A consortium led by Education Development Center (EDC) Inc., with members including Souktel and Catholic Relief Services, has been selected by USAID Rwanda to lead a new five-year, $22.5 million youth initiative. Called Huguka Dukore, this flagship project will build on the success of the earlier Akazi Kanoze Youth Livelihoods Project, through which Souktel supported EDC to train more than 21,000 Rwandan youth to prepare for—and secure—meaningful jobs.
Huguka Dukore, which means “get trained and let’s work” in the local language of Kinyarwanda, will design and deliver workforce preparation activities that empower youth to meet the needs of private sector firms. EDC and its partners will assist Rwanda’s public and private sectors to expand on the Akazi Kanoze model—which provided young people with work-readiness skills training as well as technology-enabled support services such as job placement and coaching. Huguka Dukore plans to work with 40,000 of the country’s most vulnerable youth, including those with disabilities and members of the LGBT community.
The new project builds on the foundation of Akazi Kanoze, which began in 2009. Initially funded by USAID, that project grew and diversified with support from the Government of Rwanda, The MasterCard Foundation, DFID, and other partners. Akazi Kanoze has been acknowledged as an overwhelming success in Rwanda, with surveys showing that 65 percent of graduates found employment within six months of completing the program. In 2014 the GSMA—the global industry association of mobile networks—highlighted the work of EDC and Souktel to link Akazi Kanoze youth with job content via mobile phones, in a special research report entitled Scaling Mobile Employment Services: A Stakeholder Perspective.
“We are so pleased to be able to strengthen and build on the efforts of our work in Rwanda,” said EDC Senior Vice President Nancy Devine. “The success of our approach has not only inspired Huguka Dukore, it has led to replication in other countries. It’s very exciting.”
“Souktel is honored to support EDC in the next phase of its work in Rwanda,” added Souktel CEO Jacob Korenblum. “We look forward to building on the technologies deployed during Akazi Kanoze, and to working directly with youth to design new, user-centered tech tools”.