The 2016 LéO Africa Economic Forum attracted over 200 participants and 25 speakers, key among whom were the minister for Trade, Industry and Cooperatives Ms. Amelia Kyambadde. Other speakers included Patrick Mwehire, the Chief Executive Officer, Stanbic Bank Uganda, Visa Rwanda’s Country Manager, Lucy Mbabazi, representatives of the UN in Uganda and technocrats from both the private and public sector in Uganda and Rwanda. Agricultural sector development was stressed as a key tenet for achieving inclusive growth, with panellists calling upon stakeholders – government, private sector, development banks and insurance companies - to formulate a sustainable approach to agribusiness financing.
Intra-sectoral linkages were also emphasised, citing the role manufacturing and ICT sectors could play in supporting the agriculture sector, as well as create the much sought after jobs. Dr Maggie Kigozi, who chaired the session on SMEs financing at the 2016 Forum, emphasized the need for a communal platform that solely deals with the task of disseminating information about the availability of alternate financial products and services, especially credit facilities, mentorship training and capacity building for SMEs and their owners as a step towards facilitating Inclusive growth and decent employment for all.