Though currently there very many Masters’ programmes on offer in different universities, INES Ruhengeri’s Master of Arts in Microfinance is a unique one which comes to help in the area of microfinance.
According to the university’s management, as an Institute of Applied Sciences it is seeking to contribute to the government of Rwanda’s policy of increasing the access of the population to financial services by training specialists in microfinance at the level of master’s degree who will, on return, train other staff in the microfinance sector.
“The government of Rwanda greatly promotes private and public initiatives for the increase of proximity financial services like those provided by MFIs. However, this increasing number of MFIs does not match with the increase of qualified managing staff,” says a statement in which they university announced the stating of the programme in October this year.
They say most of MFIs, including UMURENGE SACCO, some BPR (Banque Populaire du Rwanda) sub branches, and other micro-financial institutions have at their disposal a poorly equipped staff in the management of microcredit portfolio.
Research carried out under the supervision of MINECOFIN and DFID between 2010- 2011 reveals that MFIs are facing the problem of lack of qualified managers in both quantity and quality.
As a result, financial services slow down and this affects the government of Rwanda’s objective to make microfinance a lever of rural economic growth.
This program is expected to benefit from professional experience of many partners of the Microfinance sector with whom INES-Ruhengeri is in collaboration.
These partners are Rwanda Association of Microfinance Institutions (AMIR), Rwanda Cooperative Agency, National Bank of Rwanda, AQUADEV, MINECOFIN and others