Kayonza - The European Commission (EC) in conjunction with Plan UK has earmarked Rwf619m to empower youth cooperatives in the districts of Rwamagana, Kayonza and Gatsibo.
Other key partners in the project include Rwanda Rural Rehabilitation Initiative (RWARRI), Rwanda Association for Rural Development (ARDR), among others.
This was disclosed yesterday by the EC project coordinator, Francis Musinguzi, while addressing youth who completed a week-long training in Kayonza District.
Musinguzi said that 60 youth cooperatives were trained in various fields, to enable them to efficiently manage their cooperatives.
He added that equipment for carpentry, bee-keeping and processing, welding, cassava and maize grinding among others, would be handed over to the cooperatives.
“Some of the start-up skills include oxen usage on farms and special language to tell the animals...they have to be friendly to serve the purpose. We have no doubt that the youth as an active group, will do well in agriculture.”
“We have been providing skills to youth cooperatives through training...but above all, the cooperatives will be given start-up kits. Much of the money, however, will buy quality equipment for the cooperatives,” he said.
Richard Kamuhanda, the youth empowerment coordinator through the cooperative development program in Kayonza, observed that youth cooperatives were well mobilised in the three districts.
He said that there was need to empower youth, to ensure a sustainable economic future.
“Young people easily adopt and adapt to various economic development options. Efforts to fine-tune the youth economic empowerment strategy are at an advanced stage,” he said.
Amina Batamuriza, 31, an official at the IMBEREHEZA youth cooperative in Kiramuruzi, told The New Times that members were able to formulate project plans after the training.
“We got enough skills and are excited about the equipment we will get as a cooperative. It would be a dream, for example, for us to buy expensive farm inputs like tractors,” she said.