I read Rama Isibo’s article in yesterday’s issue of The New Times with interest. Titled “The pension gap and why Rwandans save less” it was a good read; however, one major problem was that it was a mite too complex.
Very often we, the so-called ‘intellectual class’ overdo things and make matters even more confusing than we found them. I think I can tell you why Rwandans don’t save.
Its because we have nothing to save. We earn ‘peanuts’ and because most of our goods are imported, we have to pay even more than we would have if they were produced locally. Then there is the taxation system. I think its ridiculous that someone earning less than two hundred dollars has to pay the same percentage of income tax (30%) as someone who earns thousands of dollars.
Throw in the fact that house prices, and rent is sky high because of the inflationary effect of thousands of expatriates, then one starts to understand why we can’t save. Rwandans don’t have a genetic predisposition that makes us allergic to savings accounts but we merely cannot.
Not with school fees, groceries, fuel costs, rent, wedding contributions and os on, and go forth. I wish I could say that I didn’t save because I chose to buy designer clothes but that is far from the reality.