Young people in Rwanda are urged to take part in different debates by following live on Youtube, a bi-monthly YouthConnekt Hangout programme and share their views through social networks.
The youth discuss different topics that are aimed at finding solutions to various problems they face in life. Last week’s debate was centred on the role mobile applications can play in solving socio-economic problems.
YouthConnekt was initiated by the Ministry of Youth and ICT (MYICT) in 2012 as a platform to connect young Rwandans and increase their participation in the country’s socio-economic transformation. The initiative has since spun off a number of well-established programs such the YouthConnekt Dialogue and YouthConnekt Awards.
YouthConnekt Hangout brings together various partners including UNDP, ADMA, Tigo Rwanda, Zilencio Creativo, BSC Ltd and HeHe Ltd to create a platform for youth, government, development partners, private sector and civil society to connect youth to opportunities for their personal and socio-economic development.
The last Hangout gathered the youth from different sites mainly the students of University of Rwanda/Huye (UR Huye), those of INATEK in Ngoma District, and the kLab members, a group of young ICT innovators in Kigali and the Ministry of Youth and ICT headquarters. It was an occasion where the youth were interacting with the Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana.
Minister Nsengimana said that the YouthConnekt Hangout serves as an opportunity for young people to find solutions to the communities’ problems. “The Hangout brings opportunities to young people of Rwanda and beyond, the role of mobile technologies especially mobile application today.”
The Minister also stressed that the role of mobile applications can be crucial in different sectors as Rwanda stays in a process of transformation, moving from agriculture based economy to ICT activities; adding that young people who started to create the applications will be rewarded in the competition to happen in the next YouthConnekt Hangout.
Miriam Muganga, a third year student at UR Huye in Computer sciences and systems, said that she tried to create an mobile application that can locate different hotels and restaurants in Huye District where tourists and visitors may find accommodation easily.
Muganga noted that any application needs a lot time doing research, and it is difficult when the students mix it with their studies.
“It is hard to find people who are more interested in the innovation, developing an application are very good when you are in a team “said Muganga as a challenge to her.
The Hangout is an online debate happening live after two weeks, through the initiative young people across the country and abroad share their views, and are able to ask questions to the officials in order to find solutions against challenges that the country face in line with development goals.
YouthConnekt Hangout won the first prize at the UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa’s innovation fair in the beginning of December last year in South Africa. The platform use Google hangout technology in combination with other social media channels and SMS to connect young people to role models, resources, skills, and entrepreneurship and employment opportunities.
The next Youth Connekt Hangout will happen on Tuesday February 11th, 2014 from 4:00PM. It will be an occasion of the competition to generate mobile application technologies to be used by the community.