The governments of Rwanda and Sweden have signed financing agreement worth $7.4 million (Frw 6.2 billion) to support the National Employment Program.
The 2-year-grant support will put emphasis on skills for youth in trades with high employability potentials; training in response to the needs of emerging investment companies with special focus to companies engaged in ‘Made in Rwanda’; supporting youth who are graduating in TVET to enterprise their technical skills through the acquisition of start-up toolkits for self-employment; supporting craftsmen operating in clusters mainly those operating in Integrated Craft Production Centers (ICPCs) to upgrade their skills and acquire modern production equipment to enhance the quality of their products; supporting start-up MSMEs, mainly of youth and women, to access capital and finance through collateral guarantee support implemented by BDF.
The National Employment Program (NEP) is a 5-year program designed to create new jobs and to enhance the productivity of existing ones by equipping people with skills and promoting entrepreneurship and SME growth.
The program is included in EDPRS2 as a tool to strengthen the coordination of employment programs through better planning, implementation and coordination of employment programs from different stakeholders engaged in job creation and employment promotion.
“The EDPRS 2 recognizes the important role of employment for economic development and poverty reduction and, accordingly, calls for 200,000 off-farm jobs to be created each year to meet the employment needs of the growing labour force. This financial support will contribute to the achievement of this endeavour,” said the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning Claver Gatete.
“We appreciate all the combined efforts of implementing NEP as a nationwide employment programme, which has been a huge undertaking for all the involved institutions and resulted in great achievements,” remarked Swedish Ambassador Jenny Ohlsson. “The programme has since its start rolled out in all the 30 Districts, building important structures for employment creation and enhanced skills.”
In November 2014, the first agreement on cooperation between Sweden and the Rwanda was signed to support the implementation of NEP activities in the last three financial years (from Nov 2014 to June 2017) with a grant worth Frw 9.3 Billion. The first phase of the agreement of Sweden has supported to implement NEP and has mainly contributed to the creation of 80,672 jobs.