50,000 jobs created in 2011
Over 51,162 people were registered as newly employed last year, compared to 47,162 and 28,435 in 2010 and 2009 respectively, reports obtained from the Social Security Fund of Rwanda (SSFR) indicate.
This is attributed to the drive by the government to increase employment opportunities.
However, SSFR officials say it was still not a clear reflection of the number of jobs created as there could be more, because some workers are not registered with the pension body by their employers.
SSFR is now part of the Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB). Also, information from the Ministry of Public Service and Labour indicates that the national workforce has been growing by an average of 125,000 jobs per year over the last 5 years.
The Director General of Labour and Employment, Anna Mugabo, attributed the trend to the growing number of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) mainly by the youth.
Unemployment is still at 0.8 per cent but statistics on under-employment are still not available.
The ministry targets to create an average of 187,000 off-farm jobs a year which will total to 3.2 million jobs created by 2020 in which at least 157,000 jobs need to be created every year over the next decade.
“To reach the targeted results, we will embark on empowering SMEs by especially supporting several youth projects across the country, mainly through constant follow-ups,” said Mugabo.
Currently, over 80 per cent of Rwandans are engaged in agricultural production.
The SME sector, including formal and informal businesses, comprises 98 per cent of businesses in Rwanda and 41 per cent of all private sector employment.
The key areas the government targets to create employment opportunities include construction, mining and quarrying, trade and manufacturing, tourism and transport, among others.
However, a report by the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda indicates that the population is expected to increase by 300,000 people every year for the next 15 years, reaching 13.8 million by 2020, which means more efforts are required to match the new entrants into the country’s labour market.
According to Mugabo, the government looks forward to embarking on strengthening the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programme.
The statement from the ministry of labour indicates that there are 400 graduates of TVET, 60 per cent of which obtained jobs and 180 of them benefited from business plan competition and 4,900 jobs created.
Unemployment reduction drive
According to Mugabo, the ministry’s aim is to create jobs to match the increasing number of the active population, including youth, women and vulnerable groups.
The Ministry, she said, has set up four pilot Business Incubation Centres and one virtual Incubation Centre in Musanze, Gatsibo, Nyarugenge and Nyagatare districts, to provide training in entrepreneurship development, mentoring, coaching and help beneficiaries to develop bankable projects.
The centres will be operational in two weeks time, and will be facilitated by the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST).
“Youth employment is a challenging issue in many developing countries and in Rwanda; majority of the population is very young, where 67 % are under 25 years of age.
Contact email: steven.mugisha[at]newtimes.co.rw, fred.ndoli[at]newtimes.co.rw