Rwanda’s most innovative microfinance institutions will be recognised by the Association of Microfinance Institutions in Rwanda (AMIR) at La Palisse Hotel in Kigali, today.
The awards are part of the ongoing activities to celebrate Rwanda microfinance week across the country.
This is the first time the day is being celebrated in Rwanda, and according to Peter Rwema, the Association’s executive sectary, the awards seek to encourage market players to embrace product innovation, efficiency and financial discipline.
“As part of the celebrations, we are awarding institutions that exhibited best practices in credit administration and client protection; other institutions to be awarded are those that have endeavoured to embrace new products and credit development plus savings products including new technologies that promote financial inclusion,” Rwema told The New Times.
Mean while, as part of the celebrations, the association engaged market players on the causes and solutions to the bad loans which have affected the growth of the sector.
So far the exercise has been conducted in more than 27 districts, thanks to the support of the German savings bank foundation for international cooperation (SBFIC).
“We have met with all MFIs and SACCO managers operating in 27 districts to discuss the way forward on causes of nonperforming loans. The idea is to try and find concrete solutions by involving all stake holders, “AMIR’s senior advocacy and communications officer, Damascene Hakuzimana said.
Hakuzimana revealed that findings are pointing at policy and laws that govern the sector and the borrowers, as the main cause of bad loans in the sector.
“However, we believe solutions may include amending some of the laws and policies governing the sector especially on loan recovery procedures,” Hakuzimana said.
As part of the celebrations, AMIR also awarded journalists who exhibited excellence in microfinance reporting.
The Association has also signed MOUs with three radio stations to boost awareness and advocacy on the importance of saving towards national development.
Rwanda’s microfinance sector is comprised of 13MFIs and 416 UMURENGE SACCOs. According to National Bank of Rwanda (BNR), the sector’s assets grew by 23.8% from Rwf128.7bn in December 2013 to Rwf159.3bn in December 2014.