How Rwanda is tracking financial exclusion

by Tendai Dube 0

Rwanda is targeting 80 per cent financial inclusion by 2017, through the aid of the Financial Sector Development Programme II.

Analysts however argue that financial illiteracy could be a stumbling block to achieving this goal.

“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,” said Jean Bosco Iyacu, Technical Manager at Access to Finance Rwanda (AFR).

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,” Iyacu said.

According to Iyacu, Rwanda’s government currently already has a big campaign to address financial education and it is hoping that will provide the people with the basic concepts around finances.

Iyacu adds: “Not paying through electronic channels is another constraint in the market because we know what has happened around the world where electronic channels contribute a lot in terms of financial inclusion”

One of the methods the government of Rwanda will be implementing is the national e-payment strategy, that it believes will have different strategies to tackle the basics.

The organisation has received quite a bit of funding in this national mandate to bridge the deficit, and most recently, 2.9 million dollars from Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).

“All these funders are behind Access to Finance Rwanda, to make sure that the rural poor, especially the excluded in the financial sector, get access to financial services and we have been for the last five years working with different partners to make sure that happens,” said Iyacu.