Rwanda is the first country that the Foundation is approaching through the lens of the Young Africa Works strategy. The strategy outlines a shift in focus to looking at countries and economies holistically and identifying key growth sectors where there will be employment opportunities for a skilled workforce.

Our approach in Rwanda reflects this shift in several key ways:

  • Consultation with the Rwandan government during the design process, which was coordinated to ensure alignment with their priorities;
  • A 12-month analytical process with deep stakeholder engagement, which resulted in a clear focus;
  • A governance structure for each initiative that includes direct engagement with employers, educators, young people, and the government; and
  • Opportunities for an on-the-ground staffing presence for the Foundation in Rwanda to drive the implementation for each initiative.

Why Rwanda?

Since 2000, Rwanda has experienced a period of sustained economic growth, social development, and political reform, lifting a million people out of poverty. Rwanda has set ambitious targets to achieve middle-income status by 2020 and is in the process of developing its National Strategy for Transformation and Vision 2050. The population is young and growing; close to 80 percent of Rwandans are below the age of 35 and the median age is 23.

Through consultations with government, the private sector, civil society, other funders, and young people, we launched the Young Africa Works strategy with the announcement of two new projects in Rwanda that reflect our new approach.

Hanga Ahazaza

Hanga Ahazaza focuses on increasing employment opportunities for young people in the tourism and hospitality industry. The sector is a priority growth area for the Rwandan government and will position the country to compete globally. Growth in this sector will have a ripple effect and create another quarter-million jobs in sectors like food, logistics, IT, and banking.

By enhancing access to financial services and business development skills training, Hanga Ahazaza will allow small tourism and hospitality sector enterprises to expand and create jobs. It will work with training institutions, providers, and tourism associations to ensure that training reflects the needs of employers. It will also improve linkages between skilled young people and employment opportunities.

Read more about Hanga Ahazaza.

Leaders in Teaching

Leaders in Teaching develops passionate, skilled teachers and prepares them to deliver high-quality secondary education so that young people have the skills and competencies they need to succeed in work and in life.

The delivery of high-quality education is critical to the objectives set out in Rwanda’s Vision 2020. Access to education has significantly improved over the past decade but ensuring that students transition through the system and acquire the skills they need for the labour force remains a challenge.

Investing in teachers can improve secondary education outcomes and improve life and livelihood opportunities for youth. Teachers are the front line of the education system and reach thousands of students over their careers.

Read more about Leaders in Teaching.