By Abdul Rahman Suagibu –
NEW AFRICA DAILY NEWS, Freetown, Sierra Leone- RWANDA, shortly after the Rwanda Government and other partners revealed a new idea dubbed ‘Envisage Youth Agribusiness Incubator Programme’, a project that looks to aid the entrepreneurs turn their startups into sustainable and profitable ventures.
The programme was on Thursday 28th November, 2019 at the University of Rwanda’s College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine (UR-CAVM) in Musanze District, Northern Province. The Business Incubation Centre for Youth in Agribusiness is part of an initiative which authorities say will remain operational to insure it mentors a critical mass of young entrepreneurs so as to lift up the country’s agriculture growth.
It was led by the Rwanda Youth in Agri-Business Forum (RYAF), which has about 12,000 members so far.
RYAF was created by five ministries in the last three years to engage youth in agribusiness, is now implementing the project in concert with University of Rwanda, Business Development Fund (BDF), and three Finland-based universities which will be assisting the local youth to acquire high tech knowledge in entrepreneurship. The universities are Hanken School of Economics, University of Helsinki and Aalto University.
Patrice Habinshuti, RYAF Capacity Building Manager, said that the incubator programme will equip youth with relevant knowledge and other incentives for their respective businesses to thrive.
“For a business to flourish one needs to be knowledgeable about that. Office space, internet and other requirements normally hurt local startups, but with our business incubation center, that will not be the case as the centers have technicians to assist young entrepreneurs free of charge until their businesses grow,” he noted.
Habinshuti added that the young entrepreneurs will be linked to banks and other financial institutions and will also be facilitated to acquire standard certificates for their respective businesses and products.
He went on to say that the programme is inclusive even for those who never enrolled in university revealing that the plan is to have a business incubation center in every district.
The Acting Principal of UR-CAVM, Guillaume Nyagatare, said the programme was in line with the university’s mandate to graduate students who create jobs instead of seeking them, stressing that “the programme will accelerate the country’s agricultural growth.”
For New Africa Daily News Abdul Rahman Suagibu Reports, Africa Correspondent