Budget: Citizens call for more focus on hands-on skills, job creation

Job creation will be boosted through availing training for special groups like women and the youth, and facilitating them to access loans from banks so they can implement their business ideas.
Workers at a construction site in Busanza, Kicukiro District. / Sam Ngendahimana

With unemployment rate among Rwandans hovering around 14.5 per cent, some citizens have urged the Government to scale up.

On Tuesday, the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Uzziel Ndagijimana, presented to both chambers of Parliament the Budget Framework Paper (BFP) for the next three fiscal years.

In the budget framework paper, Ndagijimana said the Government intends to spend Rwf2.8 trillion in the 2019-2020 fiscal year, with 56.9 per cent of the budget going into economic transformation programmes, including job creation.

While the Government’s target is to create over 214,000 decent and productive jobs every year, the minister told MPs on Tuesday that 213,198 new jobs are set to be created in the next fiscal year.

He said the jobs will be created as a result of a collaborative effort with the private sector, including through industrial attachments and internships.

Job creation will also be boosted through availing training for special groups like women and the youth, and facilitating them to access loans from banks so they can implement their business ideas.

The Government also seeks to boost job creation by promoting value addition in the agriculture and livestock sectors.

Minister Ndangijimana also said the Government was looking to  create more jobs that respond to the labour market needs.

Jonas Kundwanayo, a security guard in Kigali, told The New Times on Tuesday that more investments are needed in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) subsector to impart more people with employable skills.

“I think the next budget should be focused more on creating jobs for both the educated and uneducated Rwandans. More investments in vocational training would afford more people the ability to create jobs,” he said.

Rachel Dusabimana, a 25-year-old casual worker from Nyagatare, Eastern Province, urged the Government to move faster and avail toolkits for people with different skills.

“Because we have so many unemployed people in the country, we need to focus on job creation. Those with skills for different jobs can be given materials they need to do the jobs,” she said in an interview.

With the Government saying it wants to spend 27.2 per cent of the budget for the next fiscal year on pillars for social transformation such as education, health, water and sanitation, citizens also urged for improvement in the quality of services.

Etienne Twizeyimana, a 30-year-old father of two children who ekes out a living as a welder, said that substantial investments are needed in the education sector.

“The budget should put emphasis on improving the quality of education. I have a child in primary two but you get a sense that he lags behind. We need to do something about education quality,” he said. 

For Edith Muhawenimana, a 31-year-old mother of two and a resident of Kigali city’s Kicukiro District, the Government should consider extending more health services to citizens and ensure that they have water and electricity.

“As citizens, we need more reliable access to water and electricity. But we also need access to services like health services; every citizen should have health insurance,” she said.

The Budget Framework Paper presented to Parliament on Tuesday will provide the basis for the preparation of the 2019-20 budget which will be presented in June 2019.


IN THEIR OWN WORDS

I think the budget should focus more on creating jobs for both the educated and uneducated Rwandans.

Opportunities for jobs should be created for everyone.

More investments in vocational training are needed to afford more people a chance to create jobs.

Jonas Kundwanayo, a security guard in Kigali

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Because we have so many unemployed people in the country, we need to focus on job creation.

Those with skills to do different jobs can be given materials they need to do the jobs.

Rachel Dusabimana, a 25-year-old casual worker from Nyagatare, Eastern Province

--

The budget should focus more on improving the quality of education.

I have a child in primary two but you get a sense that he lags behind.

We need to do something about education quality.

Etienne Twizeyimana, 30, married with two children

--

As citizens, we need more reliable access to water and electricity.

But we also need access to services like health services; every citizen should have health insurance.

Edith Muhawenimana, 31-year-old mother of two children

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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