Who We are
"We engage with young and emerging leaders with innovative ideas, those who think differently, see what others cant, and are actively working towards turning their ideas into real outcomes."
In 2012, two fellows of the Aspen Global Leadership Network and Africa Leadership Initiative, Awel Uwihanganye and Magnus Mchunguzi, conceived the idea of the LéO Africa Institute as a collaborative project to advance thought leadership, nurture young and emerging leaders in Africa, and spur them to success, achievement and excellence.
In a fast changing world, with increased human and environmental challenges, transformational and ethical leadership becomes a critical tool to build better societies, and indeed a better world.
Our contribution towards this cause is through fostering exchange of ideas among young and emerging leaders in Africa about the processes shaping the governance environment, how we relate with one another, and how we conduct business. In essence we are building a community of leaders across sectors who have ambition, who think big, are decisive, will encourage and hold each other to account.
We engage young and emerging leaders with innovative ideas, those who think differently, see what others can’t, and are actively working towards turning their ideas into real outcomes. We believe in actively contributing to an environment where others succeed and want to contribute to a better world.
Why we do what we do
We believe that ideas matter in moving our societies forward. We also strongly believe networks of thinkers and doers are valuable in advancing global collaborations and partnerships for development.
How we are Contributing to the Africa We Want
We leverage our network of outstanding thought leaders and extended networks of the Africa Leadership Initiative and the Aspen Global Leadership Institute to expand our reach and impact on issues of concern to Africa and the world.
To truly ensure young people lead in innovating solutions to today’s challenges, three key aims are at the centre of our action:
- Fostering an environment for ideas and creative thought
- Encouraging individual and collective action
- Building networks and platforms of like-minded actors to inspire and encourage each other
The fast growing youth population in Africa has been dubbed as a time bomb for sub Saharan African countries. We take a more positive look at this: with the right leadership action, Africa’s fast growing youth population – with their innovativeness, entrepreneurial spirit and zeal to succeed – can be harnessed to transform not only the continent but the world at large.
The Young and Emerging leaders Project (Y&ELP) is aimed at nurturing a new breed of integral, socially responsible, and transformative leaders, committed to championing society’s causes.
Underpinning this initiative is the principle of “Agaciro”, which espouses the dignity, self-worth, and identity of the African as the cornerstone of leadership. Specifically targeting young leaders with backgrounds in the media, social enterprise, the Arts and innovators, the Y&ELP will attract 20 outstanding thought leaders into a year-long fellowship. The overall idea behind the Y&ELP is for the fellows to lift each other up, inspire each other, and work towards transforming themselves and their communities as opposed to having lectures and teachings on a subject as broad as leadership.
Y&ELP fellows will form part of the Institute’s growing network of outstanding thought leaders across East Africa who shall meet annually at our events.
The Economic Forum has been held annually in Kampala since 2014 as a gathering of thought leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs and social actors to explore the ideas that are transforming industry and highlight vital economic trends shaping the socio-economic landscape in Africa and the world.
The Forum provides a platform for young, emerging and established players in the business sector to network and foster collaborations and partnerships.
The gathering is a meeting of thought leaders from our network who convene to reflect on what it takes to achieve good leadership and ideas that will guide action towards transformation of society.
The Gathering brings together members of the LéO Africa network, partners, and friends of the Institute in both public and private sectors to exchange of ideas about the processes shaping the governance environment in Africa, how to deepen collaborations and partnerships between like-minded actors and cause the change we want to see.
The LéO Africa Review is an independent magazine published by the Institute. Focused on East Africa, the quarterly publication advances constructive ideas on values-based leadership, with a major focus on innovations and social enterprise.
The publication’s targeted readership includes thought leaders, social actors, entrepreneurs, innovators, as well as an emerging critical mass of young professionals in East Africa.
Meet our dynamic team of young people committed to shaping leadership that actively contributes to building the Africa we want.
In addition to our staff, the institute continues to rely on the diverse skill sets, innovation and hard work of our associate faculty, volunteers and friends to whom we are grateful for the amazing work they put in.
Awel Uwihanganye - Senior Director & Co-Founder
Kwezi Tabaro – Deputy Director
Ivan Rugambwa, Communications & Economic Forum Coordinator
Charles Kavuma - Logistics & Finance Coordinator
Ian Katusime, Chief Editor LéO Africa Review
Board of Directors
Our governance board is constituted with individuals whose integrity is beyond reproach and with whom we share a commitment to create a better society and future with young people at the center of shaping leadership action.
Lucy Mbabazi, Country Manager VISA Rwanda, Burundi & Malawi
Awel Uwihanganye, Founder & Senior Director, LéO Africa Institute
Gilbert Kamuntu, Senior Commercial Advisor Tullow Oil
Daniel Kaggwa, Uganda Fund Country Manager, Business Partners International
Patricia Nsanze-Nzeyi, Governance & Policy Expert, Kampala Uganda
William Babigumira, Certified Trade Advisor, Private Sector Federation Rwanda
Kwame Rugunda, Founder & CEO WhatCan Initiative
Secretary to the Board: ABMAK Associates
Our Associate Faculty
Members of the Associate Faculty are a valued component of the Institute structure. They constitute a pool of key resource persons who make significant contribution with their time in shaping content and ideas towards various initiatives under the Institute.
Faith Mbabazi; Communications & CSR Specialist
Philippa Mbonye; Public Health & Management Specialist
Leonard Mungarulire; Private Sector & Trade Development Advisor
Michael Mugisha; Assistant Lecturer, Makerere University
Donald Ntare Byamugisha; Founding Partner, BITEPH Strategic Consulting
Paul Kasenene; Medical Doctor, Nutrition Educator and
William Makanza; Project Management Consultant
Lucrezia Koestler Bitete; Managing Director, Laboremus Consulting
Ernest Mugabe; Managing Director, Pixel City
Angelo Izama; Journalist, Energy Oil and Gas Policy Analyst
Bob Mukiza; Trade Policy and Energy Expert
Hashim Mulangwa; Economist, Policy Analyst, Development Strategy Expert
Job Kahigwa; Energy and Petroleum Specialist
Grace Muguli Kwizera; Economist & Entrepreneur
Zia Uwera; Marketing & Finance Executive
Mohammed Shuriye; Corporate Social Responsibility Expert
Ivan Kyambadde; Founder & Managing Director, The East Africa Movement
Robert Damulira; WWF Energy Coordinator, East and Southern Africa
Ronnie Asiimwe; Legal Counsel, Managing Partner Capital Law Firm
Bob Katera; Business Development Specialist
Daniel Makubuya; Legal Counsel, Capital Partners
Didace Ruzigamanzi; Entrepreneur
Howard Mutimbo; Economist, Business Development Manager, Philips East Africa
Yusuf Kiranda; Governance & Project Management Specialist
Musoke Timothy; Technology & Software Expert, Laboremus
Our Community of Advisors
Magnus Mchunguzi, Entrepreneur and co-founder LéO Africa Institute
Evelyn Kamagaju, Certified Chartered Accountant, Former Auditor General Republic Of Rwanda
Faustin Mbundu, Entrepreneur, former Chairman Rwanda Private Sector Federation
Ali Mufuruki, Leading African Entrepreneur, Founder & Chair Africa Leadership Initiative East Africa Foundation
Dr. Ben Mbonye, Orthopedic Surgeon, Public Health Specialist
Richard Mugisha, Senior Partner, Trust Law Partners
Ambassador Frank Mugambage, Senior Diplomat, Rwanda Ambassador to Uganda
Andrew Mwenda, Journalist & Managing partner, Independent News Magazine
Ambassador Nimisha Madhivani, Senior Diplomat, Uganda’s Ambassador to France, Portugal & Spain
Clare Akamanzi, Head Of Policy & Strategy Office of the President, Republic Of Rwanda
Rosette Rugamba, Founder & Managing Director Songa Africa Travel Company
Leslie Rance, Corporate and regulatory Affairs Executive
Stella Kilonzo, Capital Markets Manager, African Development Bank
Adonia Ayebare, Senior Diplomat, Uganda Foreign Affairs
Rehma Kasule, Managing Director CEDA, International
Partner with Us
The LéO Africa institute is working directly with young and emerging leaders to build their individual and collective capacity to have impact in their communities and society as a whole.
We want to work with other actors from government, the private sector, civil society and media in providing platforms to support young leaders who are committed to shaping society and contributing to the Africa we want.
If you believe in shaping society positively by investing in innovative, passionate and entrepreneurial individuals, we invite you to join us; to support our efforts or collaborate on exciting projects building change agents in our communities and countries.