Use of technology would spur MFIs performance

Use of technology would spur MFIs performance

Microfinance Institutions-MFIs performance would   increase their penetration to   bank the unbanked and   spur financial inclusion if they continue adapt to   the use of technologies in service delivery, experts have said

Microfinance Institutions have been vital in    channeling credit to rural folks who   mostly ignored by    commercial banks, but   they are at times   constrained with   low   use of technologies such e-banking systems.

“We need to embrace technology so that we can increase   on our service delivery as well as accountability,” said Jean Marie VianneyNzagahimana, chairman of Association of Microfinance Institutions of Rwanda-AMIR

Most of the Microfinance institutions have not yet adopted electronic systems such as e-banking, linking to the national   platform as well as low use of internet which delays service delivery.

“MFIs look at these as expensive but they are   important in the long run. if clients are receiving better services will continue to bank with them (MFIs),” said  Rita Ngarambe, the association’s  Executive Secretary

Recently,   the association together with German Savings bank stepped up efforts to increase capacity within the sector, which saw efficiency and penetration in the underserved areas.

Nevertheless, the sector   is still facing   the challenge of   increasing the savings mobilization; this according to experts is attributed to   inappropriate products the MFIs put out   to the market.

“This is why we are   attracting more   MFIs to join the   Association so that now we can help them   address these challenges,” said Peter Rwema, the association’s in charge for programmes.

To achieve  its  ambitious target  to have    at least   80 percent  financial  included  by  2018, the government is looking at  the microfinance sector that include Saccos to  steer  rural   inclusion, something that will  increase liquidity  to lend to the private  sector.

The Microfinance institutions have been vital in extending credit to   the   small income earners mainly in rural areas who would not be welcomed by commercial banks.

Moreover, with   the country’s savings contribution to GDP stands at around 15 percent   against the continents standings of 20 percent, designing appropriate    products would help step up the percentages.

Rulindo: abafite ubumuga bageze kure mu kwiteza imbere

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Bamwe mu bafite ubumuga bo mu karere ka Rulindo ngo basanga bakwiye kwiteza imbere, aho guhora bategeye amaboko abandi babasaba kandi nabo hari byinshi babasha kwigezaho.

Abafite ubumuga bo muri aka karere bakaba barafashe gahunda yo guhindura  imyumvire bari bafite mbere, aho mbere ngo nta bikorwa bagiraga bibateza imbere,none ubu bakaba bafite ibikorwa bibahuza mu mashyirahamwe bagamije kwiteza imbere.

Hajabakiga Tomas, ni umuyobozi w’ishyirahamwe ry’abafite ubumuga Fraternity Dufatanye rikorera mu murenge wa Masoro. Uyu mugabo wagize ubumuga bw’ukuguru kuva mu 1994, afite abana 6 n’umugore.

Avuga  ko umuryango we ubayeho neza nyuma yo guhindura imyumvire agakora , kuko ubu noneho ngo abasha gukora akawuteza imbere.

Hajabakiga kandi avuga ko yabashije kurihira abana be amashuri ,kuri ubu umwe mu bana be yamurihiye amashuri arayarangiza ubu arakora, babiri nabo ngo aracyabarihira ndetse abo mu muryango we bose abasha kubarihira mituweri abikesha umwuga w’ubudozi .

Hajabakiga ashima Leta kuba yaramuhaye amahugurwa ku bijyanye n’ubudozi,aho avuga ko Leta  yamufashije kumenya umwuga w’ubudozi akivana mu bukene ntategereze kubaho asabiriza.

Kuri ubu kandi ngo anafite gahunda yo gufasha abandi bafite ubumuga bagenzi be bo mu karere ka Rulindo ,bakiri  mu muhanda akabatoza gukora bakiteza imbere bakareka gusabiriza.

Aragira inama abandi bantu bafite ubumuga kwikuramo umuco mubi bamwe muri bo bagira wo gutega amaboko agira ati”.Inama nagira abafite ubumuga ni ukwikuramo umuco wo gusabiriza bagashyira amaboko hasi bagakora bityo nabo bakiteza imbere kimwe n’abandi banyarwanda.”

Iri shyirahamwe ahagarariye kuri ubu ngo rikaba rifite gahunda yo kwigisha abana batagize amahirwe yo gukomeza amashuri babana n’ubumuga bo mu karere ka Rulindo .

Ishyirahamwe ry’abafite ubumuga Fraternite Dufatanye ,kuri ubu rifite abanyamuryango basaga 350. Bakora ibikorwa bitandukanye by’ubukorikori ,n’ubudozi bw’imyenda.

Aba banyamuryango kandi ngo bose bakaba bamaze no kuba aborozi aho buri wese afite itungo rimufasha mu mibereho ye ya buri munsi.

Rutsiro: Business training to help in job creation

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Business advisors in Rutsiro district revealed that the on-going training will help them and other residents to create jobs.

Initiative has produced some illuminating ideas, tools and methods that have had a significant impact on employment creation in rural areas, even in the most disadvantaged areas. Elaste Bayihorere, a trainer from Rwanda Development Board (RDB) explains.

This comes as business advisors in Rutsiro district are being trained on job creation from December 2- 12.

Bayihorere noted that job creation is a government programme meant to help youth and women create off-farm jobs for sustainable.

“This is a government programme to help women and youth learn about job creation so as to develop individually and the nation,” he added.

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Imanishimwe, a participant highlighted that a lot is expected from the training, saying many people have got ideas on how easy to set up income generating activities after.

“Basing on what we have covered already and what is remaining, we are set to help many people to create jobs and achieve sustainable development,” he said.

Apart from job creation, business advisers are trained on project management and management of funds.

The trainees include business advisors from 13 sectors of Rutsiro district.

After training, business advisers are scheduled to train youth and women in sectors on job creation and project management.

Airtel backs businesses for People with Disabilities

Airtel backs businesses for People with Disabilities

Majority of them are known to vie the streets begging and are looked at as a waste to the communities they live in, being disabled, to many would mean loss of hope to achieve your ambitions.

But this with the support from Airtel Rwanda will be history as people living with disabilities are setting up businesses to earn income and position them in the society.

“Our core function at Ijwi Rya Bose is to empower persons with disabilities by giving them the opportunity to reach their full potential,” said Jean Marie Vianney Icyitegetse, Managing Director of Ijwi Rya Bose

He adds, “Enterprise is one of them and we are glad to have been able to make this possible with the support from Airtel Rwanda.”

Ijwi Rya Bose is a specialist media group focusing and promoting rights of persons with disabilities in Rwanda.

Together with Airtel, Ijwi Rya Bose contributed an assortment of business products and incentives to Rwandans with disabilities through Jya Mu Bandi Mwana; an umbrella organization for the group. The contribution will initially support 40 persons.

But, the programme is set to cover the whole country over the next year and Airtel Rwanda and IJWI RYA BOSE are currently working out a plan to support over 100 people with disabilities all over the country.

Accordingly, Ijwi Rya Bose has contributed products worth Rwf500, 000 while Airtel Rwanda has contributed trade materials and will support the group with basic entrepreneurship skills to help jumpstart their business.

“The products will help the beneficiaries’ startup businesses and earn a living to better their livelihood,” said Denise Umunyana, the Airtel head of corporate communications and CSR said,

Umunyana says that the Airtel contribution will include Airtel airtime and simcards, shelter umbrellas, t-shirts and tables.

“Disability is a matter of perception. If you can do just one thing well, you will be needed by someone. Today’s beneficiaries will be needed by our customers to provide products and services to them,” she added

This therefore   creates  yet a another milestone for the current shift of telecoms  from sponsoring concerts  and  promotions   to impacting   people’s lives mainly  setting a   business  jumpstart  for  their  livelihood.

“This contribution by airtel shows that the telecom is not only profit making but also cares for the wellbeing of Rwandan people,” said Romalis NIYOMUGABO, president of the National Council of Persons with Disabilities

Accordingly, the this initiative will build the entrepreneurship of the beneficiaries  thus being able  to start their dream  business and contribute to the private sector growth  needed to   spur the  economy .

SoSoMa industries wins Africa’s SME award

SoSoMa industries wins Africa’s SME award

Finally, this year’s top award for SME of the Year went to SoSoMa Industries, another Rwandan SME specialising in agro-business.

“We wanted to celebrate SMEs by spotlighting champions capable of transforming the continent and creating value,” explained Amadou Kane, former Finance Minister of Senegal, who was selected to lead the awards panel. “They are the torch-bearers of the Africa SME Champions community.”

Africa SME Champions is so much more than just a conference. We will offer the business and institutional community a framework to meet their needs and enable them to interact with one other.

SMEs need money, but they especially need support as well,” explains Didier Acouetey, founder of the specialist recruitment agency AfricSearch and creator of the event. “This is why we decided to launch Africa SME Champions, a platform to support African SMEs.”

Scheduled to launch in early 2015, this platform aims first to offer support tools to SMEs based on information derived from the fifteen or so thematic sessions presented at the forum.

These sessions dealt with issues such as writing a business plan, marketing techniques and customer relations.

The partner institutions and enterprises, including the IFC, the African Development Bank, OCP, investment funds and consulting firms, will all contribute input to this database of expertise.

In addition to the website, the Africa SME Champions platform will offer very concrete support and consulting services.

“Once SMEs find the information they need on the website, a dedicated team will be on hand to connect them to the relevant funds and consultants who can help them to raise the necessary funds. An entire ecosystem will be available in support of African Champions,” explains Didier Acouetey.

The Africa SME Champions Forum community has also made plans to create the “African Champion” label.

This label will be attached to SMEs based on several criteria, such as their ability to create jobs, their role in regional integration, their implementation of good governance principles, etc. With this label, they will be able to enjoy favourable conditions in the partner countries. In addition to tax advantages, they will also be able to access public procurement contracts, recruitment aid and guarantee funds.

The pan-African bank Ecobank, an event partner, has itself announced the creation of Ecobank SME Clubs. Albert Essien, the bank’s general director, described this project:

“SMEs merit special attention. These clubs will be privileged spaces for dialogue to better evaluate funding needs and make it easier to obtain funding. The criteria for joining the clubs will be extremely simple.”

The Africa SME Champions Forum (http://www.africa-smechampions.com) closed on 12 November in Dakar, but its work in support of African champions is only just beginning.

Bringing together over 300 SMEs and around 100 African economic and political policymakers, these two days of dialogue produced the foundations for a very concrete roadmap.

This roadmap will guide the actions of the Africa SME Champions community in anticipation of the next forum, to be held in Nairobi in November 2015.

The forum also offered an opportunity to recognise champions. The African SME Champions Awards, sponsored by the African Guarantee Fund, honoured three enterprises, which were selected following a rigorous and transparent process. The director of Village Group in Rwanda was awarded the Young Entrepreneur Award. Tabaki, a Kenyan SME, won the Regional SME Award

Ngororero: Private sector should do more -mayor Ruboneza

The Ngororero district mayor Gideon Ruboneza has called on the private sector to increase its participation in the district’s economic development, saying the current levels of private investments are still wanting.

“We want to harness the expertise, resources and innovation of the private sector to help the most vulnerable,” said the mayor Gideon Ruboneza, Ngororero district. “This leads to better job opportunities, more investment and more resources to improve productivity and public well-being.”

Ruboneza explained that the private sector has created job opportunities to more people from poverty to prosperity in Ngororero district but the sector still has a lot to improve on.

Private sector should do more -mayor Ruboneza

The Ngororero district mayor Gideon Ruboneza boasts of the achievements of PSF

Ruboneza said that Ngororero district has registered infrastructural development in areas.

It is the primary source of economic growth, job creation, government revenue to finance essential public services, and the goods and services required to improve people’s quality of life.

The projects that were recently realized will play a part in performance of Ngororero district in the realization of performing contracts 2014/2015.

Private sector should do more -mayor Ruboneza1

Ibrahim Kanyambo, coordinator of PSF Ngororero believes hard work and full participation leads to development

Kabaya and Matyazo sectors are the exemplary sectors that have already initiated PSF cooperatives which are operational and of positive impact to its members.

Language affecting local contractors

Language affecting local contractors

Rwandan contractors are losing lucrative tenders in East Africa because they cannot comprehend bid documents written in the English Language. This is according to Donatien Mungwararera, director of The Private Sector Federation Rwanda (PSF).

“Though we carryout periodic trainings in languages, we do not reach everyone,” said Mungwararera, who advised traders to try their best to learn “the most commonly spoken languages in the region, especially English and Swahili, to enhance their competitiveness.”

Laying credence to the PSF director’s claim, a local supplier of construction materials, Enock Kamugisha, told this reporter that he lost tenders on four occasions because he could not understand all the requirements stated in the bid documents.

“Bids are drafted in English; and there are many technical terms that we fail to understand,” he said.

PSF, a professional organization dedicated to promoting the interests of the Rwandan business community has noted that learning the languages will boost the growth of Rwanda’s private sector..

According to Rwanda’s 2013 Manpower Survey released earlier this year, most Rwandan business people do not understand English and Swahili. This has made them less competitive within the region.

To help solve this challenge, the Ministry of East African Community Affairs has developed a new language policy that will offer Swahili and English lessons at an early age.

“We have a policy that aims at teaching Swahili from lower secondary education. The policy is already being implemented by the Ministry of Education,” said Jean Pierre Niyitegeka, the director of social development centre at the ministry.

Nyaruguru: Private institutions urged to buy treasury bonds

Nyaruguru: Private institutions urged to buy treasury bonds

Member of the private sector in Nyaruguru district have been urged to buy treasury bonds which promotes saving culture and help the government in development plans.

The government embarked on a Treasury bond program in a bid to boost the capital market development and fund infrastructure projects. The primary objective is to increase and diversify participants in the Treasury Bond Market.

Gasana revealed that sometimes the government has little money compared to what is needed to undertake some development projects.

“This is why the government auctions treasury bonds for interested buyers as a way of helping the holders save as well as be part of national economic development” he explained.

He also explained that Treasury bond helps the investor to get annual interest on the amount invested and is guaranteed to sell her shares at anytime.

“Apart from saving, one lends to the government and benefits from the economic development through the bonds,” he said.

Faustin Mazimpaka, head of Tea growers’ cooperative in Nshili-Kivu in Nyaruguru district the treasury bond is another way of saving for long term interest and contributing to the development of the country.

“To me, it’s one way of saving and investing in the activities meant to bring national economic development,” he added.

“It all depends on how one earns. Farmers for example cannot afford Treasury bond denomination of Rwf100, 000. But for others that might need to invest money in property, treasury bonds is the way to go,” said Mazimpaka.

Jean Leonard Murego, from National Bank of Rwanda (BNR)

Jean Leonard Murego, from National Bank of Rwanda (BNR)

The government of Rwanda issued Rwf15 billion treasury bond with a seven-year maturity period.

This move is in line with the renewed government commitment to revive the bond market. Proceeds from the bond will be used to finance infrastructure projects as well to develop the capital market.

“The main challenge is that seven-years is a long period yet most people earn less to make such a big investment,” he added.

The bond target market is domestic, regional and international investors. On the local stage the bond targets banks, investment groups, Umurenge SACCOs, Micro-Finance Institutions, Cooperative Banks, Insurance companies, Pension Funds among others.

Vital decision to propel  entrepreneurial businesses

Rob Shallenberger

Taking right decisions helps the entrepreneur to minimize risks that would cripple the growth of their business, experts have revealed.

Rob Shallenberger, CEO and Senior Consultant for Becoming Your Best says that  entrepreneurs as leaders and mangers should ensure that   their decision impact positively   in their journey towards creating their dream businesses.

“A solid plan begins with a clear vision of the desire outcome, As clear vision helps determine the goal and  keeps the  plan  focused on the  desired  result, “  he said  during the   becoming your  Best  training for  Rwandan  youth in Kigali  on  Thursday

The training organized by Ministry of youth and ICT and the young entrepreneurs chamber   aims at  equipping young leaders and  entrepreneurs  with tools that  would enable  them  be  part of the   ambitious  goals the  country  set to   leapfrog the economy into  middle income.

“Rwanda needs these young people to become strong and sustainable entrepreneurs and leaders, and it needs to leverage its greatest resource: the human capacity of these young people,” said Lydie Hakizimana, Chairwoman Young Entrepreneurs Chamber

She adds, “We need partners to expose and empower today’s young Rwandan leaders on best practices and skills in the 21st century’s leadership.”

She says that adding that “Setting clear expectations can lead to increased accountability and a clear understanding of what is to be accomplished.”

Experts advise that the entrepreneur’s ultimate desire will  help  in  driving the  goals of their   businesses, as their vision  on other hand  describes the  culture they  wish to  establish  in their  organization.

“When you learn to employ the power of knowledge in positive ways, you become trusted, you can be given more responsibility, you can improve your financial opportunities and you fell a greater sense of satisfaction,” said Shallen berger

Experts   believe that   shaping one’s character as well as setting a clear vision would help entrepreneurs develop   international   corporates and organizations which would therefore foster the private sector growth of the country.

“A test of character isn’t   how you  responding  when things are going well, but  how  you respond when  things  get  tough  and the pressure  is  high,” hesaid adding that “Through   learning and hard work, you can become thebest atwhat you do.”

The training comes at the time when   efforts to foster youth entrepreneurship faces setbacks as most youth looks more of capital than  developing their  idea  into fundable and profitable  business.

Nyabihu: Savings culture credited with changing lives

Savings culture

For most of his active years,Jean De Dieu Nzasabimanabo spent almost every penny he earned without saving for the next day. In personal finance, it’s the little things that seem to have the biggest impact, Jean De Dieu Nzasabimanabo; 27 from Bigogwe sector in Nyabihu district was a bicycle driver before he acquired a motorcycle through saving.

Like “Save now for a better future”, a theme for savings week that started on 25th October 2014; But about five years ago, Nzasabimanabo, decided to change the course of his life and that of his family.

He says that saving little by little helped him to buy a motorcycle. Nzasabimanabo, who started with a bicycle to earn a living in 2006, had no idea on saving until Umurenge Sacco was introduced.

“I could pay Rwf500 to the bicycle owner every day and save Rwf400. After years of saving, I purchased a motorcycle that generates more money to take care of my needs,” he disclosed.

After opening a savings

“After opening a savings account in Sacco, I applied for Rwf1.2 million loan which I used to purchase a motorcycle”

Though he declined to delve into details of his savings, Nzasabimanabo said he was able to “emerge from poverty” in the recent past

Jean Claude Uwitonze AMIR, in charge of Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and Sacco’s revealed that without saving and working with financial institutions, it’s very difficult  to achieve fast development.

“Saving is the fast way to fast social economic development,” he said.

Abdullatif Twahirwa, mayor of Nyabihu district said that savings increased from over Rwf700 million to Rwf1.3 billion.

Nzasabimanabo explains that financial literacy campaigns opened his eyes and given him a chance to discover new opportunities.

He has started working with financial institutions and secured loans on several occasions that he has used to expand his investments.

And like him, so many residents have emerged out of poverty thanks to efforts to encourage them to embrace the savings culture. The testimony comes at a time when Rwanda is marking a special Savings Week that is aimed at educating the public about the importance of saving for their future and that of the country’s economy in general.

The Savings Week, which is being marked under the theme; “Save now for a better future”, kicked off on Monday ahead of the World Savings Day due October 31.

Umurenge SACCOs largely contributed to the 72% financial inclusion in 2012 and they are expected to include many more people into the formal financial services arena.

About 1.3 million peo­ple are members of Umurenge SACCO country wide.

 

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