Why is saving impossible to many?

In Rwanda, like elsewhere in the developing world, people arguably live by the miracle of God.

In Rwanda, like elsewhere in the developing world, people arguably live by the miracle of God.

There is a big gap between the poor and the rich, with a big percentage of the population is living below the poverty line.

It remains a challenge to save,even those with the capacity to save are still enslaved in the traditional belief that the future will care for itself.Linda Mbabazi sought various opinions on saving from Kigali city dwellers.

“Savings are necessary; they activate resources of financial investments hence generating economic growth. Savings depend on three major factors: The capacity to save, willingness to save (which involves culture, and education), and finally the facilities/incentives/products available in the financial sector.”

François Xavier Ngarambe, the Executive Secretary in charge of the Financial Sector Development in the Ministry of Finance.

“Generally, one of the factors that hamper savings is people’s mentality. Rwandans are not used to the culture of savings. Poverty is also another hindrance. A big percent of Rwandans live below the poverty line, thus majority fear to save the little they have, it’s all consumed by domestic needs.

With determination and sacrifice, one can be able to save however little your income maybe.”

Raissa Ines Munezero, Rwanda Commercial Bank (BCR), Kacyiru Branch Manager.

“The main constraint is poverty. Rwandans are poor, yet the costs of living in the entire country are extremely high.
Savings depend on the country’s economic growth.

Currently, Rwanda’s economic growth is low, and the country greatly depends on the external resources. The credit crunch also has affected everyone, and banks don’t have enough money to give out loans.

Though the governor of the National Bank claims that there is money in the bank, it reaches in only a few hands (the rich). They are the ones who easily access to the loans, and invest in bigger business projects, which do not favour the poor.”

Julien Namahoro, Human Resource Manager, Hotel Ninzi Hill

“Rwanda has a strange history, and because of it, people believe in spending all they get for they don’t know what the future holds {Ibyejo bibarwa abejo}.

People don’t understand that the culture of savings is very important yet it’s hard to succeed without saving.”

Pacifique Uzamberumwana, a.k.a Paccy, Rwanda’s upcoming hip hop artist, and a university student.

“Savings depends on one’s income and mindset. The President tells us (Rwandans) to be job creators not job seekers—the idea is good. But people are very poor, and when you start up a business (like selling clothes) you are likely to incur losses because the purchasing power is very low.”

Aimable Hagenimana,


“Rwandans still have an anti-savings mentality and consider that consuming today is more important than planning for the future. Also, the weakness of our financial sector is a very hindering factor to savings.

The government should start a campaign to sensitize people the importance of savings, and also encourage them to invest the money in income generating projects.”

Diane Nkusi, RURA employee, and gospel artist


“The major hindrance to savings is poverty and unemployment. Everything from food, transport, rent to education is very expensive, only the rich can afford. I have a family, I pay rent, and I’m supposed to pay school for my children, yet the kind of business I do does not yield any profits but I instead find myself incurring loses.

Basically, there is no way I can think of savings, yet the little money I get is not enough to solve the domestic problems.”

Cyprian Rukikuna, sells hardware in Kigali city centre. 


“Saving is important, and anyone with serious goals gives it priority. But the million dollar question is, do you have the capacity to save?

Recently, I opened an account in Banque Populaire du Rwanda because I want to buy a motorcycle. But I’m likely to save for years, because I only save the little I can.”

Bernard Ngendahimana, a motorcycle rider.

“I would wish to save but I have nothing to save. My monthly salary is Rfw24000, yet I rent a house of Rfw20, 000 in Kicukiro, a Kigali suburb. I have a family, with four children—who go to school. So, in such a situation how do you expect me to save?”

Ibraham Bizimungu, employee of Shah Jahan, an Indian Hardware shop in town.

“Of course saving is a good policy, it helps develop a business with enough capital, and to solve problems.

The fact that the cost of living in Kigali city, and probably in all other cities of the country is extremely expensive has hindered saving. 

Everything is very expensive! Our government should consider reducing on the prices basic needs, like food.  The banking sector should also play a major role to help even the poor to acquire loans easily.”

Mehboob G. Jasat, works with Magasin Faruki, an Electronics and Home Appliances shop.


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