  10. Monitoring and periodic reporting of the solution usage, compliance, performance and support;
  11. Knowledge transfer to SAS team and other relevant stakeholders
  12. Participation and support in scaling of SATA-IP uptake among African countries, the relevant promotion and development of use-cases.
  13. The timeframe for the engagement is expected to be as follows: 
  • Implementation of Technology and set-up Customer Support with the first use-case – maximum 5 months from contract signing (Phases 1-2 below);
  • Total duration of the engagement, i.e. for operations and support of SATA-DIP – 36 months from contract signing. 

More concretely, the Provider should ensure the delivery of following deliverables by the stages as envisioned here: 

Phase 1 Platform Set-Up

  • Creation of the SATA-DIP environment cloud resources, necessary installation and configurations;
  • Creation of operation manuals for the Technology;
  • Creation of a detailed management plan for the key technical sub-components
  • Creation of operation manuals incl. for each sub-component
  • Creation of the testing descriptions
  • Creation of the Technology training plan 

Phase 2 Customer Support Set-up

  • Training of SAS and users’ technical teams.
  • Support of the users’ integrations.
  • Support of the acceptance tests.
  • Support the use case and data exchange service development. 

Phase 3 Operations

  • Support of the additional integrations and conduct of additional users trainings.
  • Support of the additional acceptance tests.
  • Transfer of the Technology operations knowledge to Smart Africa Secretariat (SAS)
  • Processing of certificate signing and revocation requests.
  • Processing of member registration and deletion.
  • Monitoring and periodic reporting of the solution usage, compliance, performance and support.
  • Inputs to and participation in SATA-DIP promotion work and use-cases development. 

Based on the market study of best practices and data exchange solutions in-use globally, SAS is expecting to receive offers from Providers having experience and expertise with open-source solutions such as the X-Road technology, e-Delivery technology, or any other open-source technology complying with High-Level Technical Requirements detailed in Appendix 1

More detailed Technical Requirements in case the e-Delivery is the solution offered are detailed in Appendix 2, and for the X-Road in Appendix 3. In submission of Proposal, potential Provider has to provide a description of how their Technological solution will meet the requirements from Appendix 2 or 3 accordingly. 

Among the High-Level Technical Requirements, the Base Requirements are mandatory for qualification and Additional Requirements are preferred qualities of the Technology. 

In case the Provider will propose any other Technology the information about the Technology should be detailed in accordance with the requested information detailed in Appendix 4. Please note that both the e-Delivery and the X-Road-specific mandatory technology requirements are described in the relevant Appendixes 2 and 3. In case a different Technology is proposed, the Provider should also in a proper manner present information about the mandatory technical requirements as requested in Appendix 4. 

The Provider candidates are expected to list additional features, that could make the solution’s Operations more effective and what should be considered/implemented during the post-Pilot phase for the full-scale operations. The proposed solution should be adapted to hosting relocation when needed for the scale-up phase and the Provider should have the ability to support the full localization of the Technology at the infrastructure provided by the SAS when need be and adequately accommodated.


An interested party should build up and suggest a Commercial Model that incorporates and clearly indicates the total cost of the Solution, plus the split between different types of payment and stages of the project. 

As part of the Commercial Model, the potential Supplier should present a share of the total cost of the project Supplier is ready to discount from the Implementation and Support phase and take an opportunity to earn a revenue share or be reimbursed in the future. 

The supplier should count on no more than 3 years period for the PPP model to earn from the revenue share or receive reimbursement, and should define the maximum amount to be received, including the risk margin for the initial discount. 

For clarification, there is no current definite Business Plan and Pricing Model for the SATA Pilot from SAS side. There is a potential to launch pricing and to earn revenues with future use-cases, but most probably not earlier than 12-18 from the start of the contract.

The Commercial Model should be shown in USD, with all sums inclusive of VAT or Rwanda withholding tax (WHT). 

The following is the format for the Commercial Model submission: 

1) Direct Expense for SAS 


Without revenue sharing or later reimbursement

With revenue sharing or later reimbursement

(discounted expense proposal)

Total cost for 36 months




1. Payment for the Implementation phase (one-time payment),




1.1 Payment at the start of the project



1.2 Payments during the implementation process



1.3 Payment for the delivery and acceptance of the solution



2. Ongoing operations and support for up to 36 months,


… US


2.1. Minimum monthly payment for SLA delivery (fixed price)

… USD monthly

… USD monthly

2.2 Additional payment for the additional necessary support (hourly rate in case of extra work needed)



2) Future payment proposal for the discounted expense proposal 

Present/submit as applicable either option 1 or 2. 

Option 1: Revenue sharing 

Minimum total amount expected as revenues for duration of contract


Ongoing payment or end-of-contract result fee 

(choose as appropriate)

Expected payment frequency


(choose as appropriate)

Expected start of ongoing payments (if applicable)

Month / year

In case of fixed transaction fee model preference:

… USD per … DIP member / user / data exchange transaction (choose as appropriate)

In case of revenue total share model preference:

… % of SATA-DIP revenues

Any additional conditions / expectations from Provider side


Option 2: Later reimbursement 

Total amount expected as revenues for duration of contract


Ongoing payment or end-of-contract result fee 

(choose as appropriate)

Expected payment frequency


(choose as appropriate)

Expected start of ongoing payments (if applicable)

Month / year

Any additional conditions / expectations from Provider side



The process for the selection of the Provider: 

Step 1:    Terms of Reference published

Step 2:  After receiving Offers, SAS creates an evaluation committee made up of key Smart Africa Secretariat staff, Member States representatives and possible external advisors.

Step 3:    Pre-qualification of maximum 3 Qualified Providers/suppliers.

Step 4:    Final Interviews / Meetings with Qualified Providers/suppliers.

Step 5:   Selection of Most Qualified Provider/supplier and engagement negotiations 


The following model will be used to evaluate all respondents and proposals submitted:


Evaluation Notes

No tax arrears

Mandatory Requirement: Automatic disqualification if not met

Depth and extent of Provider experience:

  • With the proposed Technology (as most important factor)
  • With similar public-private partnerships
  • With similar commercial models

To be scored based on criteria by evaluation committee as this is a pre-qualification process


Technology that meets High-Level Requirements (per Appendix 1) and is open source

Mandatory Requirement: Automatic disqualification if not met

Technology suitability to expected set-up (per Appendix 2 or 3 or 4)

To be scored based on criteria by evaluation committee as this is a pre-qualification process

Suitability of mission team set-up and experience


To be scored based on criteria by evaluation committee as this is a pre-qualification process

Commercial model, including:

  • Cost for SAS
  • Suitability of future payments model proposal

To be scored based on criteria by evaluation committee – based on comparison of proposals

Suitability of high-level work-plan

To be scored based on criteria by evaluation committee as this is a pre-qualification process


A specific outline must be followed to facilitate the Smart Africa Secretariat’s review and evaluation of the responses received. 

A response to this expression of interest must include the following sections in the order listed:

  1. A cover letter confirming the firm’s interest in providing the services and entering the required partnerships
  2. Administrative document: Company registration certificates, and Tax clearance certificates). Failure to submit will lead to automatic disqualification of the offer.
  3. A technical proposal containing the following content:
  • Company’s experience with the Technology proposed, with similar partnerships and similar commercial models – list concrete references for each aspect (project names, short descriptions)
  • Technology and solution details (as highlighted above in Section )
  • Mission team set-up and experience:
    • core team structure and roles
    • profiles/bios of key personnel for the roles, highlighting relevant experience and providing concrete references (project names, short descriptions)
  • Commercial Model (as highlighted above)
  • High-level workplan, indicating Provider’s potential time schedule and readiness to deliver the deliverables within the indicated timeframe.
  • A technology compliance form as seen in Appendix 4 of this EOI document 

Note: The details of the technical proposal should help SAS to understand that the applicants has the technology, the resources and the relevant team to deliver the project. 


Soft copies of proposals must be submitted to  in PDF format indicating as e-mail title “Expressions of Interest for Implementation and Operation of Smart Africa Trust Alliance Data Interoperability Platform (SATA-DIP)  not later than 07th April 2023 at 5:00 pm Kigali time. 

To facilitate the success of this pre-qualification process, please ensure that all submission requirements are clearly met. More details on various requirements are found in the appendix section.

Late submissions will be rejected.

Click on the APPLY button to send your application documents:
  • Your application will be sent to the employer immediately (Allowed formats: .doc .pdf .txt .docx)
  • A confirmation email will be sent to you few minutes afterwards
  • You can request any documents archived from our website (ex: a job description, a CV, a cover letter...)