Rwanda’s Financial Inclusion Success Story: Umurenge SACCOs

Case study
Date Published: 
Jul 2014

Discussing the success of community savings and credit cooperatives in Rwanda

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.
Type: 
Case study
Country: 
Rwanda