Location: Nairobi, Kenya

Job Reference: SS/CALA/01/2024


AGRA and its Work

AGRA is an African-led institution that actively supports the drive towards inclusive agricultural transformation and sustainable food systems. We do this by empowering the continent’s 33 million smallholder farming households to transform their agriculture from a struggle to survive to profitable businesses. The continent’s farmers regularly face challenges, and we aspire to provide uniquely African solutions that respond to their agricultural and environmental challenges, leading to increased harvests for reduced hunger and more income. 

Working in alignment with the development priorities of our focus countries, we enable farmers to access improved and high-yielding seeds, gain knowledge on sustainable farming, and linkages to profitable markets. 

In our work, we aspire to build the alliances, partnerships, and networks required to drive an inclusive agricultural transformation. We work with our partners to create an equitable youth-friendly environment that harnesses the youth dividend on the continent to drive growth and facilitate open employment opportunities for young women and men. We achieve our key objectives through a focus on the following four areas of intervention:

  1. Policy and state capability – We support governments in creating an enabling environment for private sector involvement in agricultural transformation. 
  2. Seed systems – We trigger higher productivity by increasing the availability and access to improved seeds by farmers allowing them to increase their harvests for food security and better incomes. 
  3. Sustainable farming – We support farmers in building resilient farming systems for sustained high yields through interventions such as mechanization and irrigation. 
  4. Inclusive markets and trade – We work to increase the linkages between farmers, and other market actors for a positive, sustained cycle of commercialization and reinvestment.

Implementing Our New Strategy Through People

People are the heart of our organization and remain the true drivers of our delivery and our impact.

We work with incredible people and partners who have roots in farming communities across the continent combined with an inclusive and diverse workforce from over 24 nationalities. Our commitment to a call to action goes beyond ourselves as we arise to catalyze African Food Systems transformation by being Deeply collaborative, Executing Excellently, Sincerely Constructive and Increasingly Entrepreneurial aligned with our values of (I-RISE; Integrity, Respect, Innovation, Stewardship and Equity).

We are looking for people who are passionate about Africa to join our innovative, growing, and multidisciplinary team. Together, we can grow Africa’s food systems improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers. Want to join us?


The Position

Senior Specialist, Institutional Strengthening & Centre for African Leaders in Agriculture (CALA), Job Reference: SS/CALA/01/2024 Based in Nairobi, Kenya with frequent travel, approximately 20% .

The Senior Specialist Institutional Strengthening & CALA will act as a day-to-day technical lead responsible for implementation of the Leadership Initiative. He/ She will be responsible for sharing AGRA’s knowledge, experience, and networks, and will work directly with the partners on the design and implementation of the leadership journey including the coaching and mentorship components, curriculum development, the leadership forums, learning trips and digital learning.

Key Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Develop progress and results tracking matrix for the Leadership Initiative related interventions.
  • Coordinate collaborative activities between AGRA, the African Management Institute (AMI), the Policy LINK and other partners in organizing leadership capacity building activities.
  • Work directly with the partners on the design and implementation of the leadership journey including the coaching and mentorship components, curriculum development, the leadership forums, learning trips and digital learning.
  • Track and monitor implementation of the Action Learnings Projects (ALPs) by participating leaders.
  • Collaborate with other AGRA relevant units in designing new leadership programs, such as Youth Leadership Initiative, Executive Leadership Program and Leadership Initiative for Francophone Countries.
  • Contribute to state capability related proposals, particularly the ones related to enhancement of leadership capacity within the agriculture sector.
  • Enhance, through CALA’s interventions, state capability contribution to the delivery of other AGRA business lines.
  • Produce knowledge products and thought pieces related to leadership capacity building and its implication to agriculture transformation in Africa in focus countries.
  • Track and report outcomes of leadership support to countries.
  • Develop and coordinate implementation of the annual work plan and budget for the Leadership Initiative.
  • Taking lead in developing Leadership Initiative related proposals with support from respective thematic leads and Country Directors.
  • Providing support in developing training materials and guidelines related to the Leadership Initiative.
  • Organizing Leadership Initiative related workshops and training.
  • Providing capacity building to country teams and relevant AGRA staff on AGRA’s State Capability approach and support to the enhancement of leadership capacity.
  • Documenting good practices on Leadership Capacity Building for the agriculture sector deriving from AGRA’s investment.
  • Analyzing AGRA’s contribution in building State Capability/country and enhancing leadership capacity in the target countries.
  • Contribute to the provision and management of State Capability grants to national governments, regional and international technical assistance providers to deliver on State Capability initiative.
  • Contribute to partnership development with national, regional, and continental partners [i.e., governments, private sector, multilateral and bilateral partners, civil society] operating in the state capability space.
  • Produce program implementation progress reports (Financial and activities report by the program funders).
  • Design coordination reports and briefings.
  • Review and quality assure partners’ deliverables.
  • Continuously refining CALA’s Strategy and its Theory of Change using learnings from initial cohorts.
  • Following up and monitoring the implementation of the Leadership Initiative and producing quality progress reports as required by AGRA, BMZ, as well as to the stakeholders.
  • Design, develop, and deliver capacity building programs, training workshops, and technical assistance initiatives to enhance the capabilities of staff and partner organizations.
  • Provide guidance and support in strengthening governance structures and processes under CALA.
  • Support and facilitate the work of CALA Independent Advisory Committee, in collaboration for dedicated service providers.
  • Establish and maintain effective partnerships with regional institutions, government agencies, NGOs, and other relevant stakeholders to leverage resources, share best practices, and collaborate on institutional strengthening initiatives.
  • Develop and implement knowledge management systems to capture, document, and disseminate best practices, lessons learned, and success stories.
  • Learning from implementation of initial cohort, explore opportunities of turning CALA into a Fellowship for greater credibility and recognition. 
  • Lead operationalization of CALA Alumni program.

Key Qualifications and Experience required:

  • Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in degree in organizational development, public administration, international development, Agronomy, Sociology, Agriculture and Livestock Sciences, Agricultural Economics, Public Administration, Economics, Rural Development, or any other relevant field.
  • A PhD degree in Agricultural Economics, Organizational Development, Public Administration, or any other related areas will be an added advantage.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills and experience in working with a wide range of individuals in government, private sector, and civil society.
  • Deep understanding of the African agricultural development frameworks and stakeholders.
  • Proficient in program management, program design and M&E.
  • Demonstrated experience in resource mobilization.
  • Excellent communication, analytical and writing skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to deliver quality results within strict deadlines. 
  • Proficiency in both written and spoken English. Working knowledge of French will be an advantage.
  • Experience linked to the provision of high-level institutional development services/ technical support in agriculture and rural development.
  • Experience in working with multi-stakeholder platforms and processes, or other complex collaboration and partner management platforms across sectors, including agriculture.
  • Experience in strengthening coordination and mutual accountability systems, as well as management of institutional partnerships.
  • Experience in building capacity and capability of government and private sector in Africa, mainly in the agriculture sector. 

If you believe you are the right candidate for this position, kindly submit your application with a detailed CV (including your e-mail and telephone contacts) to Please quote the job reference number in the subject line of the application e-mail. 

Applications must be received on or before 2nd February 2024. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

For more information on the AGRA, visit

AGRA is an Equal Opportunity Employer