09 January 2013

Tremendous growth in savings culture in Rwanda

The percentage of Rwandans aged 18 and beyond who have opened saving accounts has increased from 9.2% in 2005/2006 to 20.6% in 2010/2011, just a growth rate of 11.4% in a period of five years only.

Even though the number of women aged 18 years old and over  is bigger than the number of men with the same age group (according to population projection), the number of women having saving accounts is still lower comparing to the number of men. In 2010/2011, women aged 18 years and more having a saving account were 13.9% against 28.7% for men, a difference of 14.8%.

This difference has increased over five years because it was only 9% in 2005/2006. By that time, the percentage of men aged 18+ years was 14.1% vs 5.1% for women. 

Based on geographical location, officials’ statistics show that the numbers of people in rural area who own a saving account have increased from 6.8% in 2005/2006 to 18.2% in 2010/2011, while the proportion of urban population having a saving account which was 20.3% in 2005/2006 increased up to 33.2% in 2010/2011.

This trend shows how faster the growth rate of people having saving accounts has been increasing in urban areas than in rural areas over the last five years. During this period, a growth rate was 12.9% in urban areas against 11.4% in rural areas.

The City of Kigali is the leading province regarding the growth rate of people having the saving accounts, from 21.9% in 2005/2006 to 37.3% in 2010/2011, which means a growth rate of 15.4%. The Western Province has a smallest growth of the percentage of people aged 18 years and more having a saving account, from 8.4% in 2005/2006 to 17.3% in 2010/2011, a growth rate of 8.9% in five years.

On the other hand,   the deposits are also increasing which indicates that the saving accounts are regularly exploited. Data from the National Bank of Rwanda indicates that the deposits were 268.2 billions of RwF in 2006 and have been 525.5 billions of RwF, which corresponds to a growth rate of 163.81% of deposits in last five years.

As long as the saving culture is positively linked to the economic growth, the necessity of opening saving accounts is crucial enough to allow bank users benefit from services offered by bank operators and uphold Rwanda throughout its steps toward sustainable development.


(1) BNR, Rwanda Monetary Survey (2012), 

Page views: 68