Africa—Leadership Training and Capacity Building Program (Africa Lead)

Client: U.S. Agency for International Development

Duration: 2010-2013

Region: Sub-Saharan Africa

Country: Regional

Solutions: Economic Growth

The U.S. government’s Feed the Future (FTF) initiative calls not simply for host-country partnership but country leadership. Working across public and private institutions, Africa Lead built capacity among Africa’s emerging food security leaders to devise and manage their country investment plans. We operated across sub-Sahara Africa with hubs in Kenya and Ghana.

This work was done within the framework of the New Economic Partnership for African Development’s Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP), which requires countries to allocate 10 percent of their budgets to agriculture to raise productivity.

Africa Lead was measured by its training, institutional strengthening, and leadership development, but another achievement is the changed perception on the part of host-country governments, in which the United States is seen as a true partner that responds to development priorities as directed by those governments and their food security leaders.

Sample Activities

  • Train African food security leaders on the skills and knowledge needed to scale-up activities in agriculture and food security. Courses motivate participants to take the lead in their own institutions, countries, and regions.
  • Assess needs by understanding the roles people and training institutions play in meeting FTF goals, and tie those roles to the capacity building effort.
  • Determine which institutions to assess, develop cost-effective assessment, track institutions’ progress, and communicate capacity building needs to the institutions.
  • Broker business-to-business exchanges that place African agricultural professionals in regional and international company units for hands-on experiential training.
  • Create an interactive, easily updated training database that serves as a matchmaking tool that leads institutions to develop appropriate training programs.

Select Results

  • Trained more than 1,600 CAADP champions from 29 countries in leadership, change management, and strategic planning. Increased training at more than 600 agricultural institutions.
  • Facilitated attendance of 553 members of nongovernmental organizations and the private sector to CAADP workshops. Produced 40 institutional capacity assessments.
  • Created database featuring 650 short-course offerings relevant to African agriculture professionals.
  • Brokered placements for eight agribusiness specialists—from Ethiopia, Liberia, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, and Zambia—with Hershey Company USA, Johannesburg Stock Exchange/South Africa Futures Exchange, and Zamindara Farm Solutions, India.
  • Provided online support to the Champions for Change in Food Security Facebook pages by posting agriculture and food security-related articles, video clips, and links to pertinent websites.


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