Call for Consultant: Terms of Reference – Navigating Economic Transitions – Unveiling the Benefits of Enhanced Investments and Policy Support in the Agriculture Sectors of South Africa and Namibia in the Decarbonization Era.



The Africa Institute of Environmental Law is a respected think tank dedicated to research, training, and capacity building in natural resource governance and environmental law throughout Africa. We are beginning an important study titled “Navigating Economic Transitions: Unveiling the Benefits of Enhanced Investments and Policy Support in the Agriculture Sectors of South Africa and Namibia in the Decarbonization Era.” This research is part of our comprehensive project aimed at enhancing civil society engagement, promoting informed dialogue, and influencing policy and public discourse on agriculture and tourism. Our strategic initiative seeks to guide Namibia and South Africa towards sustainable and independent futures, moving away from their reliance on fossil fuels. We are actively seeking an experienced Consultant to collaborate with us on this significant study, offering valuable insights that will shape the economic transitions of Namibia and South Africa and facilitate the path to sustainable development.


The discourse surrounding decarbonization and energy transition presents a significant challenge for Southern African nations, particularly Namibia and South Africa. As the global energy sector approaches a critical juncture in the next decade, the decisions made will have far-reaching implications for climate change targets. Despite commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, both Namibia and South Africa are struggling with an increasing reliance on fossil fuels due to factors such as energy crises and proposed gas-to-power projects. This dependence on oil and natural gas not only undermines efforts to mitigate climate change, but also poses significant socio-cultural, environmental, and economic risks to local communities. Concerns about biodiversity loss, the impact of offshore drilling on coastal communities, and the inequalities perpetuated by fossil fuel-based energy practices have led to calls to cease oil and gas investments in Africa. However, these movements lack coherent policy alternatives, emphasizing the need to bridge the gap between environmental advocacy, energy policies, and land rights. While policymakers acknowledge the adverse effects of oil and gas investments, they currently lack evidence-based alternatives to guide fiscal decisions. In our dedication to promoting sustainable development in Africa, this research endeavors to explore the unexploited potential within the resilient agricultural sectors of Namibia and South Africa.

Namibia’s agriculture sector supports 70% of its population and contributes 5.1% to the GDP.[1] In contrast, South Africa’s advanced agriculture sector contributed USD 12 billion in 2021.[2] South Africa also plays a prominent role in global agricultural markets, exporting various products such as fruits, wines, and grains.

As carbon-intensive industries decline, the agriculture sector is becoming the foundation of these nations’ economies. This crucial moment calls for an examination of transformative possibilities and policy implications in this transition. Recognizing the urgent need for evidence-based alternatives to move away from reliance on oil and gas, we invite an experienced consultant to conduct a comprehensive study on the economic benefits of enhanced investments and policy support in the agriculture sector in South Africa and Namibia. The study aims to shape policy dialogues and training initiatives, aligning with the broader goals of our project to strengthen civil society engagement, foster informed debate, and reshape policy and public narratives on agriculture.

The consultant will follow the following methodology:

  • Literature Review: Conduct an extensive review of existing research, policies, and perspectives on the economic benefits of agricultural investments in Namibia and South Africa. Synthesize key findings from the literature review to inform the study. Analyse existing agricultural policies and frameworks in Namibia and South Africa to evaluate their effectiveness in promoting economic growth, sustainability, and inclusivity within the sector.
  • Co-organize consultative workshops in Namibia and South Africa with the AIEL to gather diverse perspectives from policymakers, farmers, industry experts, and community representatives. Incorporate stakeholder input into the research design.
  • Quantitative Analysis: Use statistical data to assess the current economic contribution of the agriculture sector in Namibia and South Africa. Analyse indicators such as GDP contributions, employment rates, and sectoral growth patterns.- Qualitative Analysis: Conduct interviews and focus group discussions with key stakeholders to understand qualitative aspects such as the socio-economic impacts, challenges, and opportunities in the agricultural sector. Develop financial models to project the potential economic benefits of increased investments in agriculture over a specified timeframe, taking into account factors such as market trends, technology adoption, and policy changes.
  • Case Studies: Select representative case studies from both countries to provide in-depth insights into successful agricultural initiatives, showcasing their economic impact and sustainability. Prepare a comprehensive report that incorporates both quantitative and qualitative findings, case studies, and policy recommendations.
  • Collaborate with the African Investment and Economic Livelihoods Organization (AIEL) to co-organize validation workshops in Namibia and South Africa. These workshops aim to gather diverse feedback from stakeholders on the findings and recommendations.

Main Objective:

  • To evaluate the economic benefits of increased investments in the agriculture sector in Namibia and South Africa.


  • Assess the untapped economic potential of increased investments in the agriculture sector in Namibia and South Africa.
  • Evaluate the policy support required to facilitate a smooth transition from dependence on oil and gas to a strategic focus on agriculture.\Examine the unique strengths, challenges, and opportunities within the agriculture sectors of Namibia and South Africa.
  • Analyze the potential role of agriculture in mitigating economic challenges resulting from declining carbon-intensive industries.
  • Propose evidence-based policy alternatives to encourage strategic investments in agriculture as a sustainable economic anchor.


Proposed Phases of the Research and Outputs





Collaborative initiation involving the consultant to orchestrate multi-stakeholder consultative workshops in Namibia and South Africa, fostering stakeholder buy-in and soliciting valuable input to guide the research process.

– Draft and Final Inception Report

– Presentation outlining the Methodology and Proposed Report Structure

Data Collection, Analysis and Report Writing

Implementation of the approved methodology by the consultant, with active collaboration in data collection to promote knowledge sharing and engender a sense of ownership over the final output.

–          Draft Report with Key Findings and Recommendations

Refinement Phase

Establishment of a Technical Committee tasked with meticulously reviewing the research report and providing constructive comments to the Consultant. Additionally, organization of a Validation Workshop to ensure rigorous scrutiny and validation of research findings and recommendations by critical stakeholders.

–          Draft and Final Report incorporating Reviewer’s Comments

Dissemination Phase

Showcase key findings and recommendations from the research in various impactful forums.

Presentations should be tailored for diverse audiences, including policymakers, industry experts, farmers groups, and civil society

Engage in policy dialogues, training workshops, and specialized events, including the Energy Transition in Africa Dialogue Series.

Policy Brief: Condensed document addressing critical policy issues identified in the study.

Dynamic Presentations encapsulating the main findings, highlighting key insights, and emphasizing actionable recommendations.


The consultancy is expected to commence in May (as per agreement) and conclude by July 12, 2024, with regular progress updates.

Qualifications and Desired Experience

  • Having a Master’s Degree or Ph.D. in specialized areas such as Agricultural Economics, Developmental Economics, Finance, Public Policy, and Climate Economics.
  • A comprehensive understanding of key policy matters related to energy transition and the decarbonization agenda in Africa is necessary.
  • Demonstrating a proven track record in conducting impactful research and analysis within the agricultural sector, with a regional focus, is required.
  • Additionally, possessing in-depth knowledge of the economic and political landscapes of South Africa and Namibia is necessary to ensure a nuanced understanding of the contextual factors influencing agricultural dynamics.
  • Strong analytical capabilities and advanced report-writing skills are crucial to deliver comprehensive and insightful research outputs.
  • It is also essential to have demonstrated experience in effectively engaging with diverse stakeholders, fostering collaborative partnerships, and ensuring inclusive perspectives in the research process.


The consultant will report to the AIEL Coordinator, providing regular updates on progress and seeking guidance as needed.


Prospective consultants are encouraged to submit their Expression of Interest, inclusive of a comprehensive Methodology, Research Plan, Proposed Report Structure, Budget, Curriculum Vitae (CV), and 2 or 3 examples of previous research work illustrating expertise in relevant areas to:

Deadline: 24 April 2024 at 23:59 Hrs


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