The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Claver Gatete has called on Rwandans to embrace savings culture as way to increase wealth and sustain economic development.
Speaking at the launch of the 2017 Savings Week, an annual event aimed at sensitizing the public on the importance of savings, Minister Gatete observed that savings vol¬ume accumulated by individuals, enterprises and governments plays a crucial role in achieving sus¬tainable national economic growth.
“We encourage Rwandans to embrace a savings culture especially long term which will support investment for economic growth in the country resulting into higher productivity and wealth not only to individual and household but also to the country at large,” Minister Gatete said.
Themed “Our Savings Our Wealth” the 2017 savings week campaign aims at reminding and educating the public on the importance of saving and exercising money management decisions that best fit the circumstances of one’s life.
According to the 2016 Finscope survey, about 86% (around 5.1 million individuals) of adults in Rwanda save. This includes all forms of savings. Saving through formal institutions currently stands at 49%, showing an increase of 13% from 36% in 2012. The uptake in formal savings has been driven by savings at Umurenge SACCOs which stand at 27% and mobile money savings at 17%.
The 2017 Savings week activities will be conducted at the Institutional level where Financial Institutions, savings groups promoters among other stakeholders will showcase new savings products.
In 2009, the Government of Rwanda adopted saving mobilization strategy and since then savings increased but has not reached the desired level. With this strategy, the target is to increase the level of savings in the country to a rate of 20% of GDP by 2020 in order to trigger an investment rate of 30% of GDP.
The world savings day is an internationally recognized day and is celebrated every October 31st. International Savings day was introduced in 1924 during the international thrift conference in Milan Italy.
Since 2011, savings day is celebrated every year in Rwanda and prior to that day, a special savings week is organized to raise awareness on the importance of saving for an individual as well as national development.