Unemployment and underemployment among skilled Rwandans could reduce if young graduates took advantage of the opportunities offered by the East African Community (EAC) integration.
Dr James Ndahiro, Rwanda’s East African Legislative Assembly member of Parliament, said there are many jobs that Rwandans can secure in the region under the common market that provides for free movement of labour, people and goods, among others.
Ndahiro said other Rwandans could start up businesses to engage in cross-border trade, noting that this would also help create more jobs.
The EALA member was speaking during a sensitisation drive about the benefits of the EAC integration at University of Rwanda’s College of Science and Technology in Kigali on Tuesday. The Rwandan EALA MPs are currently carrying out a countrywide sensitisation campaign about the opportunities presented by EAC integration under the theme, “The EAC integration agenda: Accessing the gains of integration”.
The MPs explained the opportunities Rwanda can exploit in different sectors across the EAC bloc. Ndahiro urged the students to be aggressive and use their skills to compete for the numerous regional jobs that are advertised regularly in the media.
“Rwanda joined the EAC with the aim of tapping into the region’s economic benefits, so you should not shy away from competing for these jobs in the region if you qualify,” he said.
Patricia Hajabakiga, another EALA MP, urged the students to learn the languages that are commonly used in EAC countries, especially Swahili and English to increase their competitiveness in the regional job market.
Germain Intwari, a student from the School of Dentistry at UR’s College of Medicine and Health Science, was optimistic that the bigger market presented by EAC integration is good for youth, arguing that they can utilise their skills anywhere across the bloc.
“Tuition fees have been harmonised, which has given us an opportunity to study at the best varsities across the region and pay similar fees as the local students,” he said.
The EAC is made up of Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, and new member South Sudan. The bloc presents a market of 146 million people.