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Rwanda: 13.5% of College Graduates Remain Unemployed, What should be done? Link Education to Job Realities

KIGALI, University education across the six-member East African Community (EAC) bloc and Rwanda inclusive should be linked to job realities on the ground and initiate community-based research partnerships to address unemployment issues in the region.

A man working on a car engine. Students should be taught things that are so practical in nature.

This is one of the six resolutions from the two-day Regional Employment Forum which concluded Tuesday in Kigali.

The meeting, under the theme "promoting productive employment by supporting young entrepreneurs," drew experts and policymakers from eastern and southern Africa.

Kenya is said to have the largest number of unemployed youth in the region, according to latest World Bank report.

The report, released in March shows that Kenya’s rate of unemployment stands at three times that of the neighbouring Uganda and Tanzania.

Governments and other Education institutions should mind about job makers rather than job seekers.

Unemployment among Kenya’s youth is now estimated to stand at 17.3 percent, compared to 6 percent for both Uganda and Tanzania, it said.

In Rwanda, 13.5 percent of college graduates remain unemployed.

Participants at the Kigali meeting called for integration of skills gaps, mismatch in national dialogues, and creation of platforms where employers can register skills required in their different sectors.

However, some youth have skills but lack capital to start-up their own businesses. They thus end up on streets.

The meeting also stressed the need for labor market information on the kind of skills employers need as well as on the number of job seekers to facilitate job placements.

The experts said that available labor market trends and statistics in different countries should be used to support informed policy and program interventions in tackling unemployment.

Participants also urged governments within the EAC to fast-track the harmonization of labor laws, practices and employment promotion strategies within the region.

By Robert Muriisa.

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