The government of Rwanda plans to create 200,000 jobs a year for the next five years. This cannot be done without encouraging entrepreneurship and facilitating small and medium enterprises (SMEs), especially among young people.
To celebrate of Africa Industrialisation Day, a one day awareness workshop on entrepreneurship, key to accelerating industrialisation and job creation was celebrated at Agakiliro- Gisozi, a place hosting mainly technical SMEs including carpentry, plumbing etc.
In his remarks, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Francois Kanimba, said that the day is a good opportunity for African countries to revisit and redefine the industrialisation process in their respective countries. It also allows all stakeholders from different industrial clusters to share their experiences and challenges as well as agree on appropriate decisions for the future.
“Rwanda, like many developing countries, aspires to transform the economy to a modern and industrialised status that can sustainably generate sufficient outputs to satisfy both domestic, export markets and rapidly increase per capita incomes to improve livelihood of Rwandans.”
Speaking on the contribution of young people, Minister Kanimba reminded that youth and women are the driving force for social-economic development and innovation in Rwandan communities. He said that the large share of Rwanda’s working force - 61.5% of the population - is between 16 and 35 years old. He emphasised that the government is implementing skills development, as well as the promotion of entrepreneurship programs targeting youth and women with entrepreneurship acumen. Programs include Hanga Umurimo, SME cluster strategy, Proba Scheme, and other programs.
Minister Kanimba called on the private sector and development partners to work together with the government to address various entrepreneurship challenges by prioritising enhancing access to finance, application of modern technology by SMEs, promoting micro, small and medium enterprises as well as strengthening SMEs information management and dissemination systems using the SME portal launched two weeks ago.
Africa Industrialization Day is celebrated on 20 November each year after a declaration on 25th General Session of the Government of the Organization of African Unity and Assembly of Heads of State which was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in July, 1989.