People having bank accounts are still few in Burundi, says RIM

In a press briefing held on August 8th, the Network of Microfinance Institutions in Burundi-RIM has said a high number of people still don’t have accounts in microfinance institutions and banks in Burundi.

Bernard Kinyata “A high number of Burundians still don’t have accounts in microfinance institutions and banks”

“Over 70 % of Burundians do not have accounts in banks or microfinance institutions,” says Bernard Kinyata, Chairman of the board of directors of the Network of Microfinance Institutions in Burundi-RIM. People who have accounts in banks or microfinance institutions are about 27 % of the Burundian population.

He says the majority of microfinance institutions are settled in Bujumbura city, what hinders many people from having access to financial services. “Some microfinance institutions do not have professional personnel,” he adds.

Mr. Kinyata also says that microfinance institutions don’t have sufficient financial means reason why they cannot establish their offices in all the areas of the country.
For him, some microfinance staff should be trained so they can work professionally to satisfy the needs of their clients.

He says that activities of sensitization will be organized so people can join microfinance institutions especially to help farmers to have access to credits and loans.
Mr. Kinyata also says that RIM has launched the mobile banking system to reduce the journey many people take while going to microfinance institutions and banks as they will create accounts by their mobile phones.

“Microfinance institutions should put forward the interests of the community beyond theirs,” says Willy Hatungimana, Country Director of ICCO Cooperation, an inter-church organization for development and cooperation.

He says that ICCO Cooperation works with microfinance institutions so people especially those living in rural areas can have access to loans and credits.
“There are poor people who are economically active. We help them to form cooperatives,” says Mr. Hatungimana adding that rural people especially farmers can easily get loans when they are grouped into cooperatives.

He says ICCO Cooperation plans to launch the micro-insurance system so people can conduct insured developmental activities.

The press briefing was organized on the occasion of the week dedicated to microfinance in Burundi, 2nd edition.