Savings Groups (SGs) are recognized as the first step towards formal financial inclusion in the Rwandan financial market, thanks to their support to low-income populations and financially excluded people.
According to Fin Scope 2016, approximately 89% of the adult population in Rwanda is financially included. That includes a combination of formal and informal financial services and products. This percentage translates into 5.2 million people. While 4.2 million (72%) individuals use both formal and informal financial services or products, about 1.2 million (21%) Rwandans solely rely on the informal financial segment.
Even though SGs are recognized to improve livelihoods for many poor Rwandan men, youth and women, it has been challenging to trace the Savings Groups’ contribution towards the advancement of financial inclusion in the country. This is essentially because of limited data on the number of group members, amount of savings, disbursed loans, location of operations, and organizations supporting SGs. Keeping this in mind, Access to Finance Rwanda (AFR) has collaborated with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MINECOFIN), the Central Bank of Rwanda (BNR) and the practitioners (international and local NGOs) to create a digitized “Savings Groups Map”.
An online mapping tool, The Savings Groups Map, is a bank of self-reported data captured on a map with key information on different SGs, financial institutions, and mobile network operators (MNOs) that support financial market players to track the financial status of the groups and ultimately support their formal financial inclusion. The data captured from the group includes:
For more information on the SGs map, please follow this link: https://sg.bnr.rw/index.html
Categories: Microfinance Technology Sub-Saharan Africa Financial Security Savings Groups English Savings Groups Blog Blog
Roselyne Uwamahoro, Expert in Microfinance from Frankfurt School, with an understanding of the financial sector, where she has been working for the last 9 years, specifically in the financial inclusion spectrum where she gained technical experience in financial inclusion for low income people especially women, refugees and people operating in the informal sector ( savings groups).
Roselyne is currently working as the Head of Saving, Credit and Cooperatives and Saving Group development at Access to Finance Rwanda (AFR) (a multi donor not for Profit Company). At AFR, she holds key responsibility to provide technical expertise for the development of the Microfinance sector in Rwanda.
She is also an Alumni from Harvard Kennedy School on rethinking financial inclusion.