Finally, the hopes for the much anticipated cooperative bank are lustrous after it was announced that its establishment is set for early 2016.
The country’s cooperatives’ regulatory body, Rwanda cooperative Agency-RCA said that the delay was due to some actions which were required for Sacco’s to be part of the cooperative bank.
“The idea of a cooperative bank is still there and its establishment is set for next year,” said Damien Mugabo, director general at Rwanda cooperative Agency told this website on Wednesday.
Rwanda Cooperatives Agency Director General Damien Mugabo
Some of the actions that lead to the delay of the establishment as Mugabo explains include the automation of the Savings and credit cooperatives which would enable them to work with the bank.
“Otherwise a cooperative bank cannot work with saccos that still use manual procedures,” he noted.
Currently, all Saccos still operate under manual procedures which means it is hard for them to be linked to a cooperative bank which is supposed to bring together all the Saccos in the country.
“Saccos should be first of all be automated and this is what we are now doing, and once the automation is complete we will move on for establishment of the bank,” he further noted.
He adds, “We are already working on a business model for the cooperative bank which is a requirement for its establishment”.
The automation of the Saccos is expected to start in the coming two weeks which is estimated to have covered all Saccos in the country before the year ends to pave way for the preparations of the establishment of the bank.
The bank which was expected to begin end of 2014 was later pushed to first quarter of 2015 which paved way for pessimism that the bank may likely not be established.
The government believes that the cooperative bank will bring together all the Saccos and be able to access credit easily as opposed to current establishment under the commercial banks, thus increasing financial inclusion.