Rwanda, 12 January 2016 - UN-Habitat supported a Somali delegation on a learning tour to the Kimisagara One-Stop Youth Centre in Kigali, Rwanda, as part of its work with the Federal Government of Somalia and the UN Joint Programme on Youth Employment. UN-Habitat’s Youth Unit developed the One-Stop Youth Centre model to engage and empower urban youth through training and development.
Kimisagara’s version is one of the most successful in the region. It provides a range of skills and employability training, recreation and community engagement, including its Civic Education and Good Governance Programme. The centre is managed under the auspices of the Ministry of Youth and Information, Communication and Technology through multiple partnerships.
The study tour involved two Mogadishu Deputy Mayors, the District Commissioner for Warta Nabada District, a Ministry of Youth representative, the Benadir Regional Youth Association chairperson, Mogadishu youth representatives and selected UN-Habitat Somalia staff. The tour was arranged to help to develop a similar centre in Mogadishu. The Somali delegation was received by Hon. Jean Philbert Nsengimana, Minister of Youth and ICT for Rwanda.
Expressing appreciation for the collaboration with UN-Habitat, he said the tour was a way of encouraging ‘South-South’ knowledge sharing. “Rwanda has had some successes and some lessons to share, but we also want to learn from you,” he stated. The Somalia delegation also visited the K-Lab, Kigali’s innovation and collaboration hub for youth, and two youth employment initiatives supported by the Kigali Mayor’s office - Modern Tailoring and Fashion Design and The Mirror Group. Both engage urban youths in local economic development activities through cooperative approaches and enable unemployed young people to access entrepreneurial training, credit and local markets.
Lessons learned during the study tour included the need for strong government and local administration leadership and commitment on youth issues; the need to develop a wide range of partnerships in the public and private sector and the benefits of starting small and systematically adding investments over time as the centre grows and gains recognition within the community. “We have learned that all this development and success did not happen at once; the important aspect is to start and keep growing our centre,” said Iman Nur Icar, Deputy Mayor of Mogadishu.