UNDP and One UN to Enhance Collaboration with MYICT
Mr. Lamin Momodou Manneh, the Resident Coordinator of the One UN and Resident Representative of the UNDP in Rwanda paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Youth and ICT, Hon. Nsengimana Jean Philbert. The Resident Coordinator and the Minister held fruitful exchanges on the past, present and future collaboration of the One UN with the Ministry, with particular interest on the next programming process and the joint collaboration of the Ministry and the One UN in Rwanda in the areas of youth empowerment.
Hon. Nsengimana described the vision and mission the Ministry has set in terms of youth empowerment and ICT development. The Minister explained that the Ministry is planning to make flagship programs, in order to translate their vision into reality, and in the future, the focus is going to be on how ICT can be used to create jobs for the youth, in order to be able to encourage newly graduates to become job creators or self-employers rather than job seekers.
The Ministry of Youth and ICT (MYICT) has recently launched two new programs in order to promote youth economic empowerment: 1) A youth program called HAPPI (healthy, apt, productive, patriotic, and innovative) Generation, a program with the main goal of improving the livelihood of every young Rwandan; and 2) an ICT program called SPREAD with the goal of promoting better solutions and services of ICT nationwide, inciting the private sector in taking the lead on the ICT market, ensuring better access of ICT in rural areas, improving education on ICT as to ensure the employability and entrepreneurship, making ICT more affordable and more accessible nationwide, and fostering a demand-driven by the market.
For the future, the Minister called for stronger collaboration with One UN on one of the ministry’s programs, which supports youth empowerment and entrepreneurship. “The Joint Youth Program has been and remains the biggest program we have with our partners in the youth sector”.
The Joint Youth Program was implemented by the government of Rwanda and the One UN in 2009, to protect Rwandan youth’s human rights, to increase opportunities for boys and girls to achieve their dreams, and to promote a young generation free of poverty, discrimination, and violence. The targeted youth is aged between 10 and 35 years. The project’s lead partners are UNFPA, ILO, UN-Habitat, UNDP, and UNIDO. Hon. Nsengimana said that the ministry is planning to focus JYP for the next five years on economic empowerment through entrepreneurship development, apprenticeship, access to finance, IT training, training in various skills, talent detection and promotion, and then youth mobilization on HIV/AIDS prevention and reproductive health.
Mr. Manneh commended the Government through the Minister for progress made in facing issues affecting youth and in advancing ICT in Rwanda. Mr. Manneh concluded by reiterating interest for the One UN to work more effectively with the Ministry in the area of youth economic empowerment. He announced to the Minister that for the next five years after June 2013, the One UN is going to implement long-term flagship programs, which are going to replace the small projects scattered around the country. He added that a youth flagship program will have contribution from almost all One UN agencies including UNDP-Rwanda.