Welcome to Our Saving Groups Map

Through this online mapping tool, users will quickly discover patterns, relationships, and trends in a more quantifiable manner and analyze the unique characteristics that make the Rwandan financial sector from the supply end.

Saving Groups in Rwanda


Savings groups are social groups formed by different promoters to help people within the same community especially low-income people to come out of poverty. These people are mobilized into groups of 20–30 people that save an agreed amount of money – known as the share amount – on weekly basis; a member can save up to five times the share amount. From these resources the group will lend members up to three times the amount they have saved, which they pay back over a short period of time (typically three months) with interest.

FinScope 2012 and 2016 studies revealed that 30% of the Rwandan population uses informal mechanism to access financial services hence bringing to light the important role saving groups are playing NOT ONLY in the lives of the poor people but also in the entire financial market spectrum. Saving groups are believed to build the financial literacy and financial capability of its members.

AFR in collaboration with SG promoters and MINECOFIN, worked together on the development of a Savings groups map to display or demonstrate the status of the savings groups and understand the contribution of SGs to financial inclusion ( volume of savings mobilized and loans disbursed ) covering a period from 2010-2014.This map will support in terms of providing additional financial intervention to the members of these groups.

A total of 12 International NGOs and 30 Local NGOs also dubbed Saving Groups practitioners were surveyed. The subsequent results showed that between 2010 and 2014 a total of 28,023 saving groups were created, among the created groups there is 2 categories of SGs: Supervised (SGs that are still being monitored on a regular basis) and Graduated (SGs that are independently carrying out their activities)




Saving Groups Practitioners at a glance


Saving Groups are formed with the support of local implementing partners funded most of the time by international NGOs. Savings groups received financial education, nutrition, health trainings among others depending on the institution methodology.

Savings group’s data are collected quarterly and data are saved either using the SAVIX software or an excel sheet.

Among the listed International NGOs 2 don’t have any physical presence in Rwanda and thus operate through a local NGO. Those International NGOs are HAC & KNH that are locally represented by AEE while all the remaining ones have physical presence.


Membership Distribution


The total SGs membership was evaluated at 669,751members with an average of 23.9 members per Saving Group. Females only make 80.1% of the total SGs members while Males make 19.9%. The female predominance is caused by the fact that many projects through which most SGs were formed targeted females financial inclusion.

The average membership in all International NGOs fluctuated between 20 and 25 and could hit the maximum of 30 members per SG except few hundred Saving Groups that exceeded 30 members per Group and could go up toa maximum of 50 members per SG.

This survey took into account SGs that were formed between 2010 and 2014. According to the recorded data the trend in terms Saving Groups uptake has been increasing year in, year out in the last four years. If we compare SGs that were formed in 2010 (2,459 SGs) to those that were formed in 2014 (9,826 SGs), there was 399.5% increment in a span of 4 years. If compared with the Rwandan adult population (from 16 years old onwards), the members of Saving Groups make 11.4% of the Rwandan adult population (5,846,266 People. Source: Rwanda Fourth Population and Housing Census, 2012)

Savings & Outstanding Loans


Of the 12 International NGOs that were surveyed 7 use the SAVIX platform which only records the accumulative savings in the current year (in this case 2014) and outstanding loans as of the last quarter of the current year (December 2014).

All other practitioners that couldn’t provide data in compliance with the aforementioned criteria were omitted and were consequently marked N/A. As a result, HOPE International’s SGs don’t have any information regarding either Savings or Outstanding Loans segregated at the province, district, and the sector level, they however provided the total of both the savings and outstanding loans as of 2014 at the national level. This also applied to World Relief Rwanda whereby despite the fact that they use the SAVIX, they wouldn’t provide Outstanding Loans data as of the last quarter of 2014 segregated according to Rwanda’s geo-political structure, they provided the total outstanding loans of their SGs as of December 2014 at the national level.

In the infographics below, we have two representations of both savings and outstanding loans as of December 2014. On the left both datasets are segregated by provinces, HOPE data (Savings & Outstanding Loans) and World Relief Rwanda (Outstanding Loans) as of 2014 weren’t considered due to the reason mentioned above nevertheless in the table found in the infographic on the right, both Outstanding Loans and Savings at the national level for all international NGOs considered in this survey are mentioned hence the difference in numbers on both infographics.