26 February 2013

Rwanda: Access to Information Hampers Youth Contribution to Development

The role of the youth in development and self-sustainability might be vital, but with the challenges they face, their contribution remains minimal.

A survey by the Youth Association for Human Rights Promotion and Development (YAHRPD) revealed a series of challenges impacting negatively on the lives and actions of young Rwandans.

Some 1,500 young men and women aged 14 to 35 were drawn from the 30 districts in the country to partake in the survey, according to officials.

The survey undertook to identify the issues affecting the youth in justice, finance, education, health, ICT and agriculture sectors.

Researchers concluded that Rwandan youth face many challenges that variously impact on their contribution to nation building.

Among them are lack of access to finance or to information on good initiatives and opportunities that exist, unemployment, lack of financial capacity, drug abuse, and health issues.

The survey, carried out late last year, used both questionnaires and group discussions. The findings are set to be presented to public institutions and other stakeholders in youth issues.

Solutions at hand

The youth are considered vital to national development as they form the major part of the country's workforce. This means the country's success depends directly on the achievements and innovations of its young people.

The YAHRPD Executive Secretary, Enock Nkurunziza, stressed the need for the public to remain committed to solving issues affecting the youth as a way of contributing to their socio-economic development and that of the country in general.

He called upon the youth to form cooperatives and clubs that can enable them collectively seek solutions to their problems.

While presenting the findings to youth representatives from across Huye district, last weekend, Jean Baptiste Hategekimana, an official from Never Again Rwanda, said the youth have the capacity to overcome their challenges.

"The youth need to jointly work together to find solutions to the existing challenges," Hategekimana said.

Constantin Kayitare, the in-charge of youth in Huye district, said identifying and recognising the existing challenges is one step towards addressing them.

"Such surveys give a clear picture of what really affects the youth and we get to know where to focus," he said.

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