Two economic students, Parfait Nzeyimana and Ahmed Karasira, of Kigali Independent University (ULK), have started the Young Economists Forum (YEF), an organisation that aims to develop skilled researchers in the field of economics and actively contribute toward the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Rwanda. Parfait Nzeyimana, the organisation’s coordinator said that it has grown to 15 active members and acts as a platform for students in the field of economics and as well as related fields where junior and senior economists gather to discuss different macro and micro economic issues. He reveals that their inspiration was boosted in 2019 when they were in class and realised the need for more skilled researchers in the field of Economics and related fields in Rwanda and Africa in general. The Young Economists Forum aims to develop skilled researchers in the field of economics and actively contribute toward the achievement of SDGs in Rwanda. “Researchers are still scarce and these fields touch broadly the economy of the country. Therefore, nurturing many skilled researchers is very important because they will contribute to the sustainable development of the country,” he says. Tackling how they work, he says that initially, they hosted training sessions every Monday after school courses, but due to the covid-19 pandemic, they have shifted them on WhatsApp and Google meet. Nzeyimana reveals that YEF is also motivated to improve the knowledge of junior economists so that they can be competent in the labour market. Tackling the kind of researches they do, he says that they conduct them in the fields of macro and micro economics and as well as the policy development for sustainable development. So far, they have completed three pieces of research including forecasting the industrial sector growth in Rwanda using Box–Jenkins (BJ) methodology, effects of government expenditures on inflation in Rwanda (2006Q1-2019Q4) and Impact of financial innovation on economic growth in Rwanda (Period: 2006Q1 – 2018Q4). Nzeyimana says that they have conducted these researches in accordance with their means and compiled them in a book titled YEF Economic Review which is scheduled to be published in January 2022. By now, he adds, the main outcome from our researches banks on the advanced knowledge we have gained in terms of data testing and analysis methodologies. They have also created a simple website called economics-juniors where they publish different articles related to the field of Economics and the country’s economy as a whole. Speaking about what is missing in the field of economics, he said that it varies depending on the school and research level. “In the schools of Economics it would be great and innovative if the ones in charge could add more practical and career orientation courses for the students,” he says. “At the research level, we need more researchers and research organisations to interact with micro businesses and help them to grow and be sustainable.” Challenges and plans Tackling the challenges that YEF faces, Nzeyimana reveals that it is still hard to find people who can engage in the field of research because some are not patient enough and most of the time, they get discouraged. This is because, he adds, it is hard for start-ups to get income from their research and the current facilities are vague and less friendly for upcoming researchers in terms of support (financial and knowledge) and trust of the work done. Nzeyimana says that YEF members recognise these challenges and are planning to register as a local NGO that will help students in the field of economics and related fields to improve their research skills and participate in the selected sustainable development goals including “quality education”, “gender equality”, “industry and innovation” and “no poverty”. He adds that they will organise different events as one of the ways to achieve these goals. More members speak out Claudine Imanizabayo, one of the members of YEF, shares how she has benefited from this initiative. “In this forum, we share ideas through discussing, debating and analysing different topics regarding economics in order to understand well what we are doing,” she says. “As an economist, it helps me to open my mind because as we discuss, I get different knowledge about different subjects and even other things which are different from what we learn in our respective classes.” Before I joined Young Economists Forum, she continued, I was a lazy girl because I was not able to make a research about a certain topic, but after joining, other members encouraged me to do more research so that I can explain better what I have found. Henry Ndanguza Irakoze, another member of this forum, declares that it helped him to be confident when speaking in public and be able to communicate his content assertively. “Mostly, the job of a person who studies economics involves showing what he has done and interpret it in a few words. Before I joined YEF, it was difficult for me but when I joined, I made a great step and now public speaking is no longer a problem,” he says. “The other thing I have learned is that I don’t have to wait for others to give me a job; Instead, I have to create it and employ others. Moreover, I have learned to work in a team and was able to embrace the values of a good leader. I learned how to practically use what I have learned in the class.” I have also been able, he continues, to identify the opportunities that an economically educated person has on the job market and as well as the values that should characterize an economist who aspires to be successful in his career.