The Centre for African Leaders in Agriculture’s (CALA) Advanced Leadership Programme for young African Leaders


Application Deadline:  June 3rd, 2022

Join 160 leaders from across the continent (80 per cohort) in CALA’s Advanced Leadership Programme for individuals engaged in delivery and implementation of national agriculture priorities.

Africa’s food security challenges require results-oriented leaders in government, the private sector and civil society who are responsive, adaptable, and able to lead collaboration, mobilize real change, and ensure delivery of country priorities.

At the country-level, for a leader and champion in food security and agriculture to remain relevant and effective, professionals must be ready to lead change and deliver on their priorities with practical tools and strategies.

The Centre for African Leaders in Agriculture’s (CALA) Advanced Leadership Programme is a collaborative, hands-on, and tailored experience for senior and rising leaders in Africa’s agriculture sector. Designed for individuals spearheading and directly implementing specific country-level agriculture initiatives, the programme is initially open to participants from eight countries.

Programme Format

The 16-month leadership programme for experienced professionals will include a unique learning approach to developing participants’ leadership, collaboration and management skills, through the following experiences:

  • Virtual and in-person (when possible) learning events to hone leadership skills for delivery
  • Action Learning Projects connected directly to the participants’ job objectives and country transformation objectives
  • On-the-job and in-country coaching 
  • Regular peer accountability sessions
  • Participation in bi-annual leadership forums 
  • Participation in the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF)
  • Exposure to case studies of ‘Game-changers’ in African agriculture
  • Virtual and in-person peer-learning and networking with cohorts of participants from across the continent.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Geography: Applicants must be working within agriculture ministries, implementing organizations, civil society institutions, stakeholder groups or private sector companies in the following AGRA priority countries: Ethiopia, Rwanda, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria and Malawi.
  • Language: Applicants must have a “Proficient” level (C1) of English language skills. This programme is not currently offered in French.
  • Employment & leadership position: Applicants must be established OR emerging leaders in government, private firms and associations, or civil society organizations, and be responsible for driving agriculture flagships and priority programs.
  •  The programme will accept a certain number of established and certain number of emerging leaders. 
  • Applicants’ organizations must be located in the previously mentioned countries. Upon selection to the programme, applicants will be required to provide a letter of support from their employer verifying their status.
  • Full Participation: In order to successfully complete the programme and receive the certificate of completion from AGRA and the African Management Initiative at AGRF, the participant will be required to attend all virtual and in-person leadership sessions and participate in the presentation of their strategic project to senior national leaders


  • Participants’ fees are fully sponsored through support provided to AGRA by the German Development Cooperation through KfW Development Bank.
  • This will include travel costs for all Leadership Forums and graduation events from 2022.
  • Participants are expected to meet their own costs of internet access, as the 2021 leadership forum will be virtual in compliance with COVID-19 restrictions.
  • Please note, attendance fees for AGRF 2021 will be fully self-sponsored (or supported by your institution) and CALA does not provide for per diems for attendance.
  • Interactive, Experiential & Applied Leadership Learning

Interactive sessions with expert trainers in advanced leadership, collaboration, and management.

Apply Learning to Advance Country Strategy Implementation

Participation in strategic projects for the advancement of national agriculture Flagships or sector priority programs.

Focused on Results:

Results-oriented leadership models and management skills that can be applied for effective delivery.

Access to Practical Tools & Resources

Unlimited access to 50+ learning modules/courses (and 3,000+ tools) with additional certificates from AMI.

Enhanced Knowledge on Environmental Sustainability in Agriculture

Practical and applicable courses on agro-ecological principles, climate change and ESMS.

Professional & Peer-Learning Network

Inclusion in a prestigious cohort of top agriculture leaders and peers from across Africa.

Learn from Preeminent Agriculture Sector Leaders

Attendance of keynotes from Transformation Champions and preeminent African leaders in the sector.

Bespoke African Agriculture Leadership Toolkits

Customized content and toolkits that incorporate material relevant to agriculture and food security leaders.

Measured Progress

Data on individual progress and performance for sponsoring organizations.

Selection Criteria:

Applications are assessed on the applicants eligibility as outlined above and an applicant’s relevance to the course objectives and the selection criteria explained below. You must show that:

  • Established leaders: You are responsible for implementation and you lead in taking decisions on behalf of the organization (e.g., Private Sector: CEO, Vice President, Senior Manager, Director; Government: Permanent Secretary, Director; Civil Society: Executive Director, Deputy Director) from strategy to overseeing lines of management)
  • Emerging leaders: You have taken a leadership role in significant projects relevant to driving forward national agriculture priorities, and have been entrusted with significant responsibility relative to your years of experience. At least 5 years full-time, sector relevant experience.
  • You are committed to personal and professional growth and learning
  • You are passionate and committed to creating and leading leadership development for others, both inside and outside of your organizations
  • You are an action-oriented individual who has driven the implementation of key strategic projects in the sector
  • You can clearly articulate the impact you seek in your career, and why an investment in you is an investment in the development of agriculture in your country
  • You display demonstrated commitment to the agricultural sector
  • Your organization participates in and impacts upon delivery of agriculture priorities at the national, regional and/or continental level
  • You have the ability to clearly express your interest in the program

Application Process Details

  • Applications for Cohort 2 opens on April 19 and closes on June 3, 2022
  • Selection communicated by early July
  • Cohort 2 begins in early August 2022

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the CALA Advanced Leadership Programme


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