The Chinese embassy in Rwanda has organised the first Chinese job fair in Rwanda, aiming at providing employment opportunities to Rwandans that graduated from China.
There are currently hundreds of Rwandans that have graduated from Chinese institutions in different disciplines and at different levels of education.
On Friday about 25 Chinese companies under the Chinese Enterprises Association in Rwanda convened in Kigali and were joined by about 200 Rwandans that graduated from Chinese institutions for a job fair.
The companies ranged from mega-state enterprises like the China Road and Bridge Corporation; and China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation to private companies like Huawei Technologies, Dmall Hotel, Homart Industry, Mango Telecom among others.
Speaking at the event, Wang Jiaxin, the Economic and Commercial Counselor at the Chinese Embassy in Rwanda, said that the initiative was a brainchild of the Chinese ambassador to Rwanda.
Wang promised career development opportunities and competitive salaries to those that were set to join Chinese enterprises, tipping them on the necessity of professionalism, respecting time as well as being willing to work overtime.
"You are going to be given opportunities to grow as specialists. And also Chinese companies pay good money. However, I should also tell you the Chinese are hardworking people. We work for more hours than several other countries like the USA and Japan. So, you should be ready to work overtime. But still, be assured of warm relations at work since the Chinese are hospitable people more so to foreigners," he said.
Zhang Yi Fei, the Deputy General Manager of China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, a Chinese construction company that has operations in 106 countries in the world also echoed similar sentiments as he promised space for promotions at work, but encouraging new recruits to be ready to learn.
Speaking at the Fair, Gaspard Musonera the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Labour and Public Service said that such the event supports Rwanda's national strategy for transformation which aims at creating 1.5 million productive and decent jobs by 2024.
Théoneste Biganiro, the President of Rwanda China Alumni Association, an organisation of Rwandans that studied in China highlighted what Rwandans can offer to Chinese companies,
"When foreign companies employ local citizens, it is good because they (the locals) have a lot to offer that the companies couldn't easily get. When a Chinese company comes here to Rwanda, it might be hard for them to handle different tasks for instance in the form of relating with local ministries and institutions without the help of local workers," he said.
The association currently has about 600 registered members.
Agnes Niyitegeka a bachelor's degree holder in Logistics Management is one of the people that were selected for job negotiations with a Chinese company.
She said that students that studied in China have an edge over their local counterparts when working for Chinese companies since they understand the Rwandan and Chinese cultures.
Rao Hongwei, the Chinese Ambassador to Rwanda, said that youth empowerment is a priority for the relations of the two countries,
"Over the years, following Rwanda's National Strategy for Transformation, youth empowerment has been among the priorities in China Rwanda bilateral corporation. One of our reinforced efforts is to work closely with our Rwandan partners to invest heavily in the education sector for the Rwanda youths," he said.
According to Rao, every year, China provides a total number of about 406 training, according to Rwanda's to priorities and about 100 secondary school scholarships through the collaboration with Imbuto Foundation,
"With such close cooperation and efforts, we have witnessed tremendous growth in the number of Rwandan students studying in China. For this year only, more than 200 Rwandan students have been awarded full scholarships and have flown to china for further academic studies," he said.