Ninety youth son Friday graduated from KCB Foundation’s new flagship youth wealth and job creation programme in Rwanda. The graduation ceremony took place at Kimisagara Youth Employment and Productive Centre in Kigali.
The graduates were awarded certificates after completing a six-month training in Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Culinary Arts and in Domestic Electrical Installation.
They attended vocational training in different technical colleges.
Most attended ICT training at IPRC-Kigali while others studied Culinary Arts at IPRC-Ngoma and Domestic Electrical Installation at IPRC-Huye.
Launched in April, the programme was initiated by KCB Bank Rwanda through KCB Foundation in partnership with Rwanda National Youth Council and Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) Rwanda. It seeks to empower 100 youths with vocational skills to promote self-employment.
Jane Mwangi, the Managing Director of KCB Foundation, said Igire programme is a direct investment in the youth to enhance their role in nation-building.
“When we look at the problem we have in East Africa and across the continent, the big challenge is youth unemployment,” Mwangi said, adding that “We see the youth as our biggest investment.”
She added that: “We must intentionally work with them, and help them create their own jobs. We feel we must hear and help them so that they are able to achieve self-employment.”
Graduates with viable business proposals will be given an opportunity to pitch their projects to potential investors from across the East African region.
The best proposals received Rwf15,000,000. Each project was given Rwf3,000,000.
Mwangi said, “Igire is a flagship initiative to address youth unemployment not only in Rwanda but also in other East African countries.”
Jeannette Umutoniwase, one of the beneficiaries whose project emerged among the best, said she was keen on expanding her project in the region.
“The training was really a big opportunity for me to learn new things necessary in running my business and growing my clientele base,” she said.
‘Igire’ is the equivalent of KCB Foundation’s ‘Jiajiri’, a youth wealth and job creation programme launched in Kenya in 2016. The programme was later rolled out in Rwanda and Tanzania in 2017. The Foundation is also planning to replicate the same initiative in Uganda.