Youth in the City of Kigali are increasingly turning to Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in bid to boost their chances of creating their own jobs in the future.
And several of them are on course to achieving this objective thanks in part to a learning hub established in Kicukiro District.
Kigali city dwellers are expected to increase from 1.3 million people to over 5 million by 2050. With that, the city will need to create over 1.76 million jobs.
The youth showcasing how they were trained on urban farming.
The latest survey by the National Institute of Statistics indicates that the unemployment rate is at 18.7 per cent among the youth and 17.1 per cent among women in Rwanda.
At least 1,200 young people will be attending the youth centre dubbed, “Rwanda NOOK Hub” every month to gain TVET skills without any payment.
The hub was established in partnership with Dream Village Organization.
According to Norman Manzi, the initiative’s founder, the hub is equipped with ICT facilities such as computers which the youth use to train themselves to gain different skills, including urban farming, carpentry, construction, painting, tailoring and others.
“The youth teach themselves by using the internet. At least 40 young people have to come for learning free of charge every day and go back to create jobs,” he said.
The youth are trained on growing spices, fruits and vegetables in portable wooden frames, tyres and sacks.
They also learn how to make vases, tables and chairs from tyres and wood.
“The center will help youth grow their talents and come up with innovations and implement them in their communities to fight malnutrition and unemployment,” he said.
Jean Marie Vianney Tumukunde, a 23-year-old student who only completed ordinary level and has now resorted to TVET offered by the ICT enabled hub.
“In only two weeks, I have learnt how to make wooden frames where I can add manure and soil to serve as a kitchen garden. I have put the skills into practice and established such kitchen gardens at home. I have planted onions, carrots and beetroots. I also learn to make tables and chairs from tires,” he said.
Tumukunde is hopeful to beat unemployment, saying that he will soon start selling chairs made from tires between Rwf30,000 and Rwf50,000.
Samiati Uwimpuhe, an 18-year-old who completed secondary school and has since then been jobless since said that she hopes to use the avenue to start her own enterprise.
“I have hope to create jobs. I will grow vegetables using urban farming and will also start a tailoring business,” she said.
Francois Ntibakunze, the Coordinator of the Youth Council in Gahanga Sector, said youth make half of Gahanga Sector dwellers, adding that many high school leavers will benefit from the hub to create jobs.
Etienne Twiringiyimana, the in charge of governance at Gahanga Sector, Kicukiro District, said: “The hub will reduce the unemployment rate in the city. We have been having A level graduates who missed opportunities to join university who do not have an opportunity to acquire TVET skills to enable them create jobs.”
“Reducing unemployment in Kigali city requires partnership with different stakeholders. We always sign performance contracts to create new off-farm jobs”, he added.