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A major step forward for value chain and agribusiness skills development in Africa

CTA-AABS Master Class in Value Chain and Agribusiness Management

October 21, 2014

Inclusive value chains and agribusiness development are at the heart of Africa’s economic development agenda and therefore constitute one of CTA’s key areas of intervention. While building the capacities of value chain actors is absolutely critical, the Centre recognizes that there is currently a disconnect between what the agro-food private sector requires in terms of skills/expertise and what African universities and business schools are currently offering. 

CTA’s partnership with Association of African Business Schools (AABS) aims specifically at filling this gap and equipping value chain actors with the right skills. Early this month, the AABS Agribusiness Consortium - AAC together with CTA rolled out from 1-3 October, 2014 in Nairobi (Kenya), the East Africa edition of the Master Class in Agribusiness Management.  

The Master Class brought together a focused group of key stakeholders, including representatives from private sector, policy makers, farmers and development organizations, research institutions and academia.

“Making sure that proper curricula are developed to better respond to the evolving needs of the value chain and agribusiness players is key. The feedback from the first Agribusiness Master Class is very encouraging for us. We sincerely hope that our second Master Class in Southern Africa in November will have the same resonance.”, commented Vincent Fautrel, Senior Programme Coordinator Value Chains at CTA.  

After three days of training and immersion into agribusiness and value chains, participants gained significant knowledge and valuable insights.  

“All the course materials had very useful information both for learning what to do or what not do and at what level. Practical engagement with industry players made it a real Master Class; the networking gave the course the sweetness” Stanley K. Mwangi, Associate Director, Programs & Business Models, Farm Concern International, Kenya

“A very useful three day deep dive into African Agribusiness” Professor Leif Sjoblom, IMD, Switzerland

“I have thoroughly benefited from attending this course. I am better informed, better linked and more aware of the operating environment.” Solomon Mwangi, Knowledge Management Specialist, ICRAF, Kenya

“The Master Class enabled me gain new insights and perspective on Agribusiness in East Africa as well as other parts of the continent. I was also able to interact with a diverse group of peers and grow my network of contacts.” Milton Lore, Chief of Party, Kenya Feed the Future Innovation Engine, Land O’ Lakes Inc

“In my role I support Agrodealers for capacity building in their business. I will use the acquired knowledge to help them improve their business. This course has opened my mind to the many dimensions of opportunity in Agribusiness” Patrick Rutayisire, International Fertiliser Development Center, Rwanda

“Very useful and practical. The Master Class in Agribusiness Management provides new ideas and thinking as an entrepreneur, opens your eyes and mind for new opportunities in Agribusiness” Diana Mugwaneza, Programmes Officer, Rwanda Development Organisation, Rwanda

“The Master Class in Agribusiness Management is exclusively important to shift smallholder farmer groups to commercialized ones. This training could help multiply the efforts of development actors and an integration of strong producers, capable processors and link to consumers could change Africa’s rising economy.” Turi Berecha, Sasakawa Global 2000, Ethiopia

“It’s been a very interesting eye-opener. I feel empowered not only to work with entrepreneurs but to be a successful entrepreneur. I have recently enrolled in a PhD programme in Agribusiness Management and this course has helped me define my research area” Tabby Karanja- Lumumba, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Institute, Kenya.


2nd Master Class planned for the SADC region

If you are in the Southern Africa Development Community(SADC) region or you know anyone who is an Agro input dealer, Farmer, NGO, Processor, Trader,  Buyer, Agribusiness company executive, Financial Institution, Research Institution, Academia or Policy maker, interested in Value Chain and Agribusiness, you may be interested in the next Master class.

For more information and to apply for the Master class in Agribusiness management for Southern Africa to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa from 10th – 12th November, 2014, please visit:

The deadline for application is: 27th October, 2014.