The American development agency USAID has launched a Rwf 17.2 billion initiative called Huguka Dukore to train 40,000 Rwandan youth in workforce readiness skills by 2021.
The launch event at the Kimisagara Youth Empowerment for Global Opportunities (YEGO) Center in Kigali, was attended by top officials from the government, the US embassy, USAID, and partners from the education, business, and private sectors.
Huguka Dukore (‘Get Trained and Let’s Work’) targets Rwandan youth aged 16 to 30 years who have between six and nine years of basic education. The program will connect its over 40,000 participants with relevant job skills training, so they can find stable employment, start their own small businesses, or pursue further education.
The training provided includes work-based learning and internship opportunities, links to jobs and self-employment, entrepreneurship training and coaching, and access to financing, family planning, and reproductive health services.
Hukuka Dukore will be implemented by the Education Development Center (EDC) over five years.
At the launch, U.S. ambassador Erica Barks-Ruggles emphasized the importance the American government places on ensuring youth have the opportunity and skills needed to drive economic development and build their future. She stressed the importance of partnering with the private sector and civil society to accomplish the goals of the program.
“We embark on this partnership because we recognize the importance of youth in the future of Rwanda's continued prosperity,” she said. “Together we can achieve our ambitious targets and reach our goal of a strong, vibrant and flourishing Rwanda for many years to come.”
The Minister of State in charge of Technical and Vocational Education and Training, Olivier Rwamukwaya, emphasized the importance of the program in contributing to Rwanda’s development goals, particularly the ‘Made in Rwanda’ policy and the National Employment Program’s goal of creating at least 200,000 jobs per year.
The launch was preceded by a small exposition of Huguka Dukore’s activities, vision, and goals. Rwandan youth expressed their aspirations and expectations from the program, particularly their hope to be linked to further training, coaching, and employment opportunities in its growing network of partners.