About AWLA

About AWLA

We are aware that the MENA region has a great wealth of talented women researchers. It is this potential whether realized or not, which mobilize our efforts to drive the best out of our Arab women researchers towards creating innovative solutions for the sustainability and prosperity of the agriculture future in the region and beyond.

Towards this end, the International Centre for Biosaline Agriculture, ICBA has launched the first edition of its Arab Women Leaders in Agriculture, AWLA fellowship. A capacity building program, which aims to develop women researchers who can make a positive impact in their workplaces, communities and countries.

In collaboration with the Islamic Development Bank, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and CGIAR Research Program on Wheat, AWLA by ICBA represents the first research and leadership development fellowship specific to agricultural research. The program is designed to gather women researchers from different countries to drive together positive change towards agriculture prosperity, while addressing the challenges they face in their careers' progress.


Towards "Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development". Resolution 70/1 of the United Nations General Assembly. AWLA, aspires to contribute to the achievement of the following UN Sustainable Development Goals: SDG 5: Gender Equality, SDG 13: Climate Action, SDG 15 Life on Land, SDG 17 Partnerships for the Goals, through the following three goals:

  • Facilitate fellows’ access to leadership roles and promote research excellence and impact;
  • Encourage gender responsive working cultures and enabling environments.
  • Provide Arab women researchers with platforms to showcase their intellect, capability and contribution.

AWLA long-term goal goes beyond capacity development, and includes improved food security and nutrition, a better research and development landscape, and economic and social benefits of a narrowed gender gap in the region.

AWLA Theme

AWLA's theme is about “The role of women in agriculture prosperity". Opening doors for Arab women researchers to strengthen their intellectual collaboration by exchanging ideas, good practices and stories on the difference women can make in agriculture.



To develop a cadre of aspiring Arab women researchers who are equipped with the knowledge and skills to make a positive difference in agriculture sustainability, in their countries in particular and the Arab region as a whole.



To advocate a transformation in agricultural research and development in the MENA region, powered by women who can:

  • Raise interest in agriculture studies;
  • Collaborate with their regional and international counterparts to improve quality of research in agriculture;
  • Better address food security and nutrition challenges and the problems facing other women in agriculture;
  • Encourage GDP expenditure on agricultural R&D.



AWLA invites Arab women researchers and women affiliated with research and development in agriculture, food security and nutrition in the Middle East and North Africa region.

By joining AWLA Fellowship, you will be offered new perspectives on research and leadership to make a positive difference not only in your professional life, but also towards the prosperity of agriculture across your nation and region.

Managed by

International Center for Biosaline Agriculture


Islamic Development Bank

Gates Foundation

CGIAR Research Program on Wheat