When moving on the streets of Kigali, one cannot fail to come across young men and women carrying files as they embark on their search for work. Though not certain of where or how to secure employment, the terror of unemployment renders them restless.
Solving this issue remains a puzzle because even those who choose to join entrepreneurship have not found it easy as well. Many young people who have started businesses decry numerous challenges.
Patrick Muzungu a young entrepreneur, who deals in manufacturing liquid soap, says some of the issues that hinder young entrepreneurship are a narrow capital base and limited experience in entrepreneurship.
It is such factors that he says limit creativity and innovation that eventually leads to flawed thinking. These factors seem trifling but have led to underdevelopment, he adds.
Muzungu however says the youth have to be dynamic and plan ahead if they are to overcome this challenge.
“Foreseeing is a touch that everyone must develop. It’s the spirit and determination I had that has helped me come up with this business. I couldn’t just sleep without planning towards the journey ahead.”
“We all don’t have equal capacities, my journey was challenging as well. But when it comes to dreams and planning, one should not give in to obstacles,” Muzungu advises.
The young entrepreneur believes that if all stakeholders work together, youth entrepreneurship can be advanced and that the unemployment challenge can be addressed.
He therefore recommends large scale investors to not only engage in known large scale businesses which for instance require higher levels of technology but to also engage small dealings.
He also believes such initiatives will also help minimize brain drain among graduates.
Businessman Emmanuel Gisagara believes that resolving the pervasive problem of unemployment among youth and society at large calls for the right education that will impart the right skills for the job market.
“The main ground of amplified unemployment in Rwanda and Africa at large is that many job seekers don’t meet the desired qualifications and lack experience to serve at the job market,” he says.
Pointing out the issue of experience however, Gisagara notes that employers should also understand that it is hard for graduates to find the required experience when they can’t access jobs in the first place.
It is on this note that he applauds Workforce Development Authority for availing courses that impart learners with hands-on-skills. “I find this more effective when it comes to dealing with the problem in question.”
“Emerging technologies executed in the production processes also hampers employment which as a result leads into resource dormancy and hence unemployment,” he notes.
Gisagara perceives that it takes understanding, awareness and readiness with a working spirit and focus for one to survive.
“To make it big, you need to take small steps first. Putting plans into action will lead to success ultimately,” he adds.
Poor standards of living, deprived health conditions resulting from malnutrition, are some of the most imaginable negative impacts of unemployment and poverty.
Waiting for only the Government to act and be responsible for this shouldn’t be the way to go. The youth should find ways on how to manoeuvre this. This mentality should be done away with.
Kwigira is a Kinyarwanda word standing for self-reliance and it should be the way to go.