Stakeholders in the empowerment of youth have astonished parliamentarians after presenting reports of their activities that do not show measures adopted in addressing unemployment among youth.
This was realized yesterday as four ministries having youth under their responsibilities discussed particular programs aimed at enabling the youth to find or create jobs.
The four stakeholders include the Ministry of Youth and ICT, the Ministry of Public Service and Labour, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Trade and Industry along with other institutions responsible for youth.
As the four ministries presented achievements yesterday, parliamentarians were disappointed with lack of specific interventions and described presented reports as history despite collaboration between the four ministries to address problems affecting Rwanda’s youth.
Parliamentarians said there is stagnancy since there are no differences in achievements with those presented last time.
Discussions held yesterday brought together the four stakeholders with parliamentarians as a way of jointly seeking support to youth development as the majority of Rwandans.
The Minister of Public Service and Labour ,Judith Uwizeye explained that the program of ‘Kora Wigire’ (National Employment Programme) has provided job opportunities to 10,699 in the past two years and the number include the youth trained between three and six months in sewing skills, carpentry and mechanics among others.
Members of parliament were not satisfied with presentations of Minister Judith Uwizeye, Minister of Trade and Industry, François Kanimba; the Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana; and the Minister of Education,Dr Papias Musafiri Malimba.
Parliamentarian Veneranda Nyirahirwa questioned the presentation of Minister Judith Uwizeye on how ‘Kora Wigire’ program trained only 1/10 of jobless people from 2014 to 2016 .
“ I am not fully aware that trained individuals got jobs. Even though trained individuals may have obtained jobs, the number would be still low compared to the number of people who were supposed to get jobs in three years. This creates a question whether such implemented programs are solving unemployment among youth or not? If so , are they solving the problem at needed extent? That is where my problem is ,” she said.
Minister Jean Philbert Nsengimana also explained that Iwawa rehabilitation center accommodates over than 3000 youth trained in vocational areas preparing them for the labor market.
This pushed parliamentarians Nyinawase Jeanne d’Arc to question whether graduated Iwawa-trained youth are getting follow up since the government spends a lot of money on their education.
“You have demonstrated that 3000 youth are trained at Iwawa. However, many youth graduated with similar vocational skills. I would like to ask you whether you know how these people are getting on. Did they progress? Did they receive basic materials? How far have their livelihoods progressed, how is the situation? IWawa has released a large number of youth having studied crafts and their education received a large funding to enable their progress. I want the minister in charge to tell us about their lives?”She asked.
Minister Philbert explained that Iwawa graduates are considered as other youth after graduation.
Presentations of the four ministers seemed to depict different realities from what parliamentarians witnessed in field.
“There is a serious problem of youth in need of receiving support to create jobs. Some of us said it and is true. Believing that only banks will solve their problem is not true since it is not under banks responsibilities, “said Minister François Kanimba.
Based on Kanimba’s presentations, parliamentarian Nyinawase was pessimistic of the youth whose projects are rejected by financial institutions requesting more loan guarantees yet they were helped by Business Development Fund to guarantee and plan these projects.
The Minister of Education talked about the government’s plan of supporting 60% of students completing secondary schools gain vocational skills. An MP questioned the quality of vocational education.
He wondered why some jobs need recruitment of foreigners to operate in Rwanda pointing out hotels and shoe makers, observing that there’s a missing link in the quality education.
“What is the extent of quality education of such vocational training schools? What is the capacity of their teachers? There are job opportunities but the problem is quality of education,” he said.
Parliamentarians have also decried the implementation of some projects reserved for youth without informing stakeholders.
Abbas Mukama, the vice president of parliamentary chamber of deputies said that delivering support to the youth without making a follow up on how stakeholders use the fund will not bring change.
The government plans to create 200,000 off-farm jobs per year but Honourable Mukama stressed the need of collaboration with private sector to attain envisaged goals.
The Ministry of Public Service and Labour says that 4,500,000 youth including educated, half educated and non-educated are faced with unemployment.
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