Nearly 40 per cent of the world population is below the age of 20. In Rwanda, 67 per cent of the total population is below 35. Hundreds of thousands of fresh university graduates enter the global job market each year and, sadly, many cannot find jobs.
Statistics show that 21 percent of youths in Africa are unemployed; much higher than the global average. Since 1996, Rwanda’s education policy has allowed the private sector to invest in the education sector.
The number of universities and the number of graduates from those universities keeps on increasing every year.
Until 2006, the National University of Rwanda alone passed out more than four times the number that had graduated in the previous 36 years of its existence.
With other universities also releasing graduates every year, this has increased on the levels of unemployment; jeopardizing the prospects of the young future leaders of our darling nation.
To curb down this, Rwanda Development Board (RDB) last month started an entrepreneurship awareness sessions to be carried out all over the country to stimulate and encourage young graduates to consider entrepreneurship as a career and incite them to develop their own businesses.
The workshops, which started in the Gasabo and Nyarugenge districts respectively, will provide information on required attributes for setting up and operating a successful venture and will inform the participants on the available support services.
This process will, it is believed, create a culture of jobs creation other than job seeking.
Among the support services that RDB is slated to offer is training and coaching programmes to develop business plans and implement their projects.
These sensitisation sessions will contribute to the creation of new jobs and the generation of incomes through the implementation of new projects initiated by these young smart graduates.
Besides promoting the creation of start ups, entrepreneurship programmes can have an enabling and accelerating effect on graduates activities and help them make better decisions for their career.
Entrepreneurship and business creation are a substantive alternative for young people who find it difficult to get jobs.
The UN 8th Millennium Development Goal aims at providing decent and productive work for youth.
The MDG’s 16th target aims at developing strategies for decent and productive work for youth.
Like the International Labour Organization Director General Juan Somavia said, “enlarging the chances of young people to find and keep decent work is absolutely critical to achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals.”
The author is a journalist, The New Times