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Wealthy and Healthy Youth: KOICA support to MINIYOUTH, UNDP and UNFPA to scale-up of Youth Connekt & iAccelerator programs

The number of adolescents living today is higher than at any other time in history. This means that this generation will largely drive the outcomes of all the sustainable developments goals.

Investing in youth education, sexual reproductive health and livelihoods initiatives and partnerships will be critical to achieving every one of these goals.

UNFPA joined the Rwanda Ministry of Youth and UNDP in signing for the four-year funding from the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) to support the scaling-up of the YouthConnekt initiative in Rwanda that will extend financial support to UNFPA’s innovation accelerator program.

With UNDP and UNFPA, the Ministry of Youth to implement the program expanded partnership with two private sector institutions – Liquid Telecommunications and National Industrial Research and Development Agency

Speaking at the signing, Hon. Rosemary Mbabazi, Minister for Youth, said that the partnership has come at the right moment as the country strives to reduce unemployment among the youth so that Rwanda can reap its demographic dividend.

 “The programme will not only focus on job creation but also other components like engaging the youth in policy making, civic education and, increased number of youth accessing health services and adopting healthy lifestyle practices through the scale up of Innovation Accelerator which is why the ministry brought onboard other partners like UNFPA, Imbuto Foundation and UNDP”. Minister Mbabazi said that

Photo: Youth reading SRH information through mobile phones developed by one of the winner of UNFPA’s iAccelerator program  

As integral to the multi-sectoral approach of the Youth Connekt initiative, the KOICA funding, will enable UNFPA and its partner Imbuto Foundation to run iaccelerator campaign annually from 2019 to 2022 for young innovators and entrepreneurs.

The iAccelerator encourages young people to think critically and creatively about issues related to sexual and reproductive health and seeks to generate innovative, youth-led solutions to these issues.

A competition was launched in December 2016 and was followed with a series of boot camps, outreach events and a media campaign throughout the country to encourage the youth to apply and benefit from this opportunity. The phase one iaccelerator winners were awarded with a grant, training and mentorship and the four winning teams were; Girls District, Tantine, “Tubiganire” TV show, and Umbrella.

UNFPA and Imbuto Foundation will launch the iAccelerator phase 2 this year in July for young people between the ages of 18-30 to submit their business ideas in response to the challenge of “access to quality sexual and reproductive information and services for young people”.

“We are excited about this partnership with key partners supporting investment in youth in Rwanda and we commend KOICA for recognizing and investing in the iAccelerator. With this funding, we will be able to reach more youth with innovative solutions with our partner Imbuto Foundation”. Mark Bryan Schreiner, UNFPA Representative

Photo: (L– R) Mark Bryan Schreiner, UNFPA Representative, Stephen Rodrigues, UNDP Resident Representative signing partnership to accelerate Youth Connekt program in Rwanda

The Minister of Youth said that this programme calls on range of partners from government, UN and private sector to support young people to drive the socio-economic transformational change we want by empowering them, by investing in their innovations, and using platform like Youth Connekt to unite them.


Watch videos on iAccelerator;

Rwanda's Innovation Accelerator 2018 Innovation solution for Young people by Young people