EDITORIAL: Inculcating a savings culture is everyone’s responsibility

THE Government has reiterated its commitment to raise the savings rate from the current 10.2 per cent to 20 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product by 2020. This was revealed by the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Claver Gatete while launching the 2017 Savings Week in Kigali, on Monday.

THE Government has reiterated its commitment to raise the savings rate from the current 10.2 per cent to 20 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product by 2020.

This was revealed by the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Claver Gatete while launching the 2017 Savings Week in Kigali, on Monday.

Indeed, for Rwanda to achieve its growth objectives, the current savings culture must be significantly boosted because there’s no country that transforms without savings.

Concerned stakeholders must ensure that all possible channels are explored to ensure that we have more people who save.  If more Rwandans save, the country’s economy will be more vibrant and grow faster.

However, this calls for more concerted efforts to sensitise communities at all levels about the benefits of saving.

We should use the Savings Week that’s running under the theme, Our Savings, Our Wealth, to reflect on our savings habits and how we can improve them at the individual level.

Although the savings statistics are encouraging, we are still far from the ideal. According to the 2016 Finscope Survey, around 5.1 million individuals in Rwanda save. This includes all forms of savings, through formal and informal channels.

The current initiatives in place to spur savings and significantly raise the level of financial literacy and savings in the country should be enhanced.

They include the National Financial Education Programme, village savings and credit groups and associations, as well as capital market authority, banks and insurance companies.

However, statistics show that people are saving for the short-term rather than for long-term. More focus should be on sensitising people to make long-term savings, which consequently supports investment for economic growth and increased productivity at the household and national levels.