AGRA Empowers 78 Food Systems Leaders From Its CALA Program

by Business Watch Team

78 emerging leaders in food systems graduated from the Centre for African Leaders in Agriculture (CALA) program hosted by AGRA.  The center is an AGRA-led initiative, co-implemented by the African Management Institute (AMI) and Policy Link.

The 78 leaders drawn from the public, private sector, and civil society were awarded with certificates, marking their status as leaders in Africa’s Food Security and Sustainability after completing the 16-month collaborative, hands-on, and tailored experience for senior and rising leaders in Africa’s agriculture sector.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony, AGRA President, Dr. Agnes Kalibata underscored the critical importance of addressing post-harvest losses in agriculture. She emphasized the need for innovative solutions and strategic interventions to minimize post-harvest losses, a challenge that continues to impede the agricultural sector’s growth and resilience across the African continent.

“Fifty percent of CALA graduates are looking to solve post-harvest losses. Some of the food that we lose in the farms, if we save them, we won’t be saying that Africa has 300 million hungry people. If we work to solve post-harvest losses by 40%, we will be saving a lot on the production side and shift the narrative,” Dr. Kalibata, said.

Her address resonated with the graduates, who have spent the duration of the program honing their leadership skills and acquiring knowledge to tackle pressing issues facing the agricultural landscape. The CALA program, designed to empower and nurture the next generation of agricultural leaders, focuses on equipping participants with the skills and insights needed to drive positive change in the sector.

The program is designed for leaders spearheading and directly implementing country-level agriculture initiatives, and has equipped the delegates with the practical leadership skills for effective implementation of national flagship programs while enhancing cross-collaborative leadership across the public, private sector, and civil society.

Selected from over 1,000 applicants, the 76 individuals represent the continent’s most dynamic leaders in agriculture, with 45% of the leaders drawn from government agencies across the 8 countries, 26% from the private sector, and 29% from civil society.

“As leaders in your respective organizations and fields, you have the opportunity to play a pivotal role in aligning your country’s national priorities to the regional priorities to ensure that the transformation of food systems is grounded in the realities of local communities.” Prof. Jean Jacques Muhinda, Regional Head for East and Southern Africa, AGRA.

The graduating delegates now join the inaugural cohort of 80 delegates in the prestigious CALA alumni community, continuing their learning and collaboration.

CALA is an AGRA-led initiative and is delivered in collaboration with implementing partners including the African Management Institute (AMI), CALA’s lead implementation and learning partner, and USAID’s Policy LINK. Policy LINK has led the design and rollout of the leadership program’s coaching component.

Related Content: Tanzania President Launches Africa’s Food System Forum 2023

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