Centre for African Leaders in Agriculture launches inaugural Leadership Programme

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With Africa’s food security and sustainability playing a central role in the continent’s economic growth and adaptation to climate change, the Centre for African Leaders in Agriculture (CALA), an initiative led by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), officially launched its first cohort of 80 leaders from eight focus countries across sub-Saharan Africa. To support agriculture leaders deliver on policy priorities across the continent, this week CALA’s inaugural Advanced Leadership Programme: Collaborative Leadership for Africa’s Food Security and Sustainability kicked off with individuals from government, the private sector and civil society from Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.
CALA has been established with funding from the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) through the KfW Development Bank and led by AGRA in collaboration with the African Management Institute (AMI), the Centre’s lead implementer and learning partner, and USAID’s Policy LINK, which has led the design and rollout of the leadership programme’s coaching component. The first cohort of 80 leaders from across government, the private sector, and civil society were selected from nearly 1,000 applicants. An application process for the programme’s second cohort will open in early 2022.
CALA’s first three-day Leadership Forum held virtually, began this past Monday with live remarks from AGRA’s Board Chair and former Prime Minister of Ethiopia, H.E. Hailemariam Dessalegn, AGRA’s President Dr. Agnes Kalibata, AMI’s CEO Rebecca Harrison and USAID Policy LINK’s Regional Director Robert Ouma.
“The complexity of agriculture transformation requires collaborative and coordinated effort amongst all stakeholders, and that is why these kinds of initiatives (like CALA) are important,” noted AGRA’s Board Chair, Hailemariam Dessalegn in his remarks.
AGRA President, Dr. Agnes Kalibata added, “To move steadily towards an inclusive Agriculture Transformation in Africa, we need strong networks of leaders who can learn together and from one another on how to advance our food systems in a way that is inclusive, equitable, sustainable and climate sensitive. CALA is an opportunity to bring agriculture leaders together to share knowledge across government, private sector and civil society, to support the implementation of agriculture sector priorities and hone leadership skills with the aim of enhancing the delivery of our commitments for the sector to contribute to ending hunger and malnutrition, poverty and improving livelihoods.”
The 16-month Advanced Leadership Programme learning journey is designed for established and emerging sector leaders spearheading priority country-level agriculture strategies to effect change. The programme focuses on developing the competencies of leaders in four core interrelated dimensions, including management skills for improved implementation, honing of leadership skills, institutional development and over time, systems change where leaders can effect change on a broader scale. The programme will also profile environmental sustainability practices which contribute to sustainable farming, food production, and resilient food systems in the face of increasing climate change impacts.
“For transformation, we know that it is collaborative leadership that will unlock results and progress for the continent in terms of food security and sustainability. Without strong and collaborative leadership, good ideas go unrealised, plans stagnate, and ultimately the opportunity for transformation can slip away,” said AMI CEO and Co-Founder, Rebecca Harrison.
“Good leadership is a factor of production, and in Africa, we need good, inspired leadership to transform our agricultural sector through motivation and influence,” said Policy LINK Regional Director Robert Ouma. “To support them in their learning and growth as leaders of their countries’ agricultural transformation, CALA’s leadership coaching will draw upon successful models of executive and team coaching.”