• Sun. May 26th, 2024

The PAEEJ National Coordinator asks young people to avoid self-elimination


Dec 4, 2022

BUJUMBURA December 3rd (ABP) – On the second day of the youth innovation fair organized from December 28 to 1 in Bujumbura, the national coordinator of the youth economic empowerment and employment program (PAEEJ), Professor Désiré Manirakiza presented on the financing of youth projects.

He recalled that this program seeks to support government policy in terms of reducing the unemployment rate. According to him, it has been noted that there are young Burundians who complete their studies, but who do not manage to find a professional integration. The PAEEJ seeks to support the initiatives of young people so that they are no longer subjects or objects but rather actors in their own development in order to stimulate the country’s economic growth. To achieve this, the PAEEJ must first build their capacities, i.e. give them practical training according to the type of project presented by the young person. He gave the example of a young person who wants to set up a hairdressing salon. The latter receives 10-20 days of training in hairdressing and obtains a hairdresser’s certificate.

He indicated that the PAEEJ subdivides young people into three categories. There are young people who are in the primary sector who are more involved in the production of raw materials. There are young people who are in the secondary sector who are more in the transformation of the raw material produced by young people in the 1st category. The third category concerns young people who are called “successful entrepreneurs”, these are young people who have been in the field for a long time and who did not wait for the arrival of the PAEEJ and the BIJE to start a business and who need the impetus.

                                                                  A young innovator exhibits his products

According to Mr. Manirakiza, apart from the third category, those in the first category receive start-up funding from the PAEEJ and the second category receives credit which is not actually given by the PAEEJ but rather by the partner banks of the PAEEJ including BNDE, FENACOBU, BIJE, BIDF, and others, and PAEEJ only pays the guarantee. He also specified that the PAEEJ organizes supervision or regular monitoring on the ground for these funded projects, to prevent these young people from working while losing.

Regarding the challenges encountered, the national coordinator of PAEEJ said that the first challenge encountered is that some young people have not yet changed their mentality to understand that one can become someone by being in entrepreneurship. The other challenge reported is that we meet more entrepreneurs by necessity than entrepreneurs by vocation, explaining that this was noticed when the PAEEJ gave funding to a young person and two days later, they found him on the list of those who apply for the internship of the first job.

For these challenges, the national coordinator of PAEEJ advised young people to change their mentality, and seize opportunities and take advantage of them, because, he stressed, it is not possible for all young people who complete their studies to find a clerical job or part of the civil service.

Young people were also urged to take charge of their future by making commitments. That innovation fair was an opportunity to invite them to avoid self-elimination and have self-confidence to undertake relevant initiatives that can be supported by the PAEEJ. He did not forget to point out that initiatives that do not have the chance to be technically and financially supported by the PAEEJ can be welcomed by other partner actors. Those who have already received funding from the PAEEJ have been called upon to be responsible, to use this money rationally so that reimbursement is possible.

Mr. Nihimbazwe Olivier, a young innovator and who already has a business manufacturing chlorine, a water disinfectant, welcomed all the initiatives of the government of Burundi in terms of financing youth projects. He pointed out as a challenge, the fact that the products resulting from the companies of these young people are not appreciated positively. On this, he asked the government of Burundi to help them raise awareness among the Burundians to consume local products. Young people, he asked to change their mentality, seize opportunities. While the young people who received experiences from other countries were called to share them with other young people.