By Tonny Akankwatsa
Uganda Bankers Association (UBA) is set to hold the 3rd Annual Bankers Conference (ABC) 2019 themed ‘De-risking financing & Investment in agriculture to promote decent youth employment and inclusive growth.’
The One-day conference will be held on Tuesday 16th July 2019 at Kampala Serena Conference Center, Victoria Hall, Kampala, Uganda and will comprise a keynote address followed by a high-level panel discussion.
While addressing a press conference, Wilbrod Owor the UBA Executive Director said, “This year’s conference aims to facilitate a focused discussion among key players and stakeholders regarding financing of agriculture while leveraging on several perspectives for mitigating risk including market incentives, technology, insurance, research, specific policy frameworks, a wider support & collaborative framework to ensure sustainable growth & investment in the agriculture sector of Uganda.”
Patrick Mweheire, the UBA Chairman said “we have chosen agriculture for a number of reasons, one being the strategic importance of the sector to Uganda’s social and economic progress.
Agriculture is the main source of livelihood to the majority of Ugandans, employing over 70 per cent of the workforce, and is also a major source of export revenue and raw materials for the agro-industry.”
Recent studies show that investment in agriculture continues to increase, but not as high as other sectors of the economy. Private Sector Credit to agriculture hovers between 12%- 13% compared to other sectors like trade, & real estate well at over 19% and 20% respectively.
“We would like as an industry to increase lending towards the Agricultural sector through interventions that address risks inherent in agricultural financing and the undertaking of agriculture as a business with all the discipline required therein,” Mweheire said.
According to Patricia Amito, Head Communications and Corporate Affairs, ‘The conference will focus on making financing agriculture attractive to financial institutions, leveraging on technology as an enabler to provide a range of support information required to unlock the potential in Uganda’s Agriculture sector, and using growth & transformation in the agricultural sector & its related value chains to promote financial inclusion & decent youth employment.”
Amito said; “ We expect over 500 participants including banking and non-bank financial sector executives, players from the insurance sector, international development partners and multilateral agencies, investment advisors, regulators, research associates and academia, policy makers, technocrats from governments, farmer groups & representatives from the various divisions of the agricultural sector (Crop, Animal, Fisheries, Forestry, Poultry) and the supporting service providers & players therein.
The conference will be officially opened in the morning by the Right Honourable Prime Minister of Uganda and will have opening ceremonies that include an address by the Governor, the Minister for Agriculture and a keynote address to be delivered by Marianne Schoemaker Managing Director, Rabo Partnerships.
Mastercard, the official sponsor this event expressed its commitment to supporting financial sector growth through capacity building, development of new products/services and initiatives to drive financial inclusion.