Microfinance in Rwanda targets rural financial inclusion

m_Microfinance in Rwanda targets rural financial inclusion

In a bid to boost the country’s efforts to   bank the unbanked, Letshego Rwanda Limited has launched products likely to increase rural financial inclusion.

The products, which will see people easily accessing financial services in rural and peri- urban communities countrywide, include current, fixed and savings deposit taking.

“Deposit taking in Rwanda will diversify Letshego’s core operating model and provide a key step towards developing of our financial inclusion agenda, with an emphasis on the rural areas,” said Bernard Kivava, Chief Executive Officer.

The products, according to Kivava   will help Letshego Rwanda Limited in diversifying its business in markets where it can align with and contribute to the Government’s agenda of financial inclusion with the government targeting 80 percent inclusion by 2017.

“In particular, Letshego will seek opportunities for further diversification of the business where there are financial inclusion requirements and a need for productive lending,” Kivava added

Letshego Rwanda Limited-LRL is one of ten subsidiaries owned byLetshego Holdings Limited headquartered in Gaborone, Botswana and is  listed on  Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) since 2002.

The group currently offers consumer and micro lending services across East and Southern Africa –Botswana, Lesotho, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania and Uganda.

The deposit taking   in Rwanda becomes   the Group’s second inroad in its deposit taking transformation plan, something seen to help the   group  penetrate   Rwanda’s microfinance sector   that  has been  urged to  drip  down   their  services  to rural areas.

The move by the microfinance gives more optimism to the country’s microfinance banked on to increase rural financing but has been battling with challenges of lack of enough credit as well as capital to expand to rural areas.

Thus, with the group’s continued strong capital adequacy USD 43 million cash reserves on hand, there is optimism that the rural folks will be able to access credit to finance their household income generating projects.

Most of the microfinances, experts  say,  for fear of   increasing  operational costs that  would  eat up in their profit margins  prefer to   restrict  ending and  extending to  unbanked  populations.

“Letshego will remain committed to expanding its footprint into rural locations where today access to financial services remains limited,” said Mythri S-George – Group Head of Corporate Affairs, Letshego Holdings Limited

The  group  which is the   second largest   quoted company   on the Botswana Stock exchange has market  capitalization in excess of US$650 million with  advances increased by 31% in the first  half of   this year  to  USD556 million compared to the same period  last year.

 

 

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