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Efforts to provide youth with sustainable employment opportunities have been boosted by a cash deal inked between government and One UN Rwanda.

The financing agreement, worth USD28 million (about Rwf19) billion, will support women and youth employment projects, Claver Gatete, the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning has said.

The minister was speaking during the signing ceremony in Kigali yesterday.

Amb. Gatete said the funds will be used to support the national employment programme as stipulated under the second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS2).

The deal also expected to contribute toward attaining a structural shift from the current 104,000 off-farm annual job creation rate to the targeted 200,000 jobs.

“This support comes at the right time and augers well with our Vision 2020, EDPRS2 and National Employment Programme,” Gatete said.

It will enhance national capacities to promote employment growth and mainstream youth and women employment in programmes and budgets, thus boosting economic growth.

Lamin Manneh, the UN resident coordinator, said investing in youth employment is not a success story for the youth but for general economic development.

“Indeed as EPDRS2 puts it, employment opportunities especially for the youth are a subject of major concern for meeting Rwanda’s medium and long-term aspirations. The intended objective of this joint programme is to contribute towards Rwanda’s inclusive growth, economic transformation and accelerated poverty reduction goals,” Manneh said

It will also focus on building employable skills and competences of youth and women, enhancing job creation, enterprise development through entrepreneurship development, access to markets and inclusive financial services.

According to the 2012 population census, on average, 125,000 Rwandans enter the labour market annually.

It’s also estimated that of 5.89 million Rwandans of working age, 70.6 per cent lies in the youth definition bracket, 65 per cent are underemployed with 4 per cent falling under the unemployed category.

Job creation

Minister for Youth and ICT, Jean-Philbert Nsengimana, said that the deal will help Rwandans to move from less productive activities to more productive activities, thus expanding the country’s employability base.

“Creating employment opportunities is a collective initiative from both the demand side and supply side. We are, therefore, calling upon the youth to take full advantage of the infrastructure that is being put in place and expand on their employability skills,” he said.

One of Rwanda’s principal goals is to reduce the population dependent on agricultural activities, from 72 per cent in 2006, to 50 per cent by the year 2020.

Government, this fiscal allocated about Rwf12 billion to job creation activities in addition to more than Rwf10.5 billion from Business Development Fund.

The One UN support is provided through a joint programme that brings together 12 sister UN agencies under the coordination of International Labour Organization.

The New Times

UM– USEKE.RW

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