WALTHAM, MA | Results of a new evaluation show that students in the Akazi Kanoze 2 (AK2) workforce development program in Rwanda were more likely to land jobs than those who did not take part in the program. The study also showed students increased their job-related skills, such as being able to communicate effectively, set goals, and create a business plan. AK2 is an extension of the USAID-funded Akazi Kanoze: Youth Livelihoods Project, implemented by EDC from 2009 to 2016.
Since 2014, more than 20,000 students have received training through the AK2 workforce development program, funded by the Mastercard Foundation. To ensure all students receive such training, beginning with the 2016 academic year, AK2 and the Government of Rwanda have embedded EDC’s Work Ready Now! curriculum in the syllabus for all general and technical secondary schools throughout Rwanda.
“AK2 has been hugely successful, based not only on program evaluations but on lives changed,” said Annie Alcid, EDC deputy chief of party in Rwanda. “When young people are gainfully employed, whether it’s working in a bakery, a shop, or a school, or they are running their own businesses, they are contributing to their communities and to society as a whole.”
Program results include:
- 21,000 youth in 438 general and technical secondary schools received work readiness training.
- More than 4,500 youth used their training to land and complete an internship or other work-based opportunity.
- 520 teachers and 163 school administrations received work readiness training.
- 77 percent of AK2 participants reported new or better employment/livelihoods as a result of participation in the program.
“I am able to put the skills I gained to use, especially how to develop business ideas into plans that can be implemented and get funding,” said Alype, a student at Groupe Scolaire Munyinya who took the AK2 training in 2016 and today has realized his dream of working as a journalist at Rwanda’s Radio Huguka. “Many times, you might assume you don’t have any assets . . . but the Akazi Kanoze Work Readiness training teaches you to use all the limited resources you have, your ideas and mindset, to be productive.”
On October 20, 2017, in Kigali, EDC and the Rwandan government will host a national culmination event as Akazi Kanoze comes to a close. Young people, including Alype, will participate in the event that will bring together hundreds of youth and partners from government, the development and private sectors, and youth-serving organizations. Highlights will include a Youth Expo, Business Pitch Competition, and a Live Radio Show. Follow the event on Twitter #AK2Learning.
EDC designs, implements, and evaluates programs to improve education, health, and economic opportunity worldwide. Visit www.edc.org and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.