Representatives of Rwanda’s youth community are attending an important tripartite conference in Kigali this week to contribute to global plans on sustainable urbanization for poverty eradication.
The conference, jointly convened by the African, Caribbean and Pacific Secretariat (ACP), the European Community and UN-Habitat, will address the theme “Sustainable Urbanisation as Response to Poverty Eradication in ACP countries – Slum Upgrading and Community Empowerment”.
During the conference, Hon. Jean PhilbertNsengimana, the Minister of Youth and ICT in Rwanda, is expected to participate in various workshops where it is expected he will highlight youth issues as one of those key to finding solutions for poverty eradication. These include workshops on Achievements of the Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme, the Capacity development for e-governance and e-participation workshop and the Ministerial Round Table: Gender Equality in Livelihood Development in Participatory Slum Upgrading.
UN-Habitat has carried several ongoing youth projects in Rwanda, including One Stop Youth Centres. The One Stop Youth Centre is a partnership between UN-Habitat and local governments. The model recognizes that youth engagement and empowerment through training and capacity development is pertinent to addressing the challenges faced by young people such as employability. The centres therefore provide skills training that contribute towards building a pool of skilled and employable young labour force.
In Rwanda, there are 22 One Stop Youth Centres. These centres provided a mechanism to harness and consolidate youth-serving resources and channel them to a constituency of young people who come not only from the environs of the centre but from distances as far as 30 – 40 kms.
"The Ministry has been searching for a model to replicate, and the One Stop Youth Centre concept was found to be most inclusive," said Hon. Nsengimana last year. "Now the Ministry is planning to replicate the One Stop Model in 450 locations including at District and sector levels across the country through the YEGO(Youth Employment Global Opportunity) strategy."
A field visit has been planned to the Kisimagara One Stop Youth Empowerment and Productivity Center, Rwanda's best performing centre, to provide an opportunity for participants to witness how itprovides a mechanism to harness and consolidate youth-serving resources and channel them to itsconstituency of young people.Participants will also get to appreciate how the freedom to access services – regardless of financial position, prior skills, gender or other barriers faced in traditional training institutions – is treasured by the young people coming to the centre. The centre provides a secure environment where youth can simply be themselves and interact with their peers and mentors, participants will get to experience this vibrant, youth-owned space.