Rwanda’s economy is expanding and its post-war growth is regarded as a success story. But much of the vision for its continued economic development relies on the service sector, while over 80% of Rwandans continue to earn their living by cultivating land. At the same time, with upwards of 300 people per square kilometer, a land based economy is increasingly unsustainable. The government has acknowledged the problem and now seeks to create employment opportunities away from the agricultural sector as part of a knowledge based economy. In line with this priority, we strive to promote alternative non-agricultural livelihood opportunities in Rwanda through an innovative combination of radio and television programing.
The radio program Kura Wikorera (“Grow While Working for Yourself”) is the primary channel for these efforts. This 30-minute show airs weekly throughout the country. It addresses challenges faced by unemployed and underemployed youth, discussing ways young people can explore alternative paths to support themselves and their families. Kura Wikorera is aimed at both educated and non-educated youth, disseminating information on available job creation resources. The program also profiles successful young entrepreneurs who have launched development initiatives in their communities, in order to inspire others in their employment efforts.
Launched in mid-2013 with support from the Belgian MFA, our innovative television program Zamuka (“Move Up”) introduced a new format to the media landscape, becoming Rwanda’s first reality TV show. The result of a collaboration between us and the country’s first independent TV station, TV10, Zamuka is produced entirely in Rwanda. This weekly show follows young Rwandans with dreams of starting businesses of their own as they compete in challenges that guide them along their entrepreneurship journey. It provides real role models who are striving to create a sustainable livelihood for themselves, their families, and their communities. In doing so, Zamuka inspires a new way of thinking for Rwandan youth as they explore livelihood options outside of the primary sector, while also equipping them with the knowledge to make educated and informed business decisions.