22 January 2013

Rwanda: Microfinance Institutions Urged to Embrace IT

Microfinance institutions should embrace the use of information technologies (IT) if they want to be helped by the central bank to monitor and manage their financial operations.

"We want to help our people manage their financial affairs. We have a financial inclusion policy and strategy that sets out our approach to promoting financial inclusion," the Rwanda National Bank governor, Claver Gatete, said.

Rwanda has already started a long-term plan to develop modern IT infrastructure that will accelerate financial inclusion in the country, he added.

The governor was addressing managers of financial institutions and local leaders in Eastern Province over the weekend.

The Eastern Province Governor, Odette Uwamariya, pledged to assist SACCOS embrace information technologies in their operations.

Meanwhile, governor Gatete has said the bank plans to make Rwanda a financial hub in the region, with all the major banks and stock exchanges and other financial services.

He noted that Rwanda was the only country in the region with the highest level quality VISA and MASTER cards, Chip and Pin to authorise transactions, adding that American Visa card would soon be introduced.

"Rwanda can be a regional financial hub...we can improve the country's economy by drawing in more financial transactions and businesses," he said.

The governor also noted that they would establish a commodity exchange programme to ensure the development of an efficient modern trading system.

"We need to transform the tradition bound agriculture by creating a new marketplace that serves all market actors, from farmers and traders to processors, exporters and consumers."

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