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Rwanda's central bank receives acknowledgement for promoting financial inclusion

18.09.2014

Rwanda's central bank has received the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) Policy Award 2014 for its work promoting financial inclusion in the country. Its policies were hailed as "innovative and impactful".

Rwanda's central bank has received the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) Policy Award 2014 for its work promoting financial inclusion in the country. Its policies were hailed as "innovative and impactful".

Governor John Rwangombwa tweeted after receiving the award that the accolade was in "recognition of Rwanda's visionary leadership", to which he attributed the success of the Umurenge Savings and Credit Cooperatives (Saccos) programme", the New Times reports.

Umurenge Sacco was established in 2008 with the aim to boost up rural savings and provide Rwandans with loans to improve their earnings and enhance their livelihoods.

A total of 139 cooperatives under Umurenge Sacco have been awarded licences by the central bank to operate, Itezimbere reports.

These facilities have in just three years attracted over 1.6 million customers and serve, along with other microfinance institutions, almost the same number of customers as those of commercial banks, according to figures from the AFI.

Today, more than 90 per cent of Rwandans live within a five kilometre radius of the nearest Umurenge Sacco.

Commenting on the award, Gilbert Habyarimana, head of Umurenge Saccos at the Rwanda Co-operative Agency, said that "microfinance institutions and Saccos have enabled rural people to have access to financial services, save and lend to each other. This has led to the creation of jobs in the country as more people venture into different businesses with financing from Saccos,".