Cooperative Bank Set to Start Operations Soon

President Kagame speaking to thousands of members of the Rwanda Cooperatives during the Cooperative Day in Kigali, July 12, 2014

The proposed Cooperative Bank is scheduled to start operations very soon, KTPress has reliably learnt.

“It has not been easy. But within a month from now, we can predict that the bank will start operations,” said Gilbert Habyarimana – Director General of Rwanda Cooperative Agency(RCA).

In July 2014, President Kagame ordered Trade and Industry Minister to establish a cooperative bank following a request from 2,500 cooperative members who had met him in the capital Kigali.

Since then, Rwanda Cooperative Agency(RCA), Trade Ministry and concerned authorities have been working around the clock to see that the bank starts operations.

For such a bank to be established, the investor must have Rwf5 billion ($6 million) – according to Rwanda’s Central Bank provisions.

An approximate 8,000 members of the cooperative have already contributed 60% of the investment for the bank to start operations.

Jean Damascene Hamisi, the head of RCA in Western Province previously told KT Press that community-based micro-finance institutions such as Savings and Credit Cooperatives, commonly known as Umurenge SACCOs and others have been courted to take up the 40% share in the bank.

There are 480 Saccos across the country. This means that if a cooperative bank is established, it will need no resources to set up branches.

According to RCA Director General, technical process is underway to test the installation of IT materials to equip Saccos with the needed capacity.

“Technical testing is underway in collaboration with Central Bank, management of Saccos and IT experts. We are also working on the Business model to ensure efficient operation of the bank,” Habyarimana told KT Press.

“Within a month from now, we will be able to determine what the bank misses to start operations,” he added.

If all Saccos are fully integrated into the new Cooperative Bank, they can raise more than the needed Rwf2 billion (40%) for the bank to operate.

According to Hamisi “The money currently transacted in all Saccos is worth over Rwf70 billion ($83million). We are also engaging other capable micro-finance institutions to join the race and have a share in the available 40%.”




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