The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Youth Appeal for Start-Up Capital

Rwamagana — Youth representatives in the Eastern Province have requested the government to facilitate them to easily access funds either individually or as organised entities such as cooperatives for investment.

The appeal was made by youth coordinators in all districts of Eastern Province while meeting the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth and ICT, Rosemary Mbabazi, on Tuesday.

The meeting was attended by the Governor, Odette Uwamariya among other high ranking government officials.

The National Youth Council coordinator in Kirehe District, Emmy Mukunzi, said the youth felt completely detached from the country's development process owing to lack of capital.

He challenged the government through the Ministry of Youth and ICT to pay special attention to the youth, particularly through support to cooperatives.

"There are virtually no youth cooperatives...much as we need to be creative, we need government support. The districts don't seem to care much about us...we have brains and energy, but these must be backed by financial support," he said.

The youth coordinator in Rwamagana District, Fidel Nabanganyimana, stressed that district leaders ought to show concern towards youth development.

"Most programmes designed by the district leaders do not address real needs of the youth. We are kind of detached, yet there is somebody at the district supposed to be working with us. Something is wrong with the network," he lamented.

The PS, however, challenged the youth to work hard in order to attract the attention of the banks.

"About 75 per cent of Rwandans are under 35 years and therefore, the youth form the largest percentage of the active population, which is why we want you to work hard."

Citing youth cooperatives in Musanze District, the PS asked the youth to start up development projects within their respective areas.

"You must be proactive; you cannot afford to wait for money without showing cause. When you start projects, banks will pick interest in you and give you money. No one will give you money when you are not doing anything," she said.

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