Private Sector & Economic Growth

Altai Consulting has developed winning strategies for numerous large-scale Private Sector Development (PSD) programs in Africa, the Middle East, and Central & South Asia. Our teams have been involved in most aspects of PSD: value chain analyses, business plan development, capacity building & skills development, and Public Private Partnerships (PPPs)

Recent projects

Identification of Capacity Building Opportunities in the Agri-Business sector

In 2014, the French Development Agency (AFD) contracted Altai Consulting to assess the Agri-Business sector to identify capacity-building opportunities. More specifically, the mission aimed at:

  • Conducting a rapid assessment of the agribusiness sector in Libya with a focus on the food-processing part of the sector (the study will not cover farming, inputs and farming machinery).
  • Identifying gaps in the value chains and skills needed that could generate opportunities of partnerships and capacity building among the different actors and bodies in place
  • Identifying concrete opportunities of support and a roadmap for partnerships and capacity building components to be developed by AFD in partnerships with French companies. This roadmap will be reviewed by AFD and potentially funded in a second project phase.

Extractive Industry / Resource Corridor Development

In 2012, Altai was commissioned by the World Bank and the Afghan Ministry of Mines and Petroleum to support the development of Afghan mineral, oil and gas extraction sites. The assessment identified areas of maximum impact for Afghan firms and potential employees to participate in the extractive sector, and develop the soft infrastructure necessary to realise the opportunities available in this sector.

The study resulted in a comprehensive assessment of the local capacities and capabilities available to develop the extraction sector in Afghanistan, including:

  • Assessment of the potential for early revenues and employment generation of all potential extraction sites, with respect to the different phases of exploitation;
  • Comprehensive mapping of corresponding needs in workforce, skillsets and material resources;
  • Mapping of primary challenges and design of a detailed implementation plan to improve governance, information flows and local economic growth in exploiting mineral resources as well as oil and gas fields;
  • Design of an action plan to ensure that the demand and supply for skills were adequately brought together via a mechanism of ‘market making’;
  • Critical analysis of the requirements for additional initiatives by the government and donors to address any skills gap and further improve the balance of supply and demand over time for the sector.
  • Selection of 50+ private and public sector organisations that could contribute to the private sector development and skills development plans, with an assessment of strengths and weaknesses for each of themSomaliland – Market Diagnostic of the Energy Sector

Altai Consulting was tasked by DFID to conduct a market diagnostic of the energy sector in Somaliland to inform the inception of its Energy Security and Resource Efficiency in Somalia program (ESRES). For this assessment, Altai collaborated with technical experts and economists specialised in the energy sector and led a month-long field research in urban and rural areas of Somaliland. Objective and subjective data were collected through two waves of qualitative and quantitative surveys.

Data gathered were used to provide DFID with a detailed analysis of:

  • The legislative framework regulating the energy sector;
  • The financial, technical, managerial constraints to its development;
  • The formal and informal governance dynamics that could interfere with international interventions designed to support it;
  • The potential impact of energy sector growth on local society, economy and peace-building and state-building objectives of Somaliland.

The resulting market diagnostic was used to design feasible options for the pilot of the inception phase of the programs and inform DFID’s business case on how to best promote the usage of renewable energies to support the provision of public services and market dynamics. In addition, information compiled will serve to develop an evidence generation and dissemination mechanism that should support DFID’s engagement in the renewable energy sector of Fragile and Conflict Affected States worldwide.

Market and Agriculture Value Chain Assessment in Lakes States

Altai Consulting was commissioned by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) to conduct an in-depth market assessment across key markets in Lakes State. In addition, Altai was responsible for evaluating the commercial potential of agricultural commodities to determine 4 crops of high value for value chain analysis. The objective of the value chain analyses was to assist UNIDO in defining small scale industrial interventions to upgrade the value chains.

The methodology was structured around defining the selection criteria for value chains before conducting market assessments to identify 4 value chains to be mapped and analysed in-depth. Altai’s criteria were wrapped around two axles: growth potential and benefit to the poorest. Multiple criteria were analysed using matrices and refined based on preliminary data to identify the most promising value chains.

The research led to the identification of an upgrading strategy for each value chain. Altai’s output ultimately led to recommendations to increase the competitive advantage of markets and crops in Lakes State to improve food security and the economic situation of residents.

Horticulture Sector Review

As part of its Agriculture Sector Review (ASR) in Afghanistan, the World Bank mandated Altai Consulting to perform a horticulture sector review. Leveraging a large amount of secondary data and reports, complemented by spot-checks and key informant interviews (KIIs) throughout Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Dubai, this review provided an analysis of the sector and its economy (including a prospective analysis), nine detailed value-chain assessments and suggestions of policy reforms and action plans.

Main objectives of this assessment were to:

  • Benchmark selected horticulture crops in Afghanistan vis-a-vis major competitors;
  • Evaluate past performance over the long run and identify the main constraints that have impeded the sector’s development;
  • Evaluate future employment generation and export earnings that would result from scenarios of growth in each industry;
  • Develop a specific action plan for the government to remove the main constraints and attract private investment with the support of development partners.

Field Work was conducted in Kabul, Mazar-e-Sharif, Herat, Kandahar, Jalalabad, Delhi, Peshawar, Lahore and Dubai. KIIs were conducted with farmers, wholesalers, middlemen, processors, exporters, importers, transporters, retailers as well as officials, implementers of agricultural programs and representatives of donors and Government of Islamic State of Afghanistan (GIRoA).

Lighting Africa Programme Expansion

In May 2013, Altai was commissioned by the World Bank’s Lighting Africa programme to carry out a study on solar power supply chains in South Sudan. The general objective was to conduct an assessment of supply chains for Lighting Africa-approved products, other portable lighting products, and comparable consumer goods such as mobile phones in South Sudan. The study was to inform the World Bank’s strategy on increasing access to Lighting Africa approved products in South Sudan.

Altai carried out a complete end-to-end assessment of the supply chain, both inside and outside of South Sudan through Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) with end consumers, in combination with Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) with experts and actors at each of the key points along the supply chain. FGDs and KIIs were conducted in both rural and urban areas. To select interviewees, the research team ‘followed the supply chain’, to ensure that solar power users form part of the sample group. Solar power retailers were used as a starting point: from these retailers, the supply chain was retraced backwards and forwards, to identify other key actors and consumers.

Value Chain Analysis: Transitional Solutions Initiative in Sudan

In 2013, Altai Consulting was commissioned by UNHCR and UNDP in Sudan to conduct a Value Chains assessment as part of the Transitional Solutions Initiative (TSI) programme. The assessment aimed to identify value chains to be developed to support the longer-term integration of refugee and IDP populations into the host communities in eastern Sudan. The research involved a comprehensive mapping of the development efforts in eastern Sudan with the World Bank, USAID, DFID, JICA, EU, etc., and hereafter a deep assessment of four selected value chains – interviewing cultivators, collectors, transporters, processors, and retailers. The research led to the development of an intervention action plan for UNHCR, UNDP and the Sudanese Government in eastern Sudan.

Definition of a Promotional Strategy to boost exports in Western Africa

Altai Consulting has developed a promotional strategy for a government of a large North African country to boost exports in Western Africa. Six priority sectors and value chains have been covered including agro-industry, textile and leather, automobile, electricity, ICT & off-shoring, and pharmaceuticals with a focus on countries of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA).

Resource Growth Corridor Strategy, skills development Strategy Mining and Oil & Gas Industry

Altai Consulting has been contracted by the World Bank to analyse the supply and demand for skills needed by large upcoming mining and oil & gas investments in Afghanistan and design a strategy to build local capacity and boost local employment in the medium and in the longer term.

Investment Climate Facility

Altai Consulting has partnered with Coffee International and ASI for the design and kick-off phase of the Afghanistan Investment Climate Facility, an initiative funded by DFID and USAIDThe AICF was designed to identify, support and fund initiatives addressing roadblocks to private sector development, in a variety of fields including access to finance, policies & regulations, infrastructures, skills, and corruption. 

SME Development in 13 Economic Sectors in Central Asia

For a large USAID-funded SME development program, Altai Consulting has conducted value chain analyses in the Central Asia region (Ex-CIS, Turkey, Iran, Mongolia) and has designed strategies for Afghan and foreign investors in 13 sectors of the Afghan economy, targeting both exports and the domestic market. Following this project, numerous investments have taken place and projects have been launched by Afghan entrepreneurs as well as foreign players.