The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Claver Gatete, has called on Rwandans to embrace savings culture as way to increase wealth and sustain economic development.
Speaking at the launch of the 2017 Savings Week, an annual event aimed at sensitizing the public on the importance of savings, Gatete observed that savings by individuals, enterprises and government plays a crucial role in achieving sustainable economic growth.
“We encourage Rwandans to embrace a savings culture, especially long-term, which will provide investment for economic growth and result in higher productivity and wealth not only for individuals and households but also for the country,” he said.
With the theme ‘Our Savings, Our Wealth,’ the 2017 savings week aims at underlining the importance of savings and making decisions on money management that best fit the circumstances of someone's life.
According to the 2016 Finscope survey, 86% of adults in Rwanda (around 5.1 million people) save in one way or another. Saving through formal institutions currently stands at 49%, compared to 36% in 2012. This increase has been driven by Umurenge Saccos which hold 27% of savings and mobile money savings with 17%.
In 2009, the government adopted a savings mobilization strategy, which resulted in an increase although the desired level has not yet reached. This strategy targets savings equivalent to 20% of GDP by 2020 in order to trigger an investment of 30% of GDP.
The 2017 Savings week activities will be conducted within financial institutions, savings groups’ promoters and other stakeholders will showcase their products and services.
The activities will culminate in the celebration of World Savings Day on 31st October. It has been celebrated in Rwanda since 2011 with a savings week to raise awareness on the importance of saving for individual and national development.