Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Passport Series: The Microfinance Industry in Rwanda

This week is the second week of our look into Rwanda with the Passport Series! Check out our Country Profile from last week!

Microfinance has been around since the 1970’s and has slowly been expanding to every corner of the world. The first major traces of microfinance appeared in Rwanda in the mid to late 1990’s as part of huge development efforts from International NGOs and Inter-Governmental Organizations. Microfinance was integrated into development plans for Rwanda in their immediate post-genocide reconstruction and the industry has soared since then.

Rwanda is currently home to 7 major MFIs in Rwanda – but there are estimated to be over 200 MFIs including branches and smaller, non-reporting organizations. MixMarket.org reports that there are currently over 45,000 active borrowers in Rwanda with gross loan portfolios over $20.5 million that give an average of $851.70 per loan. For a country with a per capita GDP of about $1200 and with 60% of the population living below the poverty line, you can image the help and new opportunities this offers to Rwandans.

To learn more about some of Kiva field partnerships in Rwanda, check out their Partner pages: Urwego Opportunity Bank , Vision Finance Company, and Amasezarano Community Banking, S.A.. Also, check out all the loans that still need funded from Rwandan entrepreneurs!

For another perspective, check out Kiva Fellow, Austin Harris’ blog post about the rise of Commercial Banking in Microfinance Industry within Rwanda.