AGRA’s Centre for African Leaders in Agriculture Opens Application Window for Second Cohort of Advanced Leadership Programme


Nairobi, Kenya – AGRA has announced the opening of applications for the second cohort for the Centre for African Leaders in Agriculture (CALA)’s Advanced Leadership Programme. Designed for rising stars and established executives from across Africa’s agriculture sector in government, the private sector, and civil society, the programme is the continent’s premier leadership programme tailored for developing leaders to advance sustainable agriculture sector priorities. The programme’s application window, which is open from April 19 to June 3 2022, will result in the selection of 80 top applicants from eight focus countries – Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

“In these times of crisis, leadership has never been more important in mitigating crisis, and strengthening resilience.  CALA will help leaders develop the skills they need to take the continent through tough times and work for prosperous food systems,” said AGRA President, Dr. Agnes Kalibata.

The Centre’s highly competitive Advanced Leadership Programme is a 16-month learning journey that emphasizes collaborative and practical experience focused on supporting leaders to advance their professional skills and contribute to flagship programs to achieve progress toward agriculture transformation.

CALA is an AGRA-led initiative and is delivered in collaboration with implementing partners including the African Management Institute (AMI), CALA’s lead implementation and learning partner, and USAID’s Policy LINK. Policy LINK has led the design and rollout of the leadership programme’s coaching component

“At AMI we believe leadership is fundamental to the success of any organisation, whether it’s a business, civil society organization, or government,” said Rebecca Harrison, CEO and Co-founder of AMI. “We know that to drive transformation, leaders must be highly-skilled in cross-sector collaboration, be able to lead high-functioning teams, and be positioned to adjust to change and future challenges. We’ve tailored CALA’s learning approach to meet the unique needs of Africa’s ambitious leaders in agriculture and put them in a position to practically apply what they are learning, to take advantage of their limited time. The results we’re already seeing in the CALA Advanced Leadership Programme are heartening and we’re excited to bring on the next cohort.”

During the programme, cohort members participate in virtual learning sessions with sector peers and benefit from CALA’s unique approach to on-the-job and executive and group coaching, which emphasizes local knowledge and individual learning styles.

“We are fortunate to call upon the talents of an accomplished cadre representing Africa’s professional coaching community,” said Steve Smith, Chief of Party of the USAID Policy LINK program, which is leading the CALA coaching program. “Through them, our executive and team coaching utilizes a variety of leadership tools and methodologies geared toward enabling each leader to reflect, learn, and grow.”

Among the programme’s offerings are four Leadership Forums with experts from across the continent and globe. Participants will also have access to CALA’s comprehensive library of online leadership courses and derive lessons and best practices from case studies of ‘Game-changers’ spurring Agricultural transformation in Africa and the global south. By the end of the programme, within CALA’s unique Action Learning Project format, participants will have delivered on a collaborative keystone project working with peers from their country cohort to deliver on a key sector transformation project. The projects will be linked to each of the participants’ job objectives and country transformation objectives.

CALA’s inaugural cohort was selected from over 1,000 applicants and began in August 2021. The inaugural cohort consists of 80 individuals from the eight focus countries and boasts a wide representation with 44% participants from governments, 31% from the private sector, and 25% from civil society organizations. The participation of women leaders is also of note, accounting for nearly half of the inaugural cohort. Recruitment of the second cohort will focus on achieving similar outcomes.

For more information or to apply visit:  

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