Savings in Iterambere Fund have increased from Rwf1.4 billion in 2017 to Rwf4 billion currently, the annual report shows.
Jonathan Gatera, the Chief Executive of Rwanda National Invest Trust Ltd, said the fund has recorded Rwf237.4 million in net profit disbursed to the members.
“The number of investors in the fund have increased to over 26,000 which is an increase of 99 per cent. The annual return on investment has increased from 9.7 per cent to 10.7 per cent and distributed to the members,” he said.
“From Rwf1.4 billion to Rwf4 billion, means that the savings grew by 117.7 per cent. This was possible thanks to outreach initiatives to inculcate a saving culture among Rwandans, especially the low income earners that the fund targets,” he said.
The minimum savings is Rwf2,000 per individual but Gatera said that with people grouping themselves together, the savings amount.
“Of 26,000 investors who have so far saved in the fund, there are about 3,000 individuals while others are individuals grouped in cooperatives, saving associations and other categories,” he said.
Gatera said that the fund invested the savings into different products so as to generate profits.
“The savings were invested in buying treasury bonds. But for an individual to invest in treasury bonds, it requires Rwf100,000 and that is why we collectively invest in bonds so that profit even reaches the one who invested the minimum Rwf2,000 in the fund,” he said.
Other projects in which savings are invested include commercial papers whereby the fund provides loan to a business person to pay back at 12 interest rate for those who do not go to banks.
“The profit that members is excluded from paying any tax. This is an advantage for members compared to banks. We still need more members to join the fund since 26,000 people is still small number compared to over 12 million population in Rwanda,” he noted.
He said the fund will continue to design more products that facilitate people to invest in the fund.
“Today it is very easy to deposit savings by using mobile money. We are working with cooperatives including those of farmers. Each category has the investment opportunity,” he said.
The fund shows that long-term and sustainable savings make huge profits for investors.
If a member saves Rwf20,000 at 10 per cent interest from the fund they could make Rwf4 million in 10 years, Rwf2.3 million in seven years, Rwf1.5 million in 5 years and Rwf836,000 in three years.
Jean Pierre Muhayimana one of the resident from Kayonza district said they have started to save for children through the fund.
“We started as a saving association to prepare the future of our children in terms of education access since we realized that children lack school fees, fail to join university after secondary school and face unemployment issue. If our saving group, puts the money in the fund, we hope that accumulated profits will help the children in the future,” he said.
The saving association dubbed “Teganyiriza umwana loosely translated as save for the children”, he said, has 18 members and have saved Rwf2.5 million which they are investing in Iterambere Fund.
“We save for children from one years old. We want that the fund decentralizes the services so as to reach grass root people in need of the opportunities,” he said.