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About Umutanguha

Rwanda Map

Umutanguha (meaning a friend who never deceives in the local Kinyarwanda language) is a microfinance organisation with its headquarters in Kigali, Rwanda. It was established in 2003 by the ICYUZUZO widows association and started microfinance activities in 2004 as a single cooperative. In 2006 five co-operatives gathered into a union and widened the range of financial services they offered. In July 2013, the union registered as a limited liability company called ‘Umutanguha Finance Company’.  Umutanguha mainly works in the Western and Southern Provinces of Rwanda.


What is Umutanguha’s mission?

Umutanguha’s mission is to facilitate access to financial services and accompanying non-financial services to all excluded populations, especially those living in rural areas with a particular focus on widows, orphans, youth and women, in order to enable them to save and to create income generating activities through loans. 


What types of financial services does Umutanguha provide?

Umutanguha’s main activities revolve around providing low-income sectors of the population with loans, savings accounts, leasing machinery and equipment, as well as financial education and advice.  It generates income through charging interest on loans. Around 53% of clients are women.


How much interest does Umutanguha charge?

Microfinance institutions (MFIs) charge higher rates of interest for several reasons. Firstly, the administrative costs of making many small loans are much higher than making fewer larger loans; secondly, they take more time assessing the feasibility of applications and thereby reducing risk because borrowers cannot offer traditional forms of collateral nor do they have salaried incomes; thirdly MFIs often operate in geographically remote areas with low population densities and this means that they incur greater operational costs; and fourthly they often accompany loans with a range of training and technical advice. In addition, inflation is generally higher than in countries such as the UK, the rate of inflation in Rwanda is shown below. Umutanguha charges interest rates of between 21-24% on a declining balance.  


Does Umutanguha provide any training?

Umutanguha does provide extensive financial education to community and group leaders (particularly young people) who then replicate their learning in their local communities. The specific modules of financial literacy include:

  • The importance of savings
  • Loan management
  • Digital finance
  • Entrepreneurship and marketing


Where can I find out more information about Umutanguha?

Umutanguha has a website and also posts its profile on Mix Market and it is also an active member of the Association of Microfinance Institutions in Rwanda which also maintains a website


Umutanguha: Basic facts and figures

Full name:   Umutanguha Finance Company
Established:   2003
Average loan size:   US$650
Number of active borrowers:   5,273
Proportion of loans given to women:   53%
Gross loan portfolio:   US$2,493,498
Portfolio at Risk (PAR) at 30 days:   4.9%


Rwanda: Basic facts and figures

Population:   12.85 million
Life expectancy at birth:   59.67 years
Adult literacy rate:   70.5%
Access to improved water source:   76%
Infant mortality rate:   31 per 1,000 live births
Maternal mortality rate:   290 per 100,000 live births
GBP per capita:   US$695.7
Inflation:   6.6%
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