Rwanda is an aspiring country in East Africa with 12 million inhabitants. A large part of the population lives in rural areas. Poverty is still a problem in Rwanda. Approximately 70% of the population live in poverty, 35% even in extreme poverty. Rwanda is ranked 159 out of 188 in the human development index.
According to the FinScope Study 2016 68% of the adult population are using formal financial services. Formal savings are used by 49% while formal loans are used by 15% of the adult population. Still, 11% of the population is excluded from the formal and informal financial sector. Most of the population lives in rural areas. The promotion of “Umurenge SACCOs” in 2010 led to a substantial increase of financial inclusion in these areas. 90% of the population has access to an Umurenge SACCO within 5 km. However, financial literacy and the lack of qualified personnel in MFIs is a constraint to the sustainable financial inclusion in Rwanda. SBFIC strengthens the microfinance sector in Rwanda through capacity building, vocational training and financial education.
Our first office in East Africa opened in Kigali in 2008. The different projects in the country range from strengthening microfinance institutions to financial literacy programs as well as the strategic support for a TVAT school. Moreover, the restructuring of the Umurenge SACCO sector and the computerization of MFIs are core projects of SBFIC in Rwanda. Our two main partners are the Rwanda Institute of Cooperatives, Entrepreneurship and Microfinance (RICEM) and the Association of Microfinance Institutions in Rwanda (AMIR).