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Africa: CALA is Accepting Applications from Game-Changers Enhancing the Agric Sector

CALA is Accepting Applications

The Advanced Leadership Programme of the Centre for African Leaders in Agriculture (CALA) has opened applications for the second cohort.

The CALA Advanced Leadership Programme is the continent’s premier leadership initiative aimed at enabling emerging leaders to advance sustainable agriculture sector priorities in government, the private sector, and civil society. It is designed for rising stars and established executives from across Africa’s agriculture sector in government, the private sector, and civil society.

The top 80 applications will be chosen from eight African countries. Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda are among these countries.

“Leadership has never been more crucial in minimizing crises and creating resilience than it is now in these times of crisis.” Dr. Agnes Kalibata, President of AGRA, stated, “CALA will assist leaders to learn the skills they need to lead the continent through difficult times and work for prosperous food systems.”

The Centre’s highly competitive Advanced Leadership Programme is a 16-month learning journey centered on enabling leaders to enhance their professional abilities and contribute to flagship initiatives in order to accomplish progress toward agriculture transformation.

CALA is an AGRA-led program that is being implemented in partnership with implementing partners such as the African Management Institute (AMI), which is the initiative’s principal implementation and learning partner, and USAID’s Policy LINK. The coaching component of the leadership program was designed and implemented by Policy LINK.

“At AMI, we believe that leadership is critical to the success of any organization, whether it is a business, a civil society organization, or the government,” said Rebecca Harrison, AMI’s CEO and Co-founder. “We know that in order to drive transformation, executives must be highly competent in cross-sector collaboration, capable of leading high-functioning teams, and able to adapt to change and future problems.” We’ve designed CALA’s learning approach to match the specific demands of Africa’s ambitious agricultural leaders, putting them in a position to put what they’re learning into practice and make the most of their limited time. The CALA Advanced Leadership Program’s early results are encouraging, and we’re looking forward to welcoming the next cohort.”

Cohort participants take part in virtual learning sessions with colleagues in the industry and benefit from CALA’s unique approach to on-the-job, executive, and group coaching, which emphasizes local knowledge and individual learning styles.

“We are fortunate to be able to draw on 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 overseeing the CALA coaching initiative. “Our executive and team coaching use a variety of leadership techniques and methodologies to enable each leader to reflect, learn, and grow.”


Four Leadership Forums with experts from across the continent and the world are among the program’s offerings. Participants will also have access to CALA’s extensive library of online leadership courses, as well as case studies of ‘Game-changers’ driving agricultural transformation in Africa and the global south, to draw lessons and best practices.

Participants will have completed a collaborative keystone project with peers from their nation cohort to deliver on a critical sector transformation project by the end of the program, using CALA’s unique Action Learning Project model. The initiatives will be tied to each participant’s career goals as well as the country’s transformation goals.

The first cohort of CALA was chosen from over 1,000 applications and began in August 2021. The inaugural cohort includes 80 people from the eight focal nations, with 44 percent representing governments, 31 percent representing the commercial sector, and 25 percent representing civil society organizations.

The presence of women leaders, who make up nearly half of the initial cohort, is especially noteworthy. The second cohort’s recruitment will be focused on generating similar results.


Apply before the deadline on Friday, June 3, 2021, to be a part of the Centre for African Leaders in Agriculture – CALA.