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Challenge

Challenge
  • Almost 80% of Rwanda’s population is under the age of 35. This large and growing youth population presents both a challenge and an opportunity to policymakers.
     
  • Rwanda is currently at a turning point in its demographic transition: fertility rates are decreasing and the labour force is growing as the youth population ages.
     
  • If Rwanda’s economy is able to productively absorb this population, the country could reap the benefits of a ‘demographic dividend’.
     
  • Canada’s IDRC is looking to launch a research program on youth unemployment in Rwanda (and other SSA countries) to provide new evidence to help identify the most promising policy options to connect youth with employment opportunities.
     
  • Our role was to work with IDRC to profile youth unemployment in Rwanda, map the policy space and the key stakeholders, and explore the potential value add of a large research program in the country.

Innovation

Innovation
  • Laterite developed a comprehensive scoping paper which serves as a reference on the youth employment policy and research landscape in Rwanda.
     
  • The report profiles youth employment in Rwanda using the latest statistics and synthesizing the existing literature
     
  • The report also maps the current policy and programmatic landscape through interviews with key stakeholders at all levels from high-level government officials, to leading implementing organizations and to youth-led groups in order to capture the youth voice.
     
  • Our work offers a unique perspective on both supply and demand-side issues, the coordination and governance of policies and programs for youth employment, and the extent to which intervention-design incorporates youth voices.

Outcome

Outcome
  • Our research provided a comprehensive perspective on the youth unemployment issue in Rwanda valuable not only to policymakers, but also to program implementers and the general public.
     
  • This study serves as a reference paper on youth unemployment in Rwanda (frequently cited in policy discussions/reports in Rwanda).
     
  • Scoping paper was main introduction to large consultative workshop with leading policy-makers and implementing organizations on youth unemployment.