Nyakubahwa Minister of Youth and Culture,
Vice Chancellor of Rwanda Polytechnic,
Dear Senior Government Representatives,
Dear Rectors and Representatives of the High Learning Institutions,
Dear Representatives of Civil Society, Private Sector, Media and Youth organizations,
Dear Colleagues from One UN Family,
Dear Young women and men,
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, All protocols observed.

MURAHO MWESE! 

It is an immense pleasure and honor for me to join you today, on behalf of UNDP Resident Representative who is on mission outside the country, for this 1st edition of TVET Youth Challenge- Grand Finale.

Let me first express our sincere congratulations to Hon. Minister, Rosemary Mbabazi, for her new appointment as Minister of Youth and Culture. Allow me as well to express our profound appreciation for your strong leadership, Hon. Minister, and the valuable support you are providing to Rwandan youth by raising their awareness, building their skills, changing their mindset, harnessing their energy, connecting them with opportunities so that they can realize their aspirations and contribute to the  socio-economic development of this country.

Through innovative programmes and initiatives such as YouthConnekt, the Government of Rwanda has demonstrated that with political commitment, adequate resources and right mechanisms; young people can play a critical role in building the future we want.

UNDP is extremely proud to be associated with the Ministry of Youth and Culture in the organization of this 1st edition of TVET Youth Challenge Initiative aimed at supporting young Rwandans from High Learning Institutions to showcase their potential, build their entrepreneurial skills and spirit; and contribute in solving community problems using acquired knowledge at school.

We are very grateful to KOICA, represented today by the Deputy Country Director for their valuable support in scaling-up the YouthConnekt Initiative in Rwanda. Since 2010, KOICA has been a strong and committed partner of UNDP and the One UN family. We are extremely proud to collaborate with you to empower youth and provide them with opportunities.

Honorable Minister,

Allow me to take this opportunity to congratulate the 24 young men and women entrepreneurs coming from 14 High Learning Institutions who have participated to this 1st TVET Youth Challenge Bootcamp and who have pitched their projects today. Dear young sisters and brothers, through the Bootcamp, you had the opportunity to showcase your innovative initiatives, to learn from your colleagues, to acquire useful business and life skills and to get constructive feedback from experts. I am certain that you are now well equipped to take your businesses to the next level. My small message is this: “work hard and never give up; you will succeed”. You are the leaders of tomorrow and we have full confidence in you that you will help this country to achieve its vision of becoming a high-income nation by 2050. I strongly encourage all of you to grab the opportunities around you such as the ones offered by YouthConnekt.

Honorable Minister, ladies and gentlemen,

I would also like to thank all our partners, the 14 High Learning Institutions represented by their Rectors, DOT Rwanda, NIRDA, RDB, Ministry of ICT, BDF, RISA, RYAF, RBC and others for the fruitful collaboration established in the implementation of this activity. This strong partnership is one of key factors that will keep YouthConnekt Initiative growing.

Let me end by thanking once again Honourable Minister of Youth and culture and by reiterating the continued support of UNDP to the government of Rwanda towards youth empowerment and the realization of the National Strategy for Transformation.

Murakoze Cyane!

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