Students participating in the ongoing 5th Capital Market University Challenge have vowed to promote the savings culture among young people, saying it is essential for the country’s banking sector to increase deposits to fund development initiatives.
The annual competition is organised by Capital Market Authority (CMA) in collaboration with the Rwanda Stock Exchange, Economic Policy Research Network, and the International Association of Students in Economic and Commercial Science (AISEC), the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Rwanda, and Rwanda National Investment Trust.
According to Fabrice Iradukunda, a student at University of Rwanda, Huye campus, the competition has enabled university students to understand the role the capital market plays in mobilising savings and investment funds.
“I will encourage other students to embrace the savings culture by investing through the stock market,” he said.
Iradukunda is member of University of Rwanda, Huye campus’ Vision Quest Club that, last week, emerged winners of Southern Province edition of the Capital Market University Challenge. The club will represent the province at the finals of the 5th edition of Capital Market University Challenge scheduled for March 26 at Kigali Serena Hotel, where the top performers will also be awarded.
Delice Umutoni, from ULK Gisenyi, who is part of the Save for the Purpose team that will represent Western Province, said the group encourages “friends and family” to regularly save and invest through available products, like RNIT Iterambere Fund.
Safi Uwase, of University of Rwanda’s College of Agriculture, Animal Sciences and Veterinary Medicine student, said it is crucial for young people to embrace a savings culture, “that way they will be able to raise capital for their future business”.
Uwase’s Striker group won the regional competition and will represent Northern Province at the national finals. She said the group will start mobilising other students to form savings and investment clubs, arguing that this will enable them to be self-reliant and promote entrepreneurship among young graduates.
Eric Mutabazi, a student from University of Rwanda Nyagatare campus belongs to Iterambere Group, which qualified for national finals as representatives of Eastern Province, urged young people to take advantage of the different products on the local capital market to safeguard their future.
Rwanda is targeting to raise its savings to GDP ratio to 20 per cent by 2020, up from 10.2 per cent as of October last year “to trigger investment of 30 per cent of GDP”.
The capital market industry regulator is currently working to create an ecosystem to fast-track and sustain economic growth by attracting more people to save and invest through the local bourse.
According to Eric Bundugu, the CMA acting executive director, teams from Southern, Northern, Western and Eastern provinces have been selected to participate in the national finals.
“All the participants from the four provinces were excited and promised to form savings clubs “as they have learnt how saving is important for them and the country generally. Many of them said they would save and invest through the capital market,” Bundugu added.
The annual competition is part of the public education and awareness campaigns conducted by CMA and other stakeholders. The competition is aimed at instilling the culture of saving and investment among university students, as well as exposing them to the opportunities the capital market industry presents students as future professionals and investors.”
The competition includes quiz and essay writing categories, and the winners will be awarded in the form of shares. Overall winning team in the quiz category will bag Rwf1.5 million worth of shares in one of the firms listed on the local bourse, while first runners-up will pocket Rwf1.2 million, and the second runners-up Rwf800,000. The winners of the essay writing category will pocket Rwf500,000, Rwf300,000 for the second, while the third winner will get Rwf200,000.
The Challenge kicked off on March 6 and ends on March 26. It has attracted 1,200 students from 33 universities and other higher learning institutions countrywide.