Rwandan Youth should work on small and medium business projects to uplift their economic status and contribute to national development.
The call was made by the Minister for Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana, while addressing hundreds of youth during celebrations to mark World Youth Day in Musanze District on Saturday.
The minister said the youth should take advantage of their representation at all administrative levels of government to push for their cause.
The day was marked by a mini exhibition of jobs created by various youths supported by TechnoServe, an International Non-Governmental Organisation.
Exhibitors showcased various activities ranging from modern farming to art and craft, small agro processing industries and money transfer business among others.
Minister Nsengimana said the youth should not be complaining of unemployment as government and its partners have committed to working together to help them create jobs.
“We have made strides in terms of youth representation; the youth are represented at all levels. What is clear is that youth development is possible, you can now do whatever you can given the available opportunities,” said the minister.
“We have seen some examples among the exhibitors [in Musanze] where the youth including those who have not got a chance to complete basic education can now earn more than Rwf300, 000 and Rwf900,000 per month.
This shows that when one is committed and starts with the little they have, they can achieve a lot, employ themselves and employ others,” added the minister.
The minister reaffirmed government commitment to youth empowerment.
The unemployment rate is at 3.4 per cent and officials believe that once the youths ventured into self employment, the rate would drop.
The youth promised to work hard to achieve sustainable development.
“I deal in airtime and mobile money transfer. I started with a Rwf50,000 loan selling airtime but after I serviced it I acquired another loan of Rwf250,000 which I used to expand my business. That was two years ago. I can now earn Rwf300,000 per month and I look forward to earning more,” said Marie Rosine Nzamwitakuze.
Vincent Ntirenganya, from Gakenke District, said he used to make banana beer in a tradition way but has since acquired wine making skills thanks to Technoserve. ‘‘I now make quality wine which has got me many clients,’’ he said.
He is among over 4,200 youths who attended training by TechnoServe four years ago and were linked to banks for financial support, according to Angelique Tuyisenge, TechnoServe country representative.
Tuyisenge said they teach youth a saving culture and how to work in cooperatives.
The World Youth Day is celebrated on August 12 annually but in Rwanda the celebrations were held on Aug 22.