Access to Finance Rwanda is a company promoting access to financial inclusion in Rwanda.
Who we are Access to Finance Rwanda (AFR) is a Rwandan investment company established in 2010...
Promotion of Innovative Financial Approaches in Rwanda Although the level of financial...
What we offer AFR’s overall goal is to increase access to financial services by developing the...
Although the level of financial exclusion in Rwanda has decreased significantly since 2008, 1.3 million Rwandan adults are still financially excluded.
According to Rwanda FinScope 2012, 66% of adults who used formal financial products also used informal mechanisms. Overall access from informal institutions increased from 39% in 2008 to 58% by 2012. The setback with informal financial mechanisms is that they mostly avail basic short-term savings and credit facilities that can only meet consumption or limited working capital requirements.
At institutional level, most MFIs offer savings and credit products to their clients that do not necessary meet their financial need with only very limited diversification and specialisation. To ensure effective use of financial services and to increase the use of alternative delivery channels and technology, there is a need to improve the capacity of financial institutions so that they are able to deliver services more effectively and efficiently, to improve coordination and information flow within the financial sector, and to improve financial education in Rwanda.
In response to these challenges, AFR aims at building institutional capacity of financial institutions to deliver products and services suited for the needs of the population and their enterprises. Other interventions include supporting financial education and improving policy coordination and dialogue within the financial sector and between the financial sector and the productive sectors.
AFR supports several initiatives that lead to the strengthening of the banking and microfinance sector in Rwanda. This involves support aimed at institutional strengthening and capacity building among members of the Rwanda Bankers Association (RBA) and the Association of Microfinance Institutions Rwanda (AMIR).
Credit information sharing has significant potential to reduce transactions costs in finance. AFR supports various initiatives aimed at increasing public awareness and usage of the services offered by the CRB.
AFR supports initiatives aimed at promoting MSME lending. In this respect, AFR supports the training of financial institutions, especially banks, on how to do MSME lending. In addition, AFR continues to support interested financial institutions to develop and strengthen their MSME services.
Through its various strategic and policy documents, the Government of Rwanda emphasises the need to promote financial education (FE) as key to increasing access and use of financial services. AFR supports the development of the National Financial Education Strategy and has embarked on various FE initiatives including the integration of FE into the school curricular for both primary and secondary.
In the past three years, Rwanda has made solid progress towards the greater availability and usage of electronic payments which is shown by the increasing number of services, providers and financial touch points in the country. In 2010, Agency Banking was set up, first with mobile telecommunication companies and later with banks providing much greater access to financial services among the wider population. Agency Banking is a key pillar of AFR and supports the objectives of Vision 2020 and the EDPRS2. AFR also supports the interoperability of electronic financial services which should greatly contribute to simplifying business transactions and promote greater efficiency, effectiveness, convenience and availability of instruments to businesses and individuals in Rwanda.