The AWOLA Initiative: Inspiring Leadership Development of African Women in Agro-ecology

The AWOLA Initiative

AWOLA (Africa Women Leaders in Agro-ecology) is a leadership career development initiative of the PELUM network, with the aim of equipping women working on agroecology, sustainable agriculture and food systems with leadership skills. Through the AWOLA initiative, the PELUM network envisions strengthening leadership capacities and the active participation of women in agro-ecology institutions. PELUM association, the initiative owner, is a regional network of over 250 civil society organizations in 12 countries in East, Central and Southern Africa founded in 1995 and working in the area of participatory ecological land use management. The Association works to improve the livelihoods of small-scale farmers and the sustainability of farming communities, by fostering ecological land use management.

The AWOLA Initiative
The AWOLA Initiative

The AWOLA Initiative

Why You Need To Be Part of the Initiative

AWOLA aims to put women at the heart of transforming African agriculture. The 3 year leadership program aims to create high level women leadership in agroecology, sustainable agriculture and food systems transformation, who will influence and negotiate for the space of agroecology in policies and programs across African countries. The many years of PELUM work have proved that women are at the forefront of ecological agriculture, and hence need to be at the centre of influence by forming a connected and committed movement of Africa women leadership in agroecology. You can be part of AWOLA as a mentee or as a mentor.

What Awola Offers

Mentorship: The actual mentorship will entail a process where mentee and mentors who are at different scales and career levels develop supportive relationships around their professional and personal capacities. The process will entail a matchmaking session based on the gaps and skills across mentees and mentors.

Training: AWOLA will support mentees in a 1 year program (through virtual and face to face sessions), who will be trained to become leaders and effective negotiators, in influencing policies and programming while building collaborations with different stakeholders for desired outcomes. Through AWOLA mentees and mentors will be supported to participate in structured learning to build up on the agroecology and leadership knowledge base.

Development of leadership innovation ideas: The mentees and mentors will be supported to develop networks and work on innovation ideas. The innovation ideas will be shared with PELUM networks for integration across programs, where possible the coalition members will be encouraged to fundraise and further supported through the PELUM network to implement their ideas with the aim of supporting transformation of agriculture and food systems.

Selection Process for the AWOLA Initiative

  • The AWOLA mentees and mentors will be identified through a competitive selection process that will include assessing their experience and leadership potential in agroecology, agriculture, and food systems development.
  • Potential mentees and mentors will respond to an open call for application that will require them to demonstrate their suitability (application here)
  • A selection panel of experts in agroecology, agriculture, food systems and leadership will review the applications. The final selection will be carried out by the AWOLA advisory panel.

Key Dates

Please note the timeline for this year’s application review process:

  • 2nd September 2023 – Application open
  • 30th September 2023 – Deadline for Application submission
  • 5th October 2023 – Final Round Top Candidates Notified for Interviews
  • 13th October 2023– Final Round Interviews Conducted
  • 20th October 2023 – Public awareness of Awardees

Apply Here for the AWOLA Initiative

The AWOLA Initiative

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