Rwanda's financial inclusion target could be hampered by financial illiteracy, say experts

Jan 19, 2016

The country wants to reach 80 per cent financial inclusion by 2017.

Financial illiteracy could prevent Rwanda from achieving its goal of a financial inclusion rate of 80 per cent by 2017, according to experts.

"We have a target, by 2017 to reach 80 per cent financial inclusion and by 2012 we had 72 per cent, so this year we should know around April what level we are at," Jean Bosco Iyacu, Technical Manager at Access to Finance Rwanda (AFR), told CNBC.

"Last year it was found that too few people understood what the budget was; bringing about concerns that if Rwanda does not have financial education, the likelihood for financial inclusion would also be slim. That's a big problem in this space of financial inclusion, financial education is key and that is what we are trying to work on with the government of Rwanda," he added.

Rwanda's government has launched a big campaign to address financial education and will be implementing the national e-payment strategy to boost cashless transactions.

It is also one of the Better Than Cash Alliance members. This international programme, hosted by the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), encourages the adoption of electronic means of payment.

Inspired by the World Bank recommendation (by its estimate, electronic payments are the key to everyone having access to finance), the State pays its employees electronically since 2014.

"We have put in place policies that encourage payment digitisation and continue to support the private sector, especially financial institutions, to embrace the use of ICT to champion financial inclusion," said Claver Gatete, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning.ADNFCR-2976-ID-801810326-ADNFCR