It’s been a year since delegates convened at the Lemigo hotel on 28 October 2021 and approved a resolution to shift from operating as a tontine to a SACCO that will benefit health professionals and the health sector at large. The same delegates meet to examine the progress made after a year since the shift to a SACCO. They meet in Muganga SACCO’s third ordinary general assembly on 24th November 2022, at the same venue.
Among the items on the agenda, were updates on the cooperative’s activities, launching new products, approving the financials of the cooperative, appointing an external Auditor, updates on the head office and main branch, and launch of Mobile Banking, to mention but a few.
As presented in the General Assembly, beginning this January of 2023, members will enjoy the new loan products, contrary to the usual consumer loans that depended on members’ savings. These new loan products with one of the lowest interest rates on the market are Overdraft, Emergency, Scholar (educational), Vehicle, Salary Advance, Project/Business, and Mortgage loans.
Among eligibility criteria for members to access the newly launched products, the salary must be channeled through Muganga SACCO. Delegates were notified that Muganga SACCO is an active member of the National Bank of Rwanda’s clearing house (RIPPS), about four months after acquiring the license to operate microfinance activities. Access to the clearing house enables Muganga SACCO, among many things, to process transfers with other financial institutions directly, and process members’ salaries instantly.
As of December, members can use their mobile phones to deposit and/or withdraw funds. This was achieved through the use of mobile banking. Launched in the third General Assembly of Muganga SACCO, Mobile Banking enables members to use pull and push services with or without the internet or a smartphone. This is in line with SACCO’s digitalization strategy that will not only reinforce quick and seamless services but also serve members in the comfort of their homes.
“Digitalization is core to our operations and how we want to serve our members. Technological advancement has changed the face of the banking industry and we are not being left behind, we are actively embracing it.” Said Rtd Maj. Jean Damascene GASHEREBUKA, Muganga SACCO Board Chair. “Technology allows us not only to provide better customer/member experience and on-time banking services but also avoid the long queues that banks have been known for. We believe that everything can be done through a click of fingers on mobile phones”, he added.
In a bid to further implement its digitalization strategy, in early 2023, there will be a launch of mobile banking, the existing web portal shall be upgraded to full internet banking, and members will be able to use debit cards to withdraw cash at their nearest ATMs (Automatic Teller Machines).
The variety of digital products is fundamental to the SACCO strategy, and consequently, there is more coming in 2023. Muganga SACCO will introduce Agency Banking whereby members will use agents to deposit or withdraw funds. The Agency Banking shall come with its specialty whereby members who are ready and capable will be prioritized to serve their fellow members in their different health facilities or nearby area(s).
Muganga SACCO is licensed by the National Bank of Rwanda and has a legal personality from the Rwanda Cooperative Agency. Currently, members use the web portal to apply for loans and check the statuses of their accounts.
The General Assembly is attended by delegates from all hospitals and the Ministry of Health affiliated institutions, representing members across the country.