By Thomas Kagera
•National Employment Programme registering benefits
•Contributing to the target of creating 200,000 off farm jobs per year
•Youth and women given special consideration
Rationale for National Employment Program
Over the last five years, economic growth has averaged 8% a year whilst 1 million off-farm jobs have been created. A structural shift has been introduced towards an economy led by higher value added industries and the service sector. Over the medium term, economic transformation has called for continued and significant investment from the private and public sector in skills, technology and infrastructure, supported by a business environment that is conducive to the creation of high productivity jobs.
Rwanda through its development goals aims to transform Rwanda into a middle-income country with a knowledge-based, private sector-driven economy and Job creation is a cornerstone to achieve that goal.
EDPRS II recognizes the important role of employment for economic development and poverty reduction and, accordingly, calls for “200,000 [off-farm] jobs to be created each year” to meet the employment needs of the labour force, influenced by demographic trends and the growing youth share of the working age population which constitute 70%. National Employment Program is articulated under EDPRS2 as a tool to strengthen the coordination of employment programs through the establishment of a framework for better planning, implementation and coordination of employment programs from different stakeholders engaged in job creation and employment promotion, all of which feed into the annual creation of the 200,000 jobs for Youth and Women, the most affected groups by unemployment.
The Government of Rwanda decided to establish the ‘National Employment Program (NEP), to optimize the impact of employment interventions with the following key objectives;
• Creating sufficient jobs that are EDPRS II National Employment Program – “Kora Wigire” gradually brings new jobs in reach adequately remunerative and sustainable across the economy;
• Equipping the workforce with vital skills and attitude for increased productivity that are needed for the private sector growth;
• Providing a national framework for coordinating all employment and related initiatives and activities in the public, private sector and civil society.
The National Employment Program is built on 4 Pillars which guide the implementation of the Program: Skills development, Entrepreneurship and Business Development, Labour Market Interventions and Coordination and M&E of national employment interventions.
Employment promotion is a cross-cutting issue and the result of multiple and multi-layered interactions involving various actors and stakeholders at the national and District levels. At central level, the key institutions involved in NEP implementation include MIFOTRA, MIGEPROF, MINICOM, MYICT, MINEDUC, MINALOC, RDB, LODA, WDA, NIRDA, NYC, NWC, NCPD, RCA, NCBS, BDF and PSF.