A growing youth population could bring great benefits to Rwanda, but youth employment remains a key policy 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 labor force is growing as the youth population gets older. If Rwanda’s economy is able to productively absorb this population, the country could reap the benefits of a ‘demographic dividend’.
Laterite worked with Canada’s IDRC to profile youth unemployment in Rwanda, map the policy landscape and key stakeholders, and explore the potential value-add of a large research program in the country. This project aimed to provide new evidence to help identify the most promosing policy options to connect youth with employment opportunities.
The report synthesizes the existing literature and maps the policy and program landscape through interviews with key stakeholders at all levels: from high-level government officials, to leading implementing organizations, to youth-led groups in order to capture the youth voice.
Our research provided a comprehensive perspective on youth unemployment in Rwanda valuable to policymakers, program implementers and the general public. 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.
This study serves as a reference paper on youth unemployment in Rwanda (frequently cited in policy discussions/reports in Rwanda). It has been used as the main introduction to large consultative workshops with leading policy-makers and implementing organizations in the sector.