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What Minister Dr. Utumatwishima Thinks About the Solution to the Problems Facing the Youth

A large portion of the Rwandan population consists of youth, where those under 35 years of age constitute about 75% of all Rwandans.

The size of this demographic makes it a significant focus, as the development of these individuals is crucial to the nation’s progress.

In this context, the Ministry of Youth and Artistic Development has examined the common issues affecting young people and has taken measures to combat them.

One such problem is unemployment, where 19.4% of Rwanda’s youth are jobless. It was also found that rural youth are more affected by unemployment, accounting for 74% of the total unemployed.

Besides unemployment, the youth also face challenges such as lacking necessary skills for the job market and not being proficient in languages like Kinyarwanda and others commonly used.

After realizing that the youth cannot contribute to national development without first improving themselves, the Ministry of Youth and Artistic Development has initiated plans to address these and other issues they face.

In an interview with IGIHE, Minister Dr. Utumatwishima Jean Nepo Abdallah outlined the planned programs to address the challenges that hinder the progress of the youth.

He mentioned that although “programs like YouthConnekt greatly assist youth, especially in entrepreneurship, many are unaware of them. However, an awareness campaign is planned to increase participation.”

In these programs, youth with promising projects are provided with capital to enhance and strengthen their initiatives.

Minister Dr. Utumatwishima also touched upon the creation of discussion groups to support and encourage one another, as one way to assist the youth.

It was noted that sometimes youth face numerous challenges, some stemming from family backgrounds, national history, among others, and often lack someone to confide in.

He said, “These problems sometimes lead them to alcohol, even though it’s not a solution. These groups will be established in safe places like health centers to offer counseling and help those already affected by alcohol.”

Minister Dr. Utumatwishima further lamented that it’s unfortunate when parents, the nation, or others invest in a child’s education, hoping they will grow up to be responsible adults, but they end up indulging in drugs or other demeaning behaviors.

He recalled, “We were once young too, and went through that phase where you find others skipping school, while you remember at home you were only given the school fee and told that it’s your responsibility to lift them out of poverty. You see others dropping out, but you stay, study mathematics, and persevere.”

The youth were urged to value themselves and engage in activities that promote their advancement, as this will elevate them, their families, and the country as a whole.

Minister Dr. Utumatwishima commended the youth who use social media positively and encouraged them to utilize these platforms for developmental activities like business.

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