Creating Employment for Vulnerable Youth in Rwanda. USAID Huguka Dukore Akazi Kanoze (2017-2021) will provide 40,000 vulnerable youth with employability skills by scaling up proven Akazi Kanoze interventions across 25 districts countrywide. To create opportunities for rural and urban youth, Connexus is working with youth groups to set up horticultural businesses, accessing drip irrigation equipment and inputs through group discounts, savings, and loans. In the first six months, Connexus identified technical training and job opportunities for 1,040 youth through partnerships with six private businesses. Connexus also mapped Rwandan financial service providers that offer youth-appropriate financial services and has partnered with four, providing technical assistance and training on topics like agricultural value chain finance and designing and delivery youth-appropriate financial services. Some financial institutions have already made adaptations to their products to better serve youth and Connexus is also linking youth savings and lending groups to these financial institutions. As of the end of 2019, Huguka Dukore reported 4,334 youth (61% female) linked to agribusiness opportunities and more than 13,000 youth benefitting from financial services (formal and informal). Connexus has trained implementing partners who have set up 12 demo plots where 300 youth were trained on climate-smart horticulture. Connexus also helped the partners to design marketing materials and assisted partner financial institutions to market and implement their new youth-appropriate finance products. To facilitate youth’s links to markets, partnerships have been forged with end buyers for tea, milk, animal feed, fishing, poultry, soy beans, bananas, pineapples, carrots and other horticultural products.

Client: Education Development Center (EDC); 2017-2021

“USAID Huguka Dukore Akazi Kanoze will provide learning and internship opportunities; entrepreneurship training and coaching; and access to financing, family planning, and reproductive information. The project promotes gender equality, social inclusion for youth with disabilities, and holistic health programming.” – EDC webpage on USAID Huguka Dukore

Participants in the New Product Development for Youth training conduct a focus group discussion with Huguka Dukore youth in Nyarugengenge, December 2018
Participants from Muhanga complete a value chain role play exercise during the Youth Financial Services and Agricultural Value Chain Finance Trainings, November 2017