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    Kigali - Rwanda

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Pursuing the main objective of increasing the number of people participating actively in the formal financial sector, SBFIC works together with its project partner RIM (Reseau des Institutions de Microfinance) since 2012. This joint effort reaches from the establishment of a microfinance academy supporting capacity development within the microfinance sector to financial education provision to marginalized groups of the population. These measures contribute to the financial inclusion of beneficiaries.

Since the start of collaboration, there has been a predominantly positive evolution of key financial inclusion indicators. According to the 2016 financial inclusion report of the Bank of the Republic of Burundi (BRB), by the end of 2015 21.92% of the adult population compared to 12.5% in 2012 held a bank account in a formal financial institution. Since 2012, the number of service points of microfinance institutions grew from 277 to 364 in 2015, and the number of clients grew from 536,741 to 857,760. Following financial education activities like the celebration of the International Savings Week, the number of accounts opened for children increase from 105 (2012) to 1642 (2017). As a result of SBFIC’s activities for capacity development, the knowledge on IT and management system solutions could be increased, while an external audit was conducted within the MFIs that are members of RIM. Up to now, SBFIC projects in Burundi are well received and add an evident contribution to the professionalisation of RIM and the microfinance sector in general.

The cooperation in Burundi is aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and contributes to the following :
-  SDG 1, ending poverty, through the improvement of access to finance for the poor and marginalized ;
-  SDG 2, eradicating hunger, by training farmers on how to efficiently manage their finances in order to sustain their activities even facing uncertainty constrains ;
-  SDG 5, gender equality, by especially encouraging financial access for women through trainings and events on bringing together women and finance ;
-  SDG 8, decent work and economic growth, by strengthening the capacity of financial institutions to expand their services to currently underserved parts of the population so that they can participate in the formal economy.