Increasing Employment for Young People
Title: Hanga Ahazaza – Create the Future
Commissioned by: Mastercard Foundation
Financier: Mastercard Foundation
Lead executing agency: Rwanda Polytechnic (RP) and Workforce Development Authority (WDA)
Overall term: 2018 to 2021
Since 2000, Rwanda has undergone a sustained period of economic growth, political reform and social development. The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew steadily and significantly, resulting in important per capita income increases.
This growth has been driven by services and agriculture. Expansion in the services sector, which accounts for almost half of the GDP, was driven by tourism and hospitality, information and communications technology (ICT) and trade.
As the economy grows and more young people enter the labour force, Rwanda has to ensure that these improvements translate into opportunities for inclusive and productive employment. Rwanda is an extremely young country, with a median age of 23 years old. Young people disproportionately lack access to economic opportunities—37 per cent of youth are not economically active—and many more are underemployed or engaged in informal economic activities.
In addition, the size of the working age population is increasing rapidly, outpacing job creation. Young Rwandans are migrating rapidly to Kigali and other urban centres.
To improve employment opportunities and ensure continued growth, the government is committed to transitioning to a services and knowledge-based economy. These goals are outlined several government strategies, including the “Economic Development and Poverty Strategy” and “Vision 2020”, both of which aim to transform Rwanda to a middle-income country. To achieve this ambitious agenda, the Government is investing in strategic economic sectors, including education, agriculture, tourism and hospitality, ICT and health.
Sustained, inclusive growth requires addressing demand-side challenges, such as inadequate infrastructure, limited foreign investment and low access to finance. At the same time, supply-side challenges such as limited technical education and training (TVET), as well as limited placement, internship and upskilling opportunities must be overcome. Factors in these fields hinder the successful transition of young people into the labour market, impede their upward mobility and undermine broader attempts to catalyse growth and job creation.
The programme has contributed to poverty reduction in Rwanda by fostering the expansion of the tourism and hospitality sector, increased productive employment for young people, and access to financial inclusion, financing tools and business development skills.
In November 2017, Deutsche Gesellschaft für International Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH partnered with the Mastercard Foundation to implement the TVET component of the Hanga Ahazaza initiative, meaning “create the future”.
The initiative has an overall volume of 50 million US dollars (GIZ share: 5,6 million euros) and is designed for a period of five years. It focuses on increasing employment opportunities for young people while expanding the tourism and hospitality sector in Rwanda.
The Hanga Ahazaza initiative is a consortium of partners from the education, development and private sectors. Working together, they will support small businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector through increased access to financial services and tools and connect them to young people who have the skills they need to be successful employees.
GIZ develops the capacity of relevant TVET regulatory bodies, vocational schools, the Chamber of Tourism, the private sector and relevant associations to deliver demand-based tourism and hospitality courses. This includes developing occupational standards, competency-based curricula, supporting the training of TVET and in-company trainers, strengthening quality assurance processes, accreditation and certification. A particular emphasis will be given to workplace learning.
Key activities include the development and updating of demand-driven and competency-based curricula and courses; the training of TVET teachers, in-company trainers and instructors; measures to strengthen career guidance advisory services at Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centres (IPRCs) and the capacity building of key implementing partners which are linked to the TVET system.
As of April 2020, more than 200 TVET Trainers and 200 in-company instructors were trained and benefited from refresher courses. In addition, over 2050 employed youth took part in technical courses on hospitality.