More than 300 young people have gathered in a national youth forum this Monday 9 October 2017 in Bujumbura. Organized by the youth-led organization YouthGlobe, the two-day conference brought together young people from different provinces to adopt strategies so as to combat poverty and unemployment.
Testimonies from successful entrepreneurs, advice from bankers, recommendation from government staff, and guidance from NGO personnel were among others what was on the menu of the forum. The objective of the latter is to wake up the youths and shows them opportunities to reduce poverty and unemployment.
The Youthglobe representative says there are opportunities for young people in Burundi, though the latter do not take advantage of them. He advises the youths to accept to start with small things "You can't spend the whole day in the bed and argue that there is nothing you can do. Start with a few things you have", says Museveni Hakizimana, Youthglobe Representative in Burundi.
Isaac MOKAYA MARAGIA, University of Equator Vice Chancellor appeals to the youths to change their way of thinking "I believe young people can do something great. They have enough energy; they should give themselves a challenge to combat poverty and unemployment"
Jean Claude Nduwayo, Director General of Burundi Mine and Quarry Authority (OBM) reminds that the Burundian population is increasing and that youths represent the biggest percentage of the whole population. He demands young people to dare to try and be more creative "All the opportunities are there, you just need to dare and know where to begin", he says
Joseph MAFARA, Higher Life Foundation Manager says what is needed is just will and capacity. He appeals to the youths to face the challenge with a question in mind "If I could not find a job what will I do?" He advises young people to overcome fear to create something new.
The Youthglobe Director acknowledges that the results of the youth forum are positive as the latter is the fifth edition "There are several testimonies of young people who have initiated something new after the forum. Here, I can mention the initiative of the youths from Makamba southern province, who make soaps, and those from Cibitoke western province,who make porridges and toffeas (meat from soja)", says Museveni Hakizimana.
The most serious challenge that young people face on their way to entrepreneurship is the lack of support and funds. But for different panellists from different corners, this challenge cannot be taken by youth as an excuse.
Youthglobe is a youth led organisation which operates in Burundi since 2013 and works mainly in education and job creation sectors.