Muhanga: Young people call for easier access to Financial Services
By Deus Ntakirutimana
Young people in Muhanga District in the Southern Province of Rwanda have requested the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda to advocate for them in order to have access to entrepreneurship programs while at the same time urging the National Bank of Rwanda to provide new guidelines on slashing down the Bank Interest rate for them to easily create their own jobs.
In July 2021, the Rwandan Senate said that unemployment among young people was on the rise and that a large number of its projects were failing, the reason why serious measures needed to be taken.
Some of their findings include the content of a report by the Senate Committee on Social Welfare and Human Rights, which came from an analysis of the government’s activities in the job creation process.
Senator Umuhire Adrie, who represents the Senate Social Welfare and Human Rights Commission, returned to the unemployment rate, which was 22.4% higher than the national average of 17.9%. ‘as released by the National Institute of Statistics in 2020.
The proportion of graduates in vocational and vocational schools who got the job was 67.7% in 2016. The percentage dropped to 64.9% and 59.6% in 2018 and 2019. That’s when the government’s plan is to create jobs. 1.5 million between 2017 and 2024. Over the past four years more than 778,136 jobs have been created including 658,630 for the youth. Luckily, she said that although some progress has been made, there are still obstacles.
The Democratic Green Party of Rwanda youth of Muhanga district revealed that they are threatened by the poverty issues due to lack of easy access to financial services and entrepreneurship skills, according to Jean Luc Gasangwa, the party’s youth leader in this district.
“The first problem is unemployment and access to finances ,” he said.
He added that they have discussed the issue with the youth, the reason why they are requesting the Bank National of Rwanda to discuss with the local financial institutions, especially the SACCOs to reduce the interest rate which is high compared to their ability.
He also demanded that young people not be required to have work experience when looking for a job , rather they should be given the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the jobs while at the same time acquiring the experience. However, employers should also avoid exploiting them since some take them and give them jobs without getting paid.
Jeannine Mucyeshimana also says that women are struggling to find the capital, so she urges the government to help them for the best of the country.
“The government and other partners have to help us find an investment capital that will help us thrive, and have a better life.” She said
On the part of the party leadership, Mukansanga Denise, the DGPR Deputy Treasurer says that government to the citizens is like a child and a mother, so they need to be advocated for progress.
“There is a need for change. For example, a low-income person who starts a business of Rwf 50,000 Frw does not expect to be able to earn a living, such as food, clothing,…” she said
The Rwanda Youth Financial Inclusion Report which was produced by Access to Finance Rwanda (AFR) in partnership with National Bank of Rwanda, Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and National Institute and of Statistics Rwanda recommended that increasing access to post-secondary education is critical in building a knowledge-based economy.
It says establishing a catchment programme that up-skills the youth after completing their education will facilitate a transition from education to employment.
It recommends supporting young business owners to avoid premature death of businesses and introducing affordable credit products which could likely increase usage of credit.
Youth financial inclusion strategy should focus on people in rural areas and those in lower-income quintiles, recommends the report.
The recommendations also include leveraging technology to provide financial services and introduce new products since the youth own businesses in the agriculture (21.2 percent youth) services sectors (45.9 percent) than the rest of the population, and increased entrepreneurship in these sectors would have a positive impact reducing youth unemployment, recommends the report.
Given the informal mechanisms exhibiting higher risk exposure, efforts directed towards tailoring formal savings products to suit the needs of youth is likely to attract the youth in developing a culture of saving formally, it adds.
The report warns that such informal mechanisms exhibit higher risk exposure.