Rwanda will next week host the international learning excellence and innovation conference to facilitate ecosystem connections towards a more interconnected approach to workforce development, employment and opportunity creation for youth.
The conference dubbed ‘Lexicon Africa’, to be held in Kigali city from May 19-20, 2022 is organized by Learnible- a learning innovation agency, and supported by Norrsken East Africa and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln through the University Partnerships & Exchange (UPEX) Rwanda Program.
The UPEX program is a partnership between Rwanda and University of Nebraska-Lincoln that intends to expand Rwandan capacity for international partnership management in higher education and so far there are over 200 Rwandan students attending university education in Nebraska-Lincoln.
The Kigali meeting is expected to highlight some of the program’s achievements and collect ideas from African educators and education Leaders, Learning Designers and Innovators, Learning Consultants, Professionals, Policymakers, Regulators, Education Entrepreneurs, and students.
Some of the popular personalities to attend include: Rwanda’s Rica Rwigamba, Mastercard Foundation Rwanda Country Manager, Dorcas Rutunda, Country Manager International Training & Motivation (ITM) Africa, Dr. Gaidi Faraj, Pan African Solutionist, Dr. Tomlin Paul, University of Global Health Equity (UGHE); Demilade Oluwasina, Founder Lexicon and Learnible.
Others will include Hannah Adams, Rwanda Country Manager Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator; Chiedza Skyum of African Leadership University (ALU) and Leadership consultants and Coaches Dan Gilbert, Elizabeth Scutchfield among others.
The conference will explore topics on the current and evolving skills and future workplace capacity needs, building and delivering programs that equip learners for the future world of work, empowering and enabling innovative education models for the future.
The two day conference will hold panel sessions to Inspire participants in innovation for learning and work, but also allow participants to work collaboratively to solve problems and present possible solutions to a number of challenges in learning and education.
Lexicon Africa Conference host and Founder, Learnible, Demilade Oluwasina told KTPress that Rwanda is the rising space and a gathering point for innovation.
“Everyone wants to come and learn from here. It (Rwanda) is strategic on the continent for all that it represents,” Oluwasina said.
The meeting is expected to be an opportunity to explore for the Rwanda government which is currently working on fixing the wide gap between skills and labor force especially among youth and graduates despite the government allocating a budget of Rwf16 billion (2020/2021) to job creation and supporting entrepreneurship.
According to the National Strategy for Transformation (NST1), Technical education (TVET) schools are seen as crucial in helping many Rwandans, especially the youth, acquire employable skills, and create their jobs.
With a high demand of skilled labor, the Rwanda government has focused on reducing this gap through promoting short technical education courses and increasing industrial training opportunities alongside financing small scale enterprises.
This is expected to enable the country to reduce current unemployment levels (20.3%) but also meet the government targets of increasing TVET intake to 60% t by 2024, and to create 200,000 off-farm jobs every year, a target that is yet to be achieved.