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USAID Launches Nationalwide Audio Program For SMEs

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USAID funded project, Huguka Dukore Akazi Kanoze, has began nationwide broadcasting of the Work Ready Now! audio program, an entrepreneurship-skills training for youth. 

The program’s audio lessons will support youth who are not able to physically attend in-person training sessions, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The audio lessons will air on Radio Rwanda and will cover more than 90% of Rwanda’s geographical area.

The Work Ready Now! audio program teaches Rwandan youth entrepreneurship skills to excel in the workplace and continue driving Rwanda toward middle-income status.  The audio program is built on a story that evolves over 42 episodes that are 10-15 minutes-long, featuring young Rwandans in a real work setting who experience day-to-day work life as employees and entrepreneurs.  The lessons reinforce skills such as communication, leadership, problem solving, and other abilities needed for wage employment and self-employment. 

“The COVID-19 lockdown interfered with our Work Ready Now! and Be Your Own Boss training schedules.  We had to abruptly stop since public gatherings were no longer allowed.  Being able to catch up with the Work Ready Now! audio program on the radio is a relief to me.  Before they started I considered myself a drop out of the program,” says Celestin Nshimiyimana, one of the USAID Huguka Dukore Akazi Kanoze youth who was attending the in-person training in Gicumbi district.

USAID Huguka Dukore Akazi Kanoze is a five-year project, implemented by the Education Development Center, in collaboration with private and government partners, to reach 40,000 Rwandan youth with market-relevant employability skills and links to job placement and self-employment.

The project is targeting youth from vulnerable backgrounds who have not had the chance to complete school and are currently unemployed, earning less than US$1.75 per day.  To date, over 35,000 youth have enrolled in USAID’s project across 25 districts where they learn employability, entrepreneurship, and technical skills.  Thousands of youth supported by this project are now successfully employed or self-employed.

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