The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Youth Encouraged to Form Cooperatives

The National Youth Coordinator, Philbert Uwiringiyimana, has called on the youth, especially those who have completed studies, to join cooperatives saying it will help them create employment by starting income generating activities.

His call comes shortly after a survey conducted by the National Youth Council (NYC), to check on implementation of youth development projects in districts indicated that educated youth have been reluctant to join cooperatives.

"I am convinced that cooperatives promote each and everyone irrespective of the education background; it is therefore uncalled for to remain behind while others are benefiting from cooperative projects," said Uwiringiyimana.

He explained that the council has plans and programmes designed to promote youth in general; and that when others do not participate, they lose out.

Among others, he pointed out that the council plays a crucial role in empowering the youth through skills development, especially with entrepreneurship skills.

"Its time to come together and utilize the available opportunities, not only for personal gains, but as a step towards enabling the young generation to contribute towards economic development," he said.

Annually, the council identifies 100 youth per district through their respective cooperatives; to undergo capacity building exercises as well as supporting their cooperatives to implement income generating projects.

Reports from the council indicate that over Rwf130 million has so far been used in promoting youth programmes. This is in addition to linking those who come-up with bankable projects to financial institutions to access loans or start-up capital.

The Deputy Director General of Rwanda Cooperative Agency (RCA), Gilbert Habyarimana, said the agency has come up with a mechanism that will promote and encourage the young generation to join cooperatives.

"We have now embarked on partnering with higher institutions of learning and universities so that these students can also get information even before they complete school," Habyarimana said.

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