Deadline: 09 June 2023
Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and partners in the Centre for African Leaders in Agriculture (CALA) – the African Management Institute and Policy LINK – have announced the opening of the application period for the third cohort of CALA’s Advanced Leadership Programme
The third cohort follows the first and second cohorts of 160 leaders from eight focus countries, who began their journey in August 2021 and August 2022, respectively. Selected from over 2,000 applications, the inaugural cohort graduated from the programme, creating our first alumni network, while the second cohort is halfway into its 16-month leadership learning journey. Both the first and second cohorts showcased diverse representation, with an average representation of 45% of participants from the government, 30% from the private sector, and 25% from civil society. Participation from women leaders was also of note, comprising nearly half of both cohorts.
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 (see eligibility).
II. Who can apply?
- Established or emerging leaders working in government, private firms and associations, or civil society organizations who are responsible for driving agriculture flagships and priority programs in our 8 focus countries
- Must be actively employed or working in government (public sector), private sector and civil society (associations or civil society organizations)
- Special consideration will be given to women leaders and individuals working to advance agroecological practices
- Individuals who previously applied are encouraged to reapply
- People working on interested in youth employment and empowerment within the Agriculture sector are also encouraged to apply
The 16-month leadership programme for experienced professionals will include a unique learning approach to developing participants’ leadership, collaboration, and management skills through:
- Action Learning Projects directly connected to your job objectives and country agriculture transformation objectives with on-the-job and in-country coaching
- Access to case studies from game-changers in African agriculture
- Participation in forums such as the African Green Revolution Forum and bi-annual leadership forums
- Virtual and in-person learning events
- Peer learning, networking, and regular accountability sessions
IV. Certificate & Recognition
- Graduates of the programme will receive a certificate in Advanced Leadership Programme for Africa’s Food Security & Sustainability
- Be recognized as delivery champions across AGRA’s prestigious continental platforms and events, including at the national level
- Join an esteemed network of transformative leaders providing peer support for continuous achievement of country priorities
V. 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.
VII. Programme Costs & Sponsorship
- 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.
VIII. About the Learning Journey
Even when countries have well-defined visions and plans for agricultural transformation, they may fail to deliver on expectations due to lack of implementation capacity. CALA’s Advanced Leadership Programme for Food Security and Sustainability is an applied leadership transformation journey through which leaders will enhance their capacity to deliver on agriculture transformation initiatives.
The programme offers a unique blended-learning approach which will include AGRA’s key pan-African leadership forums, executive leadership coaching in planning, strategy, and execution, and team-based Action Learning Projects tied to implementing national agriculture priorities.
These Action Learning Projects will enable leaders in the cohort to apply what they learn to real-time challenges within national flagship agriculture programs, leading to strong results and high-impact change.
With a strong initial focus on highly engaging programming that will be delivered virtually (in-person when possible), the programme will allow leaders to engage in shared problem-solving, participate in peer-learning, and hands-on knowledge exchange.
The programme begins by bringing together leaders from eight African countries, representing the public and private sectors, and civil society, to learn the latest in leadership and management strategies. Participants will participate in monthly webinars, carry out their Action Learning Project, with supporting coaching sessions and have access to an “online academy” with learning modules, tools, toolkits, case studies, and customized material relevant to agriculture and food security leadership.
With AMI’s web-based learning platform and iOS and Android mobile applications, participants can stay engaged in learning as they perform their professional duties and busy schedules.
At the conclusion of the 16-month program, the cohort will come back together to showcase their work and how they’ve implemented their new leadership approaches to advance their country’s agriculture priorities through their new leadership approach.
IX. Eligibility Details
- 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
X. Criteria for Selection
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
XI. Application Process Details
- Applications for Cohort 3 open on May 3 and will close on June 9, 2023. To appl please Click HERE
- Selection communicated by early July
- Cohort 3 begins in August 2023
If you have any questions about the programme, our team is happy to answer them. Please send an email to [email protected], and we’ll respond to you promptly.