The United Nations Development Fund (UNCDF) has launched a new application called LENGA to help build Rwanda’s financial and digital literacy.
With more and more financial products and services, both formal and informal, available throughout Rwanda, clients are required to make informed choices and manage their money. New skills are especially important in times like these, when the use of digital financial services and mobile money is growing because of convenience, and also of large-scale events like the COVID-19 crisis.
The LENGA application, or ‘app’, is geared towards Rwandans who wish to build their skills in creating savings plans, making a budget, understanding different types of savings groups, comparing financial services, and deciding whether to borrow. The app currently has six modules that target the financial and digital skills necessary to achieve these skills.
The app is easy to use and includes both video and audio content with quizzes and activities, along with demonstrations and explanations of key content areas like creating your own budget, using mobile money products safely, or thinking about one’s own capacity to borrow money.
LENGA has been developed over the past year and a half through targeted research and partnership in the “Expanding Financial Access and Digital and Financial Literacy for Refugees and Host Community in Rwanda” project, known as “REFAD” for short.
REFAD partners work across the country, and include Equity Bank, Inkomoko, Umutanguha Finance Company, and World Relief Rwanda. These four partners are now using the app along with targeted financial services, such as savings groups, digital financial products, and traditional brick-and-mortar products.
According to UNCDF Rwanda Programme Lead Roselyne Uwamahoro, the LENGA app will reach at least 10,000 Rwandans during the REFAD project. However, the app is meant to be used widely, and any Rwandan with an Android device is welcome to download the app and use it to build their own financial and digital skills.
“In Rwanda, the use of mobile phones – even smart phones – has grown exponentially over the past few years,” says Uwamahoro. “UNCDF and partners found that there was a great deal of need for people to build their digital skills, and a great deal of excitement for our app during the testing phase of the REFAD project.”
LENGA was developed by Khangarue Media and the Busara Center for Behavioral Economics working in collaboration with the UNCDF technical experts. The app is in Kinyarwanda and is available for free from the Google Play store.