Case Study

Rwanda’s Financial Inclusion Success Story: Umurenge SACCOs

Discussing the success of community savings and credit cooperatives in Rwanda
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This study presents the case of community savings and credit cooperatives (SACCOs), known as Umurenge SACCOs in Rwanda. From 2012-2014, these cooperatives have attracted over 1.6 million customers. Along with some other MFIs, these Umurenge SACCOs serve ~2.3 million customers, almost the same number of people as the entire banking sector in the country (~2.7 million). The document states that, in Rwanda, where access to financial services were once sparse, more than 90% of Rwandans now live within a 5 km radius of an Umurenge SACCO. The case study covers the following sections in detail:

  • Background of the financial sector in Rwanda with key indicators and statistics;
  • Barriers to financial access and the need for a SACCO in every Umurenge;
  • History of the program with a focus on why SACCOs were preferred over other types of financial service providers;
  • Timeline of events: since the idea of Umurenge SACCO was discussed in 2008 to the publication of the second SACCO rating by the National Bank of Rwanda in 2013;
  • Contribution of Umurenge SACCOs to financial inclusion with a focus on why they are preferred by Rwandans;
  • Challenges and solutions that arose as the Umurenge SACCO program was implemented with possible responses to these challenges.

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