The New Times (Kigali)

21 May 2012

Rwanda: Youth Initiatives to Be Decentralised Further

Youth coordinators will be extended from district to sector level to enable them easily access support for their development projects, the ICT and Youth Minister announced.

Jean Philbert Nsengimana said on Saturday that the move is in line with the Youth Empowerment for Sustainable Development programme.

"This initiative will ensure that there is easy and efficient communication to update higher youth organs, not only on the needs but challenges the youth are facing in their development undertakings," Nsengimana said.

He made the remarks during the 15th annual general assembly of the National Youth Council (NYC) that attracted representatives from each district, as well as secondary school and tertiary institutions representatives.

The minister challenged the participants to lead by example if they are to successfully guide fellow youths.

"As leaders, you must be the first to come up with some income-generating activities before you encourage others to work hard and fight poverty," he said.

Nsengimana emphasised the need for the young generation to be creative and innovative, adding that the country's future entirely depended on them.

The Executive Secretary of the NYC, Alphonse Nkuranga, told The New Times that among others, the council has been committed to promoting youth skills training and projects.

"Our focus has been on skills training essentially on entrepreneurship to build capacity for the youth to engage in activities that will bring a positive change in their lives," Nkuranga said.

He added that they have so far managed to train 100 youth from every district and about Rwf 130 million had been used in supporting youth projects.

He pointed out that, among other factors, access to finance has remained the biggest challenge for the youth to effectively engage in development activities.

Yvette Mushimiyimana, the Nyanza District youth council secretary, said that the NYC has been supportive in providing support that has seen various projects implemented in the district.

She said they have been able to come up with youth cooperatives that engage in crop production and animal husbandry, among other schemes.

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