Friday, 26 April 2013

Govt to streamline job creation programme

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Through Kuremera, some street vendors and craftspeople in Kigali have been supported with cash to build markets and workshops.
Government is set to make a programme that funds young entrepreneurs more community-owned as part of its plan to create 200,000 off-farm jobs every year, the Minister of Public Service and Labour announced yesterday.

Anastase Murekezi told a news briefing at his office in Kacyiru that a programme known as “Kuremera” will be implemented at all levels of administration in the country in order to help young people without capital start their own businesses.

Kuremera is a Kinyarwanda word that is rooted in the Rwandan culture where family and friends donate to young adults to get them started as they become independent and sometimes get married to start a family of their own.

Since last year, the government has emulated the ages old tradition to help unemployed Rwandans get off the street, especially those who are most vulnerable, like the youth and women.

Murekezi said the programme would be streamlined across the country where districts, sectors, cells, and villages will have to show their annual plans on helping their aspiring entrepreneurs with cash and equipment.

“There is always money for a great business idea. We need the Kuremera programme in order to create jobs,” he said. “Kuremera is enshrined in our Rwandan culture and it needs to be encouraged.”

Through Kuremera, some street vendors and craftspeople in Kigali have been supported with cash to build markets and workshops where they can sell and make their products. Some welders and carpenters in some areas of the country have been gathered in workshops built and equipped by districts, and some initiatives by local officials have seen poor people being provided with tools they needed to start their own businesses.

Business Development Fund


The government’s Business Development Fund (BDF) ensures 75 per cent of collateral is assured to banks when Small and Medium Sized Enterprises or local cooperatives apply for loans in banks.

Even if the  $13.4-million BDF is dedicated to increasing business and employment opportunities for Rwandans by allowing them to access capital, the need for collateral that the fund seeks to eliminate remains since most poor still find it hard to get the remaining 25 per cent that is needed to have a complete collateral.

The government wants to mobilise Rwandans, corporations, NGOs and other development partners to help starters get that remaining 25 per cent that mostly poor members of society, like the youth and women, need in order to realise their dreams.

Murekezi said that residents can help their local young entrepreneurs with materials such as machines, land, and training or provide them with the money they need if their business projects have been approved by financial analysts that the government has hired to help people up to the Sector level of local administration.

“We need to take this programme where people live, answers should be available at the Sector level,” he said.

The government hopes that the initiative would reduce unemployment rate in the country where reports by the Labour Ministry indicate that 125,000 people join the labour market annually, with only 2 per cent getting jobs in the government, while 98 per cent have to be self-employed or seek employment in private entities.

The Ministry of Labour will use Saturday’s community work [Umuganda] and the International Labour Day next Wednesday to mobilise Rwandans to start Kuremera initiatives in their areas.

The government’s five-year development plan, the second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRSII), aims at involving more Rwandans in productivity by creating at least 1.8 million new off-farm jobs over the next five years.

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