Political parties should help to empower youth by providing them with information on jobs, the Minister for Youth and Information Communication Technology, Jean Philbert Nsengimana, has said.
Nsengimana was addressing an ordinary general assembly of the National Consultative Forum of Political Organisations (NFPO), yesterday, in Kigali.
“The youth belong to different political parties, but why political parties do not set measures to empower youth members of their parties? Political parties should help the government to empower them,” he said.
“There are many employment opportunities in the country, but youth sometimes do not know about these opportunities; parties should, therefore, be involved in providing them with information.”
Currently, unemployment among the youth stands at 4.1 per cent of around 4.5 million youth, according to the 2013 manpower survey by the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda.
The survery also shows that 8.7 per cent of the unemployed youth live in urban areas and 3 per cent in rural areas, while 65 are underemployed.
Youth aged between 14 and 35 years constitute 40 per cent of the total population.
The minister said there were several measures to tackle unemployment, but most of the youth are not aware of the opportunities.
Citing the Business Development Fund (BDF), which offers startup loans, Nsengimana urged the youth to think about entrepreneurship instead of looking for office jobs.
“Most of the youth expect to get office jobs at the end of their studies, but when will they get them when the government employs four per cent only of all employees. They should do their best to create jobs and join cooperatives to apply what they learned in schools,” the minister said.
Nsengimana stressed the need for entrepreneurship training for youth to manage own businesses.
The minister added that 80 per cent of youth owned businesses fold within a year due to lack of managerial skills, among other challenges.
François Byabarumwanzi, the spokesperson for the NFPO, said they wanted to discuss youth empowerment policy with the minister in order to increase members’ awareness on the policy and discuss their role in its implementation.
“We have realised that we have a big role to play as youth belong to different political parties; he said, promising awareness about available job opportunities among the youth,” he said.
During the assembly, members also endorsed the administrative and management manual for the forum.
The manual states that an external auditor will be conducting term based audit to ensure quality use of the forum’s funds.
The Consultative Forum of Political Organisations officially recognised in Rwanda is a platform for dialogue and exchange of ideas among political organisations on the country’s problems and national policies.
It is also a permanent framework for capacity building for member political organisations in the field of political organisation and activities, which they use also as a framework for conflict mediation and for the promotion of the code of conduct that should characterise the country’s political leaders.
NFPO comprises 11 accredited political organisations.