Hub that seeks to sharpen skills of agriculture sector leaders across Africa opens

The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa has launched a centre that seeks to offer training to leaders in the agriculture sector across the continent.

Dubbed, the Centre for African Leaders in Agriculture (CALA), is a deal between AGRA and partners to support sector leaders and country-level priorities towards food production.

The leadership learning centre for established and emerging leaders in Africa’s agriculture sector was launched by AGRA, the African Management Institute (AMI), and USaids’s Policy LINK and was financed by the German Cooperation through KfW Development Bank.

CALA represents a deepening of AGRA’s ongoing support to country-specific capability while complementing the technical assistance that AGRA is providing to transform national and regional agriculture priorities alongside government, and private sector partners.

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“Africa’s agriculture is full of opportunity. However, as the last years have shown, as a continent we also face many threats brought about by natural shocks, such as climate change, and the challenges of continental trade and policy coordination,” said AGRA president, Dr Agnes Kalibata. 

Our experience at AGRA has taught us that achieving Africa’s food security targets and realizing economic growth requires leaders who are responsive, adaptable and collaborative, while also being ready to integrate new strategies for environmentally sustainable agriculture together with a diverse set of stakeholders, Dr Kalibata added.

CALA will initially offer one course — advanced leadership programme: collaborative leadership for Africa’s food security and sustainability, which is designed for established and emerging sector leaders, who are championing priority country-level strategies in agriculture.

The programme targets leaders in government, private sector, and civil society for training on skills to navigate, coordinate and better roll out initiatives that solve challenges in agriculture. 

The programme will also profile agro-ecological principles, which are increasingly being recognized as contributing to sustainable farming and food production, and resilient food systems in the face of increasing climate change impacts.

African Management Institute (AMI), one of the continent’s leading providers of leadership and business management programmes, will be the lead learning partner.

The center’s training will infuse AMI’s blended learning approach that includes online learning (and in-person workshops when possible), on-the-job coaching, leadership forums, and action learning projects tied to national policy priorities.

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Rebecca Harrison, CEO of AMI said, “our learning approach, rooted in practical application rather than theory, will equip these leaders to better implement sector priorities, advance their careers and networks and become agents of change.”

Supporting AMI will be USAID’s Policy LINK, which will lead group coaching sessions and contribute to the design of learning materials.

Effective leaders marshal a range of actors to forge collaborative solutions to complex challenges, a skill that cannot be taught in the classroom alone, said Policy LINK’s Chief of Party, Steve Smith.

Applications for the center’s first programme are now open and will be closing on May 26 while successful applicants will start learning in August.

Over the first three-years, the programme will have two cohorts with about 80 sector leaders each all drawn from Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda only.

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