Youth empowerment has been one of the government’s key priorities and many programmes have been designed to that effect.
The current generation of youth is enjoying unprecedented support their predecessors only dreamed off, and promoting youth entrepreneurship is one of them.
The youth have been encouraged and supported to get out of the traditional mindset of aspiring to be job seekers instead of creating their own.
The private sector has not been left behind, they have been roped in to tap the young talents, and it is in that regard the just concluded FINA Entrepreneurship Award 2013 was held as part of the Global Entrepreneurship Week.
The government, through the second phase of the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS 2), has set its sights on having 70% of the off-farm jobs it intends to create annually, to come from Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, and the youth will take the lion’s share.
A well-heeled youth is what Rwanda needs as it embarks on building a middle income economy by the turn of the decade, and it will only be possible if all the productive sectors of society is pulled on board – beginning with the youth – by harnessing their vibrant energy.
A conducive environment has been put in place; all the youth need is to seize the opportunity. Many have, with many upstarts seeing the day and getting the necessary support. As is was argued during the FINA Awards, the issue was not lack of funding but coming up with innovative ideas.