Savings and Credit Co-operative Societies (Saccos) have been challenged to be innovative and develop products that meet market needs to remain relevant.
“The Rwandan micro-finance sector is young, but very dynamic. That’s why it is important to develop relevant products that meet customer needs to be competitive. As a microfinance industry, we should also embrace new technologies to ease service delivery and promote accountability,” Jean Marie Vianney Nzagahimana, the Association of Microfinance Institutions in Rwanda (Amir) chairman, said.
Nzagahimana was on Wednesday speaking at an event to welcome 53 Umurenge Saccos that joined Amir recently, bringing the group’s membership to 105 members. The new members include AB Bank, Kacyiru Sacco, Amizero, Umucho, Abahinzi, Umutonze and Gwino Orebe Sacco, among others.
Amir is the national umbrella body of micro-finance institutions that advocates for sector-friendly policies and regulatory environment, among others.
Peter Rwema, the Amir director for programmes, said the new members would be assisted in areas of capacity building, financial management training and advocacy, among other areas.
“The objective is to sharpen their skills to ensure efficiency, corporate governance and improved service delivery. We will also facilitate them to access funding through partnerships with our national, regional and international partners,” Rwema told The New Times.
Aloys Nsanzimana, the president of Inyeza Sacco, which is one of the new members, said it is essential that stakeholders work together to grow the sector and help customers achieve their economic objectives.
The microfinance sector plays a critical role in fostering economic development by extending financial services, particularly loans and opportunities for savings to people with limited access to commercial banks, especially in rural and hard-to-reach areas.
The sector in Rwanda is comprised of 493 institutions including 13 limited companies and 480 Saccos of which 416 are Umurenge Saccos.
SOURCE: The New Times (Rwanda)
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