FEATURED: KOICA supports the national youth response to COVID-19

YouthConnekt is a successful multi-faceted programme initiated by the Ministry of Youth and Culture in partnership with UNDP in 2012 aimed at empowering young people and connect them with their peers, leaders, role models, skills, and resources to promote employment, access to finance, citizenship and entrepreneurship opportunities.

Since 2012, more than 700 young entrepreneurs befitted from this program countrywide. In May 2019, The Ministry of Youth and Culture, UNDP and UNFPA signed an agreement with the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) to support the scaling-up of the YouthConnekt initiative in Rwanda through a 4-year programme (2019-2022) with a budget USD 8,000,000 including the KOICA’s in-kind contribution amounting to USD 500,000.


Rwanda, like the rest of the world, has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. On 14th March 2020, Rwanda reported its first case of COVID-19 and on March 15, several measures were taken for individuals and businesses aimed at curbing the spread of the pandemic. The pandemic and its needed response measures have especially affected the youth.


Based on a nation-wide rapid impact assessment on the impact of the COVID19 conducted in May among 2,600 young entrepreneurs, youth working in the creative industry and employed ones, the Ministry of Youth and Culture developed a youth resilience plan aims to support the impacted youth with a focus on addressing their identified challenges, particularly job sustainability and business continuity.


The plan draws attention to supporting the youth-owned enterprises with an objective of ensuring their business survival and taking advantage of the new rising opportunities. The specific objectives of this comprehensive plan are to enhance the strategic mobilization and communication among the youth, to maintain the sanitation guidelines, to support the youth innovations developed as a response to COVID-19 as well as to sustain existing youth enterprises and mitigate Post COVID-19 unemployment prospective.

It is within that framework that through the existing programme “Support to the Scaling-up of the YouthConnekt initiative in Rwanda” funded by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), 500,000USD were reprogrammed to contribute to the implementation of the Ministry of Youth and Culture’s national youth COVID-19 resilience plan.

More specifically, KOICA has been contributing to the implementation of several activities aimed at reducing the impact of this crisis on thousands of young men and women. Those activities include the establishment of handwashing stations among all national youth centres for health prevention measures in order to respond to the spread of COVID-19 pandemic and any other contagious diseases; the provision of technical and financial support to 100 young innovators who have been developing solutions to respond to COVID19 as well as to more than 120 existing young entrepreneurs whose businesses have been affected by COVID-19.


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