Jeffrey is a Christian financial entrepreneur. He has been in the industry for more than 35 years, including 17 years as CEO for three banks in the U.S. and Rwanda. Recently, he was CEO for Urwego Opportunity Bank in Rwanda for more than five years until May 1, 2014. In October 2015, he founded SfK Ministries and serves as its CEO. His experiences are diverse from branch banking to project finance, from community banking to corporate banking.
Kristin is a registered nurse. She has been in various departments of nursing for 30 years.
They are happily married and have two daughters, Amanda and Joyce. They live in Rwanda and Thailand.
The Needs in Rwanda
60.3 percent of the population lives on less than $1 a day
87.8 percent live on less than $2 a day.
The life expectancy is 44 years old
5 percent of the population have access to electricity and 3 percent have internet access
In the genocide of 1994, over 800,000 people were killed in 100 days.
A small country of about 9 million people, Rwanda is located between the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi. Rwanda experienced Africa’s worst genocide in the 1990s, in which the two main ethnic tribes (Tutsis and Hutus) came head to head; over 800,000 people were killed and two million fled to neighboring countries.
Rwanda is now rebuilding its economy, with coffee and tea production among its main sources of foreign exchange. Although economic growth has exceeded 5% since 2001, Rwanda is still highly dependent on foreign aid, and nearly two thirds of the population lives below the poverty line. Only 5% of Rwanda’s population has access to electricity and 3% has internet access.
The microfinance sector in Rwanda is still young, but has grown considerably in a short amount of time. There are over 200 MFIs in Rwanda, many of which emerged after the genocide in 1994. Since 2004, the nation has seen the rapid growth of unregistered and unregulated MFIs. Even with this boom of MFIs in Rwanda, both the informal (moneylenders) and formal microfinance sectors are still weak and have only reached about 30% of the estimated demand for microfinance services.
In the past two years, several MFIs ran out of funds and were forced to shut down. The current irregularities in the microfinance industry have forced the government and National Bank of Rwanda to create more stringent norms and standards to strengthen the sector.