To achieve more formal financial inclusion, officially recognized financial institutions have been invited to partner with savings groups in order to reach unbanked populations.
This invitation was launched during a forum organized in Kigali Convention Center on May 23, 2018 by Access to Finace Rwanda in collaboration with SEEP. This forum brought together more than 400 participants from 50 countries and representing 205 organizations.
In her speech, Monique Nsanzabaganwa, the Deputy Governor of the National Bank stressed that this process is important insofar as not even the populations who are not customers of this or that banking institution will benefit from a formal financial inclusion.
“Currently, savings in Rwanda are still low, at around 13.8 per cent, while the target is around 30 per cent in next 3 to 4 years.There are currently about 36,000 savings groups in Rwanda,” she added.
According to Waringa Kibe, the Country Director of Access to Finance Rwanda, this process will help raise the standard of living of households and the well-being of people with medium or low incomes.
She urged banks and SACCOs to work closely with rural savings groups to improve their access to finance in those areas.
“Creating digital platforms makes it easy to manage savings groups and encourages their development, including security of funds, financial education, and the establishment of financial institutions” said Waringa.
Aimable Nkuranga, the Executive Director of the Association of Microfinance Institutions in Rwanda (AMIR), said there is need to increase financial literacy to boost initiatives and deepening formal inclusion.
Sharon D’onofrio, Executive Director of the SEEP Network, encouraged greater use of large-scale innovative session structures and methodologies that build on emerging and accepted learning best practices in the innovation process.
All the speakers agreed that it is important to have a large number of savings groups as it is an opportunity to engage with organizations as well as technology service providers to learn about innovative products and services.