One UN Rwanda gave $28 million (approximately Rwf19 billion) to support women and youth employment in Rwanda.
Rwanda government and One UN Rwanda signed the funding on July 8, 2014 in Kigali.
The move is aimed at supporting the national employment program directed towards the youth and women employment as stipulated under the second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS2).
“Indeed as EPDRS2 puts it, employment opportunities especially for the young people are a subject of major concern for meeting Rwanda’s medium and long term aspiration,” Lamin Manneh, the UN resident coordinator said.
“The intended objective of this joint program is to contribute towards Rwanda’s inclusive growth, economic transformation and accelerated poverty reduction goals,” he added.
The program will contribute towards attaining a structural shift from the current 104,000 off-farm annual job creation rate to the targeted 200,000 jobs.
Aligned to the National Employment Program, the program will enhance national capacities to promote employment intensive growth and mainstream youth and women employment in programs and budgets.
It will also focus on building employable skills and competences of youth and women, enhance job creation, enterprise development through entrepreneurship development, access to markets and inclusive financial services.
“This program support comes at the right time and fits well in our Vision 2020, EDPRS2 and National Employment Program. It will support national efforts to achieve the youth and women employment as expected from the second EDPRS,” Claver Gatete, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning said.
According to the 2012 population census, the annual average of 125,000 Rwandans is entering the labor market. Out of the estimated 5.89 million Rwandan working age population, 70.6% lies in the youth definition bracket and 65% of them are underemployed whereas 4% belong to the unemployed category.
Direct beneficiaries of this program are both rural and urban youth, male and female, with a focus on out-of-school youth, graduates and the less educated within the age bracket of 16 to 35.
One of Rwanda’s principal goals is to decrease the population dependent on agricultural activities from 72% in 2006 to 50% by the year 2020.
The one UN support is provided through a joint program that brings together 12 sister UN agencies under the coordination of International Labor Organization including UNDP, UNCDF, UNECA, FAO,UN-WOMEN, UN-HABITAT, UNIDO, UNV, UNCTAD, ILO, UNESCO and ITC into joint actions based on comparative advantages each possesses in responding to particular youth and women economic empowerment needs.