Since its inauguration in 2012, YouthConnekt Rwanda has been honouring outstanding youths in the categories of: project manufacturing, agro-processing, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), and other services.
This year, two categories to recognize successful women in entrepreneurship and people with disabilities were also added.
Eligible to apply are Rwandan youths between the age of 16-30, with businesses registered under Rwanda Development Board(RDB) and those that have never been awarded by any of the partners of Youth Connekt Africa.
This however doesn’t apply to the categories of young women in business neither that of People with Disabilities.
To apply for the awards, qualified candidates can pick the application forms from the sector offices or download them at ‘miniyouth.gov.rw’, fill in and submit it to the sector office where their business is operating.
Winners in all categories will be determined from the sector level, district level and national level walking away with prizes worth millions.
YouthConnekt africa was championed by President Paul Kagame and initiated by the the then Ministry of Youth and ICT in 2012 to ‘empower young people and connect them to the public, private sector and civil society for economic opportunities’.
Since its inception, the government of Rwanda has invested more than Rwf2.5 billion in the platform that has created over 36,000 jobs for Rwandan youths, 24,000 policy advocates and trained more 4 million community advocates.
Some of the beneficiaries from YouthConnekt Rwanda are; Dr. Ange Imanishimwe , the leader of Biodiversity Conservation Organization (Biocoor), an apiculture project rearing beers, that has exponentially expanded to 8 hectares preserving biodiversity, specifically animals and plants to generate income and improve community livelihoods.
Nadine Kanyana, the founder of ‘Kanyana World’, a Rwandan clothing company; Clarisse Kayitesi , the CEO saga blessing a maize production company are among other winners.
This year’s awards are a partnership of the Government of Rwanda, United Nations Development Program (UNDP), YouthConnekt Rwanda, and the European Union (EU).