Rwanda Edges Closer to Cashless Economy

Kabale grade I Magistrate, pharm treatment Esther Nyandoyi has further remanded the three men that are accused of having waylaid tourists along the kabale – Lake Bunyonyi Road shooting at, unhealthy injuring and robbing them three months ago.

Prosecution claims that Gordon Mutatina alias Golden Clay, Amon Owokubariho alias Henry and Willy Beigana used a gun to threaten tourists and later robbed them of their valuables and money.

Prosecution further claims that that the trio had robbed Samuel Wanyaga of shs 2.3 million, Daniel Lathe of shs. 2 million, Bella Tessier of shs 2 million, Charlotte Emily Green of shs 65,000, Florence Nicole of shs 1 million, Samantha Lovies Cook of  shs 250,000 and Amaldeep Andhu  of shs 100,000.

 The Magistrate didn’t allow any of them to take plea as her court had no jurisdiction to hear capital offense cases that are reserved to be heard by the High Court only. 

The suspects were then remanded to Ndorwa government prison till November 18th when they are to reappear in court for further mention of their case.

Wilfred Murumba of Murumba and Matsiko Advocates, the consel to Gordon Mutatina, one of the accused says that he has written to the Director of Public Prosecution, Michael Chibita asking him to drop the charges against his client because at the time the crime was committed, evidence shows that he was at one of the islands on Lake Bunyonyi.

In a bid to accelerate its plans to transform Rwanda into a cashless economy and achieve 80 percent financial inclusion by 2017, abortion government has moved to accelerate digital payments by joining the ‘Better Than Cash Alliance.’

This, symptoms officials say, order underscores the country’s commitment to using information and communications technology (ICT) for financial services.

The ‘Better than Cash Alliance’ is an initiative that works with governments, the development community, and the private sector to adopt the use of electronic payments.

The Alliance provides support to those who commit to make the transition.

These efforts aim to help people who do not have access to formal financial services and frequently have no option but to subsist almost entirely in an informal, cash-only economy.

Living in a cash economy makes it extremely difficult to access financial services like bank accounts, save for the future, build assets, or get credit.

“We understand the crucial role ICT plays in all sectors of the economy, including finance. This is why we have endeavoured to promote a cashless economy by digitizing financial transactions,” Claver Gatete, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning said.

“Today the Government conducts its business electronically, including paying salaries. We have put in place policies that encourage payment digitization and continue to support the private sector, especially financial institutions to embrace the use of ICT to champion financial inclusion. We believe that partnering with the Better Than Cash Alliance will further our ambition to transform Rwanda into a cashless economy and ensure that every Rwandan is financially included.”


Experts say the shift to electronic payments has the potential to advance financial inclusion and help people build savings while giving governments, development organizations, and companies a more cost-effective, efficient, transparent, and safer means of disbursing and collecting payments.

A recent report by the World Bank examines growing evidence that integrating digital payments into the economies of emerging and developing nations addresses crucial issues of broad economic growth and individual financial empowerment.

Currently, all government employees in Rwanda are paid electronically.

The new announcement is expected to advance the commitment to transition all forms of government payments to electronic forms.

The further digitization of Rwanda’s economy will likely contribute to achieving the government’s financial inclusion goals.

Additionally, Rwanda aims to expand the use of banking and retail transactions electronically, including in fuel stations, by merchants and customers across the country.

“We welcome Rwanda as the newest member of the Better Than Cash Alliance and commend the government’s leadership and commitment to continue transitioning away from cash,” said Dr. Ruth Goodwin-Groen, Managing Director of the Better Than Cash Alliance.

“We recognize that while the opportunities of digital payments abound, getting there takes work and we stand ready to support our members. Digitizing payments is achievable when a government articulates a clear vision, leads by example, and provides the right incentives for the private sector to do what they do best: innovate, develop infrastructure, and create products designed to succeed in the marketplace.”

Better Than Cash Alliance is hosted by the United Nations Capital Development Fund and is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Citi, Ford Foundation, MasterCard, Omidyar Network, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and Visa Inc.

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