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93% Adult Rwandans Are Financially Included – FinScope Survey 2020




 According to the FinScope 2020 survey, 93% of Rwandan adults are financially included in terms of accessing and using both formal and informal financial products.

The inclusion has jumped from 89% in 2016, 72% in 2012, and 48% in 2008.

In the new survey, conducted by Access to Finance Rwanda (AFR) levels of financial inclusion vary from 99% in Gasabo district to about 83% in Rusizi district.

The report is a yardstick that measures how Rwandans are financially included and progress made towards narrowing gaps.

The survey indicates a narrowing gender gap in financial inclusion with only 8% of women excluded compared to 7% of male counterparts.

The report underscores that youth within the age range of 16 – 24 years are the most financially excluded at 18%, significantly higher compared to the national average of 7% exclusion.

About 77% of the Rwandan population access and use formal financial products, including those that are provided by the banking sector and other from formal but non-bank financial institutions such as insurance firms, mobile network operators, Microfinance institutions/SACCOs, etc.

About 36% (from 26% in 2016, 23% in 2012 and 14% in 2008) of adults in Rwanda are banked. The proportion of adults that are banked range from 80% in Gasabo district to only 8% in Ngororero district.

Banked population growth has increased by 1.1 million since 2016.

About 25% of banked adults use digital financial tools up from 6% in 2016. About 75% of adults in Rwanda use other formal (non-bank) financial products/services.

These financial services increase overall levels of formal inclusion.

The informal sector continues to play a significant role in financial inclusion and increasing product portfolio choices with about 78% of adults in Rwanda using informal financial services mainly through saving groups (ibimina).

The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana, said that financial inclusion is one of the core drivers of an inclusive economy, and the government has invested significantly in removing systemic barriers to the uptake of financial services.

The Minister launched the survey on Friday afternoon.

He added that “the FinScope survey shows that there has been tremendous improvement in financial inclusion. The work is not over yet. The objective is to achieve 100% financial inclusion by 2024 so I encourage everyone involved to keep the momentum.”

The FinScope Rwanda survey is a nationally representative demand-side survey conducted every 4 years to address the need for credible financial sector information.

It offers insights to guide policymakers, regulators, and financial service providers in terms of how to address or respond to existing challenges, monitoring, and reviewing the financial inclusion target.

The first FinScope Rwanda Survey was conducted in 2008, driven by a lack of credible information to guide policy interventions and financial service providers in their efforts to expand the reach and depth of the Rwanda financial system.

The main objective of the FinScope Survey is to indicate the levels of financial inclusion; define the landscape of access; identify the drivers of, and barriers to financial access; assess trends or changes over time and provide information on new opportunities for increased financial inclusion

AFR, on behalf of the government, commissioned follow-up surveys in 2012, 2016, and 2020.

The latter illustrates how many adult Rwandans are financially included, specifically aligning the levels of inclusion to the revised National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) and to report any changes since the last FinScope survey.

Major takeaways 

  1. Mobile money: About 87% (6.2 million adults) in Rwanda have access to a mobile phone with females (84%) having lower access compared to men (90%). Around 3 in 5 (61%) adults use mobile money and more males (68%) have mobile money accounts as compared to women (56%). Key barriers to
    the uptake of mobile money.
  2. Formally served: About 77% (5.5 million adults) in Rwanda have/use formal financial products/ services, including banking sector and other formal (nonbank) financial products/services from insurance firms, mobile network operators, etc.
  3. Informally served: In total, about 78% of adults in Rwanda use informal mechanisms (5.6 million individuals). Around 80% of women belong to a savings group or use informal mechanisms to manage their financial needs and about 20% of adult women rely ONLY on informal financial devices compared to 12% of men counterparts.
  4. Banked: About 36% (2.6 million individuals) of adults in Rwanda are banked or are using banking services.
  5. Insurance and risk mitigation: Only 17% of adults have insurance products, (around 1.2 million, increasing from 0.5 million since 2016). Slightly more males (19%) are insured compared to their female counterparts (15%). Insurance in Rwanda is driven by medical insurance.


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    June 4, 2020 at 10:15 pm

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Airtel Rwanda Partners With Canal+ To Ease Payment Of Subscription Fees Via Airtel Money



Airtel Rwanda and Canal+ Rwanda have launched a partnership, enabling customers to easily make subscription payments.

The partnership announced at a joint press conference today provides clients of both CANAL+ and Airtel a simpler, instant and secure payments method using Airtel Money.

CANAL+ Rwanda is the subsidiary of CANAL+INTERNATIONAL, TV operator by satellite in Africa and present in over  25 African countries.

CANAL+ Rwanda have a trilingual package with 200 channels in French, Kinyarwanda and English and it offers accessible bouquet starting from 5,000 Francs with a distribution network throughout the country.

Speaking at the launch event, Airtel Rwanda Managing Director, Mr. Emmanuel Hamez said “We are delighted to launch this new service on our Airtel Money platform we welcome all Canal+ customers to enjoy the convenience and simplicity offered by Airtel Money both on the USSD as well as in the My Airtel App”.

The new service that was launched today comes on the heels of an ongoing Airtel Money campaign called Free P2P which enables all Airtel Money customers to send and receive any amount of money for FREE.

“Free P2P or Ohereza Amafaranga Ku Buntu was launched in June 2021 saw Airtel scrap all charges to send and receive money between customers, a major differentiator that positions Airtel Money to become the provider of choice when it comes to payment of good and services such Canal+ that we have launched today” added Hamez.

Canal+ Rwanda’s Managing Director, Madam Sophie TCHATCHOUA said “It gives me great pleasure to allow Canal+ client to renew their subscription with Airtel Money. The successful integration of our mutual services makes life easier for our beloved customers who can now recharge and seamlessly have their images back and all this can be done from the comfort of their home”.

To renew your subscription via Airtel Money, customers can simply dial the direct short code string *500*4*3*2*4*1# on either their smartphone on feature phone, input their 14 Digit of their decoder  number, select their preferred bouquet and make the payment which is recognized by the Canal+ billing system instantly.

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Hundreds Of Passengers Miss Flight In Uganda Due To Delayed COVID-19 Tests



Hundreds of Ugandans have been left stranded at Entebbe International Airport by the Emirates Airways after the laboratory where they had taken their Covid-19 results delayed to return them on time.

In a Snapchat post by Ugandan socialite Sheila Gashumba, she ranted, ‘’When I tell Ugandans that Covid in Uganda is a business they say I have ‘kajanja’.

Now all Emirates passengers have missed their flights because Safari Lab sent Covid results at 2:45pm and Emirates closed its gate at 3pm.

The hospital said it couldn’t work on everyone in the short time.

Around 300 passengers missed their flight yet Safari Lab had made a total of UgSh75m since everyone had paid UGX 250,000 for the test.

In the video where all passengers were visibly angry and frustrated, they can be heard asking for what the solution is and who is going to pay for the tickets again now that those that they had paid for can no longer be used anymore.

Passengers expressed their frustration at the rot in the service.

“I experienced such thing in March as the officers in charge claimed that the gates were close at 1pm as the flight was at 3pm,” one twitter user said.

Some made jokes out of it and asked, if this was because of the US$10 tax that is in the process of being introduced and will be paid by anyone that leaves the country using the Entebbe International Airport.

Another twitter user @kasoxialex2000 asked, ‘’@UgandaCAA (Uganda Civil Aviation Authority), but seriously you guys when you move to some airports don’t you copy something? Why are we ever backwards??? Stop embarrassing us. Who will save Uganda’’
By press time there was no official communication from the Civil Aviation Authority, Safari Lab nor Emirates Airways.

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Kagame Tells Bankers, Banking Can’t Just Be “Service For Elites”



Banking can’t just be a service for elites, President Paul Kagame has said.  He made the remarks while speaking at the 14th Annual Banking and Finance Conference in Nigeria that he attended virtually.

Running under the theme, ‘’Economic Recovery, Inclusion and Transformation: The Role of Banking and Finance’’, the two-day conference will aim at the need to reposition the Finance and Banking sector as a catalyst for Economic recovery, transformation and inclusive growth.

In his remarks, he noted how the Covid pandemic has affected every aspect of Africa’s economies but at the same time also presents an opportunity for African banks to play a leading role in making societies more resilient and more responsive to the needs of Africans.

‘’Whatever affects business, affects banking. Financial services are the engine of private sector development. Banks are crucial for allocating capital wisely and productively,’’ he further added.

President Kagame noted that, in order to stay competitive, there is need to keep integrating new technology into banking to increase financial inclusion and access as banking can’t just be a service of elites.

He also went ahead to reemphasize what he has always said when it comes to African states always depending on the West and other countries for support. ‘’Indeed, Africa has the resources to fund its own economic growth and reduce dependence on external resources,’’ he said.

Kagame also noted that the African Continental Free Trade Area is creating new opportunities for Pan African Trade and investment. ‘’Banks with continental reach, like several of the institutions represented here can lead the way in cementing economic integration.’’

As he concluded, he stated how the banking sector, more than any other, understands the importance of integrity and good customer service. ‘’Banking is ultimately about trust. We look to you to set the pace in this regard. Our role as governments is to maintain good enabling environments, protecting both shareholders and customers while allowing for innovation. We expect you to keep challenging us on this,’’ he said.

In attendance at the same conference was the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Edwin Emefiele who made a huge announcement.  He said, ‘’Central Bank, will, in the next twelve months be establishing the Nigerian International Financial Centre (NIFC). The NIFC will act as an international gateway for capital and investments, driven by technology and payment system infrastructure.’’

In Rwanda, current statistics show that even though there are still various challenges that continue to put women behind men when it comes to financial inclusion, the number of women who are currently banked have risen from 24% in 2016 to 34% in 2021.

This is according to a FinScope 2020 Gender thematic report on the state of women financial inclusion in Rwanda that was supported by Access to Finance Rwanda (AFR).

In one of the Focus Notes from Access to Finance Rwanda, farmers reported that women and men enjoy equal rights and treatment at specified two Financial institutions in the Focus note and therefore no special gender based treatment yet the outcomes of each groups are not equal.

At both Financial Institutions, women and youths are more likely to use loans to hire land farm as they lack access to land and they have been assisted by addressing some of the barriers that women and youth face in accessing loans.

The conference will therefore focus on how banking can be a service enjoyed by all Africans regardless of their financial strengths through making access to finance for development is an easy and smooth process.

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