ILO and Rwanda partner up to boost decent jobs for youth in the digital economy

The International Labour Organization (ILO) announces a new development cooperation project, designed to promote employment for Rwanda’s youth.

Financially supported by the Directorate for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of Luxembourg, the main goal of the project is to enable more young women and men in Rwanda to access decent jobs in Rwanda’s digital economy.

Ms Cynthia Samuel-Olonjuwon, ILO Assistant Director-General and Regional Director for Africa, expressed her enthusiasm about the initiative, saying, “This project marks an exciting step forward in our continued efforts to scale-up our investments in the digital economy and uplift Africa’s young workforce. It will serve as a new model for generating practical, effective results that will inspire other countries. I am delighted about the potential for this project to serve as a global best practice.”

Echoing these sentiments, Ms Fanfan Rwanyindo, Minister of Public Service and Labour, said, “We wholeheartedly welcome this initiative, which closely aligns with Rwanda’s Vision 2050, the National Strategy for Transformation 1, and the National Skills Development and Employment Promotion Strategy (NSDEPS) 2019 – 2024, and the Decent Work Country Programme for Rwanda. Importantly, the initiative reflects our commitment to fostering multi-stakeholder collaboration and a ‘whole-of-government’ approach to boost decent work and employment for our youth in the digital economy.”

Mr Franz Fayot, Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs of Luxembourg, also expressed his support for the project: “We are pleased to continue our collaboration with ILO and support this initiative. This project aligns perfectly with our shared development priorities with Rwanda, such as TVET and youth employment. It also supports our broader objectives of promoting inclusive growth, and socio-economic integration of women and youth.”

The project specifically targets the youth between the ages of 16 and 30 years from Kigali as well as secondary cities, with an emphasis on serving the needs of young women and addressing gender-specific barriers that hinder their access to decent work in the digital economy.
Priority action areas of the initiative are supporting job creation and entrepreneurship opportunities in the digital economy, improving digital skills among young men and women and enhancing public and private employment services delivered to young people. For instance, the project will introduce new digital interventions in the labour market to create new jobs, strengthen existing programs aimed at promoting digital skills, and stimulate demand for digital services among micro, small and medium enterprises.

With a four-year duration and a budget of EUR 4 million, the project symbolises a significant commitment to Rwanda’s structural transformation and a transition towards a digital economy.

The project supports the regional ILO/ITU/AU Joint Programme on Boosting Decent Jobs and Enhancing Skills for Youth in Africa’s Digital Economy whose mission is to enable more young Africans to access decent work in the digital economy by implementing country-specific interventions, understanding what works and collaborating for impact.

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