YouthConneckt is a multifaceted project initiated by the Government of Rwanda (GoR) in 2012 through the Ministry of Youth (MINIYOUTH) and ICT in partnership with UNDP. YouthConneckt started with a young Rwandan man’s idea that the GoR should connect young people through technology. The result has been a virtual platform that connects youth with leaders from the public, private and financial sector to forge partnerships to provide employment and entrepreneurship opportunities to the youth.
The project aims to tackle the problem of unemployment and underemployment among the youth in Rwanda. YouthConneckt conforms to the mission, objectives and values of AGFUND and is relevant to the theme of the Prize 2018. It has been rated as one of the very successful and vibrant initiative under the UNDP supported youth and women empowerment program of the Government of Rwanda. It has been able to include four million youths in decision making and economic empowerment, more than 540 youth innovators were developed in business development and other entrepreneurship skills leading to over 8,000 jobs for boys and girls in different sectors.
YouthConnekt enables young people to start new businesses and fully participate in Rwanda’s economic transformation. This has contributed to the achievement of SDG 1 in Rwanda through the founding of hundreds of new companies, the creation of thousands of new jobs, and the participation of millions of youth in civic engagement and skills development activities. Beyond SDG 1, YouthConnekt also supports the UN’s “leaving no one behind” principle by supporting Rwanda’s most vulnerable youth including young girls, youth living in rural areas, youth living with disability, etc.”