Rwanda is seeking to create 200,000 jobs annually, but the latest Integrated Household Living Conditions Survey report estimates that about 146,000 off-farm jobs are created annually since 2011.
This means there is a shortfall of over 50,000 jobs to meet the target. However, the progress is encouraging and government has put in place interventions that should see the target met and even surpassed.
Unemployment is one of the biggest challenges that the youth face, therefore they should take the lead and exploit the different initiatives in place to create own jobs, especially in agriculture.
Agriculture is one of the sectors where government has invested a lot to create an environment that enables creation of jobs especially along the value addition chain.
To increase the country’s job creation capacity, there is need for more youth to fully tap into the opportunities that the agriculture sector presents.
There is a huge opportunity for entrepreneurship and job creation in the agriculture sector and the youth participation in agriculture is critical as government moves to meet its job creation targets.
The Government has been working to increase youth in agriculture through encouraging value addition of products.
However, for the youth to fully play an active role, the challenge of access to capital for startups should be addressed.
Banks and other financial institutions should join in this effort and put in place a special fund for youth in commercial agriculture.
Also increased rollout of energy to support entrepreneurs scale up their enterprises, and coming up with alternative sources of financing is some of the ways government can use to address the issue of job creation.
Rwanda currently has an energy generation capacity of 208 megawatts while the connection rate is currently at about 32 per cent.
The Government targets 70 per cent connection rate by 2018 and a generation capacity of 563 megawatts.