Promoting the economy and employment

Project description

Title: Promotion of Economy and Employment
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Rwanda
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Economic Planning and Finance (MINECOFIN)
Overall term: 2016 to 2019



Despite the strong economic growth of recent years, unemployment and underemployment continue to be among the greatest challenges facing Rwanda. The majority of the people in the densely populated country work in agriculture where incomes are low. At the same time, the number of young people entering the labour market is growing constantly.

Promoting employment and moving away from agriculture to develop an economy based on knowledge and services is high up on the national development agenda. Rwanda is striving to improve vocational training, promote the private sector and intervene in the labour market. 


A number of public and private actors have carried out measures that have a broad impact on employment.



The project combines three areas. It is improving the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises in the fields of wood trade, tourism, information and communications technology, creative industries, e-commerce and logistics, and it is raising the quality of the demand-led vocational training system. At the same time, it is further developing recruitment centres and employment services. In its work, the project team is keen to increase the economic participation of women and to include people with disabilities in the world of work and business.

To establish a better business environment for companies, the project team is providing technical and methodological advice to the Ministry of Trade and Industry, to the national economic promotion organisation and to business-sector institutions such as trade associations and chambers of commerce. The latter have assisted the project in providing services to their members and representing the interests of small and medium-sized enterprises. 

Together with the responsible parties from vocational schools, private training institutions and the Ministry of Education, the project team is developing a range of vocational training courses oriented to the needs of the labour market. In the four areas listed above, the project partners are introducing cooperative, dual vocational training. The project is enhancing the demand-led vocational training system in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, the vocational training authority and representatives from the private sector. This includes the ongoing development of a training system for vocational teachers and the training of in-company instructors.

To bring job seekers and employers together more effectively, the project team is helping the job centres in Kigali and Musanze to improve and expand their services. To this end, the project is cooperating with employers’ associations, the Chamber of Commerce and individual companies, enabling them to increase the number of vacancies they register. With the Ministry of Public Service and Labour and other partner organisations, the project is developing a labour market information and analysis system and is supporting the development of further public job centres.


The aim of the project is to create jobs in Rwanda. Between June 2016 and February 2019, the integrated approach comprising promotion of the private sector, vocational training and labour market intervention created 916 new jobs. Women have taken 31 per cent of these positions. A total of 2,241 job seekers have registered with the job centres in Kigali and Musanze. The job placement services have provided 817 people with either employment or an internship. In the 2019 academic year, 3,085 pupils are enrolled in the 20 vocational schools supported. The proportion of girls is 40 per cent. At the end of the year, 1,028 people will enter the labour market having completed vocational training courses for qualifications that are in demand in the tourist industry, in information and communications technology and in the wood trade. Around 1,000 individuals have taken part in demand-led training courses in order to improve their prospects on the labour market. So far, 300 participants have found employment within three months of completing the training. The proportion of women is 38 per cent.