Emerging Agricultural Leaders Celebrate Graduation from Prestigious CALA Programme

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

In a new milestone for African agriculture, 78 emerging leaders have successfully graduated from the esteemed Centre for African Leaders in Agriculture (CALA) programme, hosted by AGRA. This ceremony, held in Addis Ababa, marks the second cohort to complete the program, following the first virtual graduation in 2022.

The graduates, representing a diverse mix from public, private sectors, and civil society, received certificates acknowledging their expertise in driving food security and sustainability in Africa. The 16-month program offered a collaborative, practical experience tailored for both senior and rising leaders in the continent’s agricultural sector.

AGRA President, Dr. Agnes Kalibata, highlighted the event with a compelling speech on the urgent need to address post-harvest losses in agriculture. She stressed the significance of innovative and strategic approaches to reduce these losses, a critical challenge hampering agricultural growth and resilience in Africa. Dr. Kalibata noted that 50% of CALA graduates are committed to addressing this issue, underscoring the program’s impact on shaping future agricultural policies and practices.

The CALA programme, designed for leaders implementing country-level agricultural initiatives, has equipped its participants with practical skills for effective leadership across diverse sectors. Of the 78 graduates, 45% are from government agencies, 26% from the private sector, and 29% from civil society, selected from over 1,000 applicants. These individuals represent some of the continent’s most dynamic leaders in agriculture.

Prof. Jean Jacques Muhinda, AGRA’s Regional Head for East and Southern Africa, encouraged the graduates to align their efforts with national and regional priorities, ensuring that the transformation of food systems reflects the realities of local communities.

The new graduates now join an elite group of CALA alumni, continuing their journey of learning and collaboration. The program, an AGRA-led initiative, is implemented in collaboration with the African Management Institute (AMI) and USAID’s Policy LINK, with support from the German Development Cooperation through the KfW Development Bank.

The Centre for African Leaders in Agriculture (CALA) is an initiative led by AGRA, designed to support leaders in transforming Africa’s agriculture sector and advancing sustainable practices. It focuses on cultivating leaders who are responsive, adaptable, and capable of fostering collaboration for environmentally sustainable agriculture. CALA’s Advanced Leadership Programme provides a hands-on experience for senior and rising leaders in Africa’s agriculture sector, emphasizing practical leadership skills for implementing national agriculture initiatives.

The full press release here-

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