State of the Practice: Client Protection in Rwanda’s Microfinance Sector

Overview of the country's legal framework, regulations and industry practices

This state of the practice report provides an overview of the legal framework, regulations, and industry practices related to client protection in Rwanda’s microfinance sector. The report aims to guide Rwandan sector stakeholders in efforts to improve client protection regulation and practices. It draws on findings from three key sources:

  1. Accompanied self-assessments of five MFIs/financial service providers that used the Smart Campaign assessment methodology to take an in-depth look at their client protection practices;
  2. A client protection market diagnostic, conducted by the Association of Microfinance Institutions in Rwanda (AMIR), using a tool recently designed by the SEEP Network to provide an overview of client protection rules, practices, and issues in country-level markets;
  3. A baseline assessment of members’ use of AMIR’s Code of Conduct, which evaluated the understanding and perceived implementation of the Client Protection Principles by association members. 

In sum, client protection in Rwanda is a work in progress. The foundations for good practices are in place, thanks to the regulatory framework and the sector Code of Conduct, but there is still much to be done to achieve full compliance with all of the provisions. This report details these issues, along with the activities undertaken by or recommended to industry players to address them, in order to catalyze wide implementation of microfinance client protection in Rwanda.

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