Advanced Leadership Programme

Collaborative Leadership for Africa’s Food Security and Sustainability

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.

Become an advanced, collaborative leader for Africa’s food security and sustainability

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).

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

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 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 Africa Food Systems Forum
  • 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.

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. Participants are expected to meet their own costs of internet access for virtual leadership forums. Please note, CALA does not provide for per diems for in-person leadership forums and graduation events attendance.


Programme Outcomes

CALA’s Advanced Leadership Programme will support food security champions and leaders to:

  • Be recognised as a delivery-oriented and collaborative leader driving tangible change at the country-level
  • Advance country-level flagship programs and policies to achieve progress toward agriculture transformation
  • Network & drive cross-sector collaboration to advance sustainability and food security objectives
  • Enhance leadership skills in environmental sustainability through exposure to agro-ecological principles, climate change adaptation and environmental and social management (ESMS), each recognized as contributing to sustainable farming, food production, and resilient food systems in the face of increasing climate change impacts.


Leaders implementing country-level agriculture efforts:

  • 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.
  • Must be actively employed or working in government (public sector), private sector and civil society (associations or civil society organizations)
  • Cohorts will be formed from participants from the following countries: Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda.
Special consideration will be given to:
  • Women leaders
  • Youth leaders
  • Individuals working to advance agro-ecological practices.

Review the selection criteria

Application Process Details

  • Applications for Cohort 4 open on May 13 and will close on July 2, 2024
  • Selection communicated by August 2024
  • Cohort 4 begins in August 2024

Apply Now


The programme's content on building a team has helped us think through collaboration and...what makes sense from the African perspective. It goes from thinking about getting the job done, to how can we collaborate to bring transformation to the sector.

Thule Lenneiye
Coordinator, Agriculture Transformation Office, Kenya Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries & Cooperatives
Advanced Leadership Programme, Cohort 1 Member

More About the Advanced Leadership Programme

Key Benefits

During the 16-month course, leaders selected and enrolled in the programme will experience the following benefits:

Interactive, Experiential & Applied Leadership Learning

Interactive, Experiential & Applied Leadership Learning

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

Apply Learning to Advance Country Strategy Implementation

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:

Focused on Results:

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

Access to Practical Tools & Resources

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

Enhanced Knowledge on Environmental Sustainability in Agriculture

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

Professional & Peer-Learning Network

Professional & Peer-Learning Network

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

Learn from Pre-eminent Agriculture Sector Leaders

Learn from Preeminent Agriculture Sector Leaders

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

Bespoke African Agriculture Leadership Toolkits

Bespoke African Agriculture Leadership Toolkits

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

Measured Progress

Measured Progress

Data on individual progress and performance for sponsoring organizations.


Africa’s food security leaders are creating a more sustainable future, CALA is here to help them grow their impact.

Dr. Apollos Nwafor
Vice President - Policy, State Capability and Regional Food Trade

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.

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

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

The Centre for African Leaders in Agriculture (CALA) is made possible with the friendly support of:

German Cooperation