4 December 2012

Rwanda: Umwalimu Sacco Gets Rwf30 Billion Boost

The Teachers' Savings and Credit Cooperative, Umwalimu Sacco, has received Rwf30bn from the government meant to ensure that teachers can access more loans.

Speaking at Sacco's general assembly last Friday, its Managing Director, Joseph Museruka, observed that this will further bolster the cooperative's capacity to come up with more products for teachers.

The meeting brought together teachers' representatives from across the country as well as its board of directors to chart draft plans for next year.

"Since any other financial institution's capacity to serve members' interests depends on financial capacity, I am sure that the challenges that we have been meeting especially in fulfilling our members' demands shall be minimised," Museruka said.

He explained that despite the cooperative's achievements in the last four years of its operations, it has enhanced its capacity to serve its members efficiently.

The cooperative grants loans to teachers at a low interest rate to enable them to set up small income generating projects to supplement their income.

Museruka explained that in addition to this, the cooperative will also further lower its interest rate to enable teachers to repay their loans without a glitch. Currently, the sacco charges a 14 percent interest rate but plans are underway to cut it to 11 percent.

Teachers can access loans of up to Rwf 15 million depending on their salary. The sacco's officials further revealed that they are targeting Rwf1billion profits in order to offer loans to more teachers.

Records from the sacco's credit department indicate that between January to June this year, it gave out loans worth Rwf10 billion to over 60,000 teachers. This saw the cooperative alter its budget from Rwf 13 billion up to Rwf 19 billion with a target to lendout 120,000 loans that range from salary advances to mortgage facilities.

Theogene Batumika, the education officer at Bwira Sector, Ngororero District however regretted that teachers do not usually get the loans they request for.

"I think with the new government support, the tendency by our cooperative to always reduce on the much we request for will be no more," Batumika told The New Times after the meeting.

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