Youth leaders at the district level have been urged to sensitise the youth in their respective jurisdictions to take advantage of the available opportunities to develop themselves and contribute toward the country’s growth.
Robert Mwesigwa, the executive secretary of the National Youth Council (NYC), made the call during a meeting with youth district coordinators last week that was convened to discuss best ways for the incoming coordinators to deliver on their performance contracts.
“The first thing that our youth need to do is to make the most of the available opportunities. We have several programmes that seek to empower the youth in the countryside but the challenge is that most of the youth think that there are no opportunities in rural areas, and all want to move to and live in towns and cities.”
“These new leaders should help the youth to change their mindset and realize and make the most of the opportunities at their disposal, whether they are in rural or urban areas…and regardless of their education levels,” he said, adding that many people wrongly believe that there are no opportunities for graduates in rural areas.
Chantal Tumukunde, the coordinator of youth in Nyagatare District, said she would draw lessons from both the achievements and failures of her predecessors to know how best to help the youth in her district to develop.
“For instance, reports show that more efforts are needed to have more youth cooperatives in our district. I have learned that I still have much to do in sensitising the youth on the benefits of working in cooperatives,” she said.
Claver Hategekimana, the youth coordinator in Rusizi, who is also the manager of the Business Development Fund (BDF) in the district, said he will use his position to sensitise the youth on the need to embrace entrepreneurship and how to take advantage of BDF financing.
BDF supports youth innovators and entrepreneurs who have bankable projects.