The Government of Rwanda under the auspices of the National Bank of Rwanda (BNR), Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MINECOFIN) has partnered with Visa Inc. to roll out a nationwide financial literacy campaign to accelerate financial inclusion to targeted level— of 80 percent as per the Government 7-year programme (2010-2017).
The launch gala jointly organized by the three institutions at Serena Kigali Hotel on Monday March 25 was well attended by dignitaries from both public and private sector and development partner institutions.
Unveiling the campaign, the Minister of Finance Hon. John Rwangombwa, the Governor of Central Bank Ambassador Clever Gatete and the resident representative of Visa Inc. in Rwanda Ginger Baker officially launched the ‘Financial Literacy Pocket Booklet’.
Over a million copies of the booklet have been published in both English and Kinyarwanda (national language), to be distributed to Rwandans through local government channels across the country and the financial institutions, including bank branches, insurance companies, Saccos and so on. In addition, the soft copy of the booklet can as well be downloaded on BNR, MINECOFIN and Visa Inc. websites.
Amb. Gatete said BNR is in talks with the ministry of local government to establish feedback mechanism such that over the years the financial literacy pocket booklet is kept updated.
The campaign is also packaged with other mass media tools such as; informative drama (play skits), outdoor displays, plus various electronic and digital media tools. Participants were treated to 10-15mins exciting play skit performance on access to financial services which will be shown across the country. In her speech, Ginger confirmed Visa Inc.’s support in rolling out the financial literacy campaign.
“Financial literacy will ensure that Rwandans have full information they need to enable them make informed choices,” she said, noting that information transfer (on financial services) throughout the campaign shall be done in an informative yet entertaining manner for purposes of effective communication.
Over the past five years, Rwanda has done extremely well on the supply side—in terms of developing the financial services landscape. According to the Finance Minister, total investment in financial sector over the last five years now stands at over Rwf153billion.
Still on the supply side, the financial sector has become more competitive and banks and insurance companies vying to extend their services closer to the people. Total bank branches have increased to 700 across the country. Total accounts in the banking system, according Ambassador Gatete have now increased to over 2 million and if you add those (accounts) of Saccos and MFIs there are more than 3million accounts in Rwanda’s financial system.
The Governor noted that there is need to concentrate on the demand side too. “We need people, we need clients, and for them to understand and buy-in easily, we have to train, we have to inform, we have to sensitize,” he said.
In this regard, the Minister thanked all partners who have supported the government in rolling out financial literacy campaign. He singled out Care International and Visa Inc. “I assure you government support whether financial-wise, policy-wise or being active on the ground so that we can together fight and eradicate this war of financial illiteracy,” he promised.