Rwf17 billion programme to spur youth employment

The US Ambassador to Rwanda, Erica Barks-Ruggles, and the Minister of State in charge of Technical and Vocational Education and Training, Olivier Rwamukwaya, during an exhibition of various courses that will be provided through Huguka Dukore project at the launch in Kigali yesterday. (Courtesy photos)

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched a Rwf17.2 billion initiative, Huguka Dukore, that will help train 40,000 youths in workforce readiness skills by 2021.

USAID hosted a launch event for Huguka Dukore at Kimisagara Youth Empowerment for Global Opportunities (YEGO Centre) in Kigali, yesterday.

Huguka Dukore, which loosely translates to “Get Trained and Let’s Work,” targets youth aged 16 to 30 who have attained between six and nine years of basic education.

Huguka Dukore will connect its over 40,000 participants with relevant job skills training, so they can find stable employment, start their own small businesses, or pursue further education.

The training includes work-based learning and internship opportunities, links to jobs and self-employment, entrepreneurship training and coaching, and access to financing, family planning, and reproductive health services.

The programme will be implemented by the Education Development Center (EDC) over five years.

At the launch, the US Ambassador to Rwanda, Erica Barks-Ruggles, emphasised the importance the US government places on partnering with Rwanda to ensure its youth have the opportunity and skills needed to drive economic development and build their future.

In a statement, the envoy also stressed the importance of partnering with the private sector and civil society to accomplish the goals of the programme.

“We are here today to embark on this partnership because we recognise the importance of the youth in the future of Rwanda’s continued prosperity,” she said.

“Together we can achieve our ambitious targets and reach our goal of a strong, vibrant and flourishing Rwanda for many years to come.”

Amb. Burks-Ruggles speaks at the launch of the project in Kigali yesterday.

The Minister of State in charge of Technical and Vocational Education and Training, Olivier Rwamukwaya, emphasised the importance of the programme in contributing to Rwanda’s development goals, particularly the “Made in Rwanda” policy and the National Employment Programme’s goal of creating at least 200,000 jobs per year.

The launch was preceded by a miniature exposition of Huguka Dukore’s activities, vision, and goals.

The youth expressed their aspirations and expectations from Huguka Dukore, particularly their hope to be linked to further training, coaching, and employment opportunities in Huguka Dukore’s growing network of partners.