KIGALI, 3 September 2020 – In a special livestream event with Rwanda Broadcasting Agency, today young people and the media join the Government of Rwanda and UNICEF to launch the “Generation Unlimited” initiative. The event will be attended by young Rwandans, organizations engaged in youth work, members of the public, the Hon. Minister of Youth Rosemary Mbabazi, UN Resident Coordinator in Rwanda Fodé Ndiaye, and UNICEF Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa Mohamed Fall.
The Generation Unlimited initiative – or “GenU” – aims to ensure that all young people between the ages of 10 and 24 are in school, training or employed by 2030. GenU is especially important in Rwanda, where young people under 25 make up 60 per cent of the population.
In Rwanda, the multi-sector GenU partnership will help meet the need for:
· Education and training, helping young people build skills for productive lives;
· Employment, increasing quality work opportunities for young people;
· Entrepreneurship as a mindset; and
· Equity and engagement, promoting equitable access to opportunities, equipping young people as problem-solvers and engaged members of society, and addressing mental health concerns.
“As the UN in Rwanda, we reiterate our commitment of working with and for young people as leaders, partners, and co-creators in designing and successfully delivering programmes that benefit them. Youth voices should continue to be heard loud and clear in the processes and platforms that inform decisions; they are our present, our future, and at the centre of development. Generation Unlimited will enhance the strong partnership with the Government and national stakeholders to empower young people with skills and opportunities to unleash their full potential, innovate, create jobs and wealth, and to build a better Rwanda for all. Young people, it is you more than us who will transform our planet and our country,” says Fodé Ndiaye, UN Resident Coordinator in Rwanda.
“Meeting the needs of Rwanda’s youth will be a big challenge, but presents an even bigger opportunity. We believe that young people hold our shared future in their hands, and that if they are prepared for the transition to work, the potential for progress is unlimited,” says UNICEF Representative in Rwanda Julianna Lindsey. “UNICEF is looking forward to seeing youth in the driver’s seat and co-creating solutions alongside them.”
“The Government of Rwanda is fully invested in the Generation Unlimited mission to ensure every young person has access to the opportunities they need to lead productive lives. Generation Unlimited gives us a platform to convene all partners who share this commitment to develop better and scalable solutions for the development of young people. We want our young people to be the unlimited generation, to be empowered to play their role in Rwanda's transformation. Generation Unlimited Rwanda’s initial programmes will include strenghtening young people’s civic participation, increasing entrepreneurship capacity of secondary school learners, and making counselling services accessible to those who need them,”says the Honourable Rosemary Mbabazi, Minister of Youth and Culture.
Rwanda’s virtual GenU launch follows a Steering Committee meeting chaired by the Minister of Youth and Culture, including more than 20 partners from government, UN and civil society. During the meeting, UNICEF presented the GenU landscape analysis, which identifies specific challenges, gaps and opportunities for Rwanda’s youth, and partners agreed on next steps, including co-creation of a GenU action plan.