Rwanda | Nyaruguru district: Micro-finance institutions urged to work closely with BDF
BDF (Business Development Fund) has urged representatives of micro-finance institutions in Nyaruguru district, Southern Rwanda, to interact more with (BDF) in order to assist Nyaruguru residents access loans and get out of the shackles of poverty.
The remarks were made on Tuesday, during a one-day meeting held in the Nyaruguru district conference hall, bringing together top district officials in the field of economy, investment and cooperatives, members of the private sector federation, representatives of Sacco (Savings and Credit Cooperative) across Nyaruguru, executive secretaries for Nyaruguru’s 14 sectors, among others.
“The idea is to help people combat poverty by generating agriculture and animal husbandry bankable projects”, said Carine Mugwaneza, Marketing Officer at BDF.
“For that to happen, we are encouraging banks and micro-finance institutions to interact with us [BDF] to access loan guarantees”, she added.
Fabien Niyitegeka, Nyaruguru’s deputy mayor in charge of finance, economy and development, agrees, saying that BDF comes as an important development partner.
“We are happy because BDF will help enhance our population development capacity”, said deputy mayor Niyitegeka, with a smile.
Nyaruguru district stands out as one of the six poorest of Rwanda’s 30 districts – others just being Nyamagabe, Ruhango, Gisagara (all from the Southern Province), Nyamasheke and Karongi (of the Western Province), said Mugwaneza, citing different studies carried out by their partners, including the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MINICOM) – hence, the need to help Nyaruguru get out of this gloomy list.
One of the participants is Innocent Nyamwasa, Manager of Korukire (Work and get rich) Sacco in Ruramba sector. For him, more empowerment of Saccos is needed.
“Out of 30 clients eligible for loans, we can only afford to give out loans for 10 people while 20 others still wait yet they fulfill the requirements”, he said.
Mugwaneza heeded Nyamwasa’s concern, promising to take it to much higher policy-making instances.
Figures from Nyaruguru’s department in charge of investments and cooperatives attest that 77,000 people have joined Saccos across Nyaruguru, while 16,000 people – as of 2011− interacted with banks – figures still low compared to the district population estimated at 270,000 people.
So far, BDF has been working with a good number of banks in Rwanda plus 70 of the country’s 400 savings and credit cooperatives.