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Rwanda Calls for Huge Investment to curb down Unemployment, Calls PM

Rwandan Prime Minister Anastase Murekezi on Monday called for massive investment in the country to help boost employment.

Rwanda’s Prime Minister Anastase Murekezi.

He made the remarks while speaking here at Regional Employment Forum 2016, an event organized by the government to tackle unemployment and underemployment in the country.

"While Rwanda’s economy has grown rapidly over most of the last decade and will continue to do so in the future, there is still a challenge of unemployment among the youth," he said.

The two-day forum, held under the theme "Promoting productive employment by supporting young entrepreneurs," has brought together Rwandan public and private institutions and regional employment stakeholders to deliberate ways that will effectively increase the employ-ability of youths and women and increase productivity and skills needed at the labour market.

"Massive investment in areas that would enable our young people to get jobs like (those in) factories is needed. The government is rightly placing emphasis on industrial development and skills," he said.

Murekezi said that Rwanda has established a work force development authority to build and strengthen technical and vocational training.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the meeting, Jerome Gasana, director general of Rwanda Technical and Vocational Education and Training, said that access to good jobs will be driven by an effort to upgrade production activities.

Rwanda’s technical education could be another way of solving unemployment issues.

"It is essential to better understand the enterprises and the areas that have potential to boost job opportunities in the country," he said.

Rwanda has been addressing unemployment in the country through economic transformation and industrial development.

In February this year, the Chinese C&H Garments Company signed a memorandum of understanding with Rwanda Workforce Development Authority to enable students of technical and vocational education to secure training and employment opportunities.

The deal worth 516,731 U.S. dollars will facilitate training of at least 600 students in embroidery before they are employed to work at the factory.

According to the fourth Integrated Household Living Conditions Survey, the unemployment rate in Rwanda stands at 2 percent nationwide. Its economy has the capacity to create 146,000 new jobs annually.

A shortage and mismatch in skills has led to increased unemployment among youths, especially fresh graduates.

By Robert Muriisa.

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