200 youth from the 2nd cohort of the ‘KCB Igire’ program who were sponsored through the KCB Foundation under a partnership with National Youth Council have graduated after intensive six-months training. The ten best proposals from the graduating class were each awarded Rwf 3,000,000 seed capital to start their own projects.
The grandaunds have undergone trainings majorly in ICT, Welding, Automobile Mechanics, Tiling and Culinary Arts at different Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centres (IPRC) in Kigali, Gishari, Ngoma and Huye.
‘KCB Igire’ program was first launched in April 2018 through the KCB Foundation as a flagship for job creation and wealth for the youth. It started with sponsoring 100 youth in vocational studies and has now expanded that opportunity to 200 more.
Talking to the students at graduation ceremony, Managing Director KCB Bank Rwanda, George Odhiambo revealed that the youth make up about 28.1% of the population of Rwanda and over 27.7% of the youth are unemployed.
“This evidently shows that we need to invest time and resources in the youth by creating educational platforms that are versatile, enable them to get into self- employment and in turn promote their contribution to the economy when they create jobs for their peers.”
One of the beneficiaries from the first edition of ‘KCB Igire’ Eugene Mukeshimana shared his story and encouraged the youth to be keen on identifying business opportunities and then using that as a motivation.
“Most of the time we as young people complain about lack of resources and funding, we let that become our excuse instead of looking for a motivation that keeps you persistent and determined. Opportunities like these by KCB Bank and other institutions do exist to uplift anyone with a profitable business idea.”
Executive Secretary of National Youth Council, Robert Mwesigwa appreciated KCB Bank Rwanda for continuing to invest in the youth and equipping them with technical skills.
“A great success story from the market and business assessment that was conducted shows that at least 1 out for the sponsored business projects falls down. And that’s evident that these trainings are effective and open doors to many business opportunities that generate more employment.”
Minister of Youth, Hon. Rosemary Mbabazi, said, “The ‘KCB Igire’ Program continues to prove that it designed an integrated knowledge system where a student is well equipped with both entrepreneurial and technical skills which provide tools to create jobs rather than only seeking jobs.”
“KCB Bank Rwanda could have chosen another field to invest in but choosing to invest in the Rwanda youth is a worthwhile investment that the Ministry will continue to follow up and support.”
National Youth Council and KCB Bank Rwanda are working together to ensure the youth empowerment programme maintains the remarkable steps it is already making towards realising the objectives of the initiative and the government of Rwanda will provide the support it needs.
Odhiambo affirmed the Bank’s commitment to continue supporting the youth and commended the Rwandan Government for its support to the programme.
The ten best proposals included: Ogera property, Tera imbere Rubyuriko rabbit farming, Youth Welders, Isano bakery, Igire muhinzi, Tomarillo Company, Best soap company, Comfort shoe zone craft and Swift home decor.