The National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) has urged all Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) in the country to join the Financial Institutes Chamber (FIC).
The chamber is an advocacy body for financial institutions in the country. It exists under the Private Sector Federation (PSF).
François Kanimba, the Governor of BNR stressed that should MFIs fail to join FIC voluntarily, government may be forced to make it a requirement before they are licensed.
He reasoned that when MFIs work under one organised body, it would stimulate fast economic development.
Government is pushing for MFI’s to join FIC partly because the chamber encourages professionalism and competitiveness through capacity building, advocacy and source funding for business development.
The initiative comes after data from central bank suggests that over 600,000 Rwandans have accounts with MFIs. Commercial banks share the 200,000 clients.
The governor also urged FIC to sensitise and encourage its members to pool resources and participate in listing on capital market of Rwanda to increase their liquidity, and also encouraged MFIs to adopt modern banking systems.
To empower MFIs, government has sourced support from World Bank. "About $650,000 will be injected in building capacities of MFI players," Kanimba said.
He also said government is to inject Frw2 billion annually in subsidising MFIs operation in the country to contain low interest rates.