A 34-year-old business man from Musanze district on Friday won Rwf4million in the “Hirwa savings campaign’ by Acess Bank to promote the savings culture. Ferdinand Nsabimana, a trader in skins and hides was the lucky winner out of 140 eligible people that saved a minimum of Rwf100000 per month with Access Bank.
“We believe that through such campaigns people will be encouraged to save and grow their businesses,” Faustin Rutayisire, the Relationship Manager Access bank said.
Nsabimana said he had saved up Rwf5m with Access Bank since the beginning of the year.
“I am very excited that my efforts to save have finally paid off and now I have the opportunity to re-invest the money in my business so as to grow it further,” the lucky winner said.
He further noted that it’s very important for business people to save and grow their businesses because that way they will create employment for the jobless but most importantly grow the economy through generation of revenues.
Government has embarked on a journey of reducing poverty levels to below 30% and extreme poverty to below 10% by 2017 through the Second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS2).
Jean Claude Karayenzi, Access bank Country Managing Director said that the saving culture is still extremely low affecting the growth of small and medium enterprises.
“It’s imperative that people learn how to save because that’s how we can grow our economy.”
He added that saving help SMEs create a strong capital flow which they can use to acquire credit and expand their business entities.
“It’s normally due to the poor saving culture that small and medium enterprises always find it difficult to acquire credit so as to grow their businesses. Therefore having banks taking on the initiative to encourage people to save and reward those that are saving will have a great impact on the economy,” Rutayisire said.
According to National institute of statistics Rwanda report, saving accounts increased from 9.2% in 2005/2006 to 20.6% in 2010/2011 with growth rate of 11.4% in a period of five years only.
Statistics further indicate that the numbers of people in rural area who own a saving account have increased from 6.8% to 18.2% in the last 5 years while the proportion of urban population having a saving account has increased from 20.3% to 33.2% same period of time.