Though scarred and decimated by the horrific 1994 genocide, Rwanda today is an example of how rapid post-war reconstruction can create new economic opportunities.
But Rwanda’s main industry exporting commodities like coffee, tea, tin, and wolframite, cannot sustain the phenomenal surge in the country’s population — youth under 35 years old account for nearly 40% of the overall population.
A challenge? Yes. But for Cephas, a 29-year-old science teacher, this is also an opportunity to turn his passion for teaching into a business.
Today he is the proud owner of Uburanga, which makes soaps, lotions, and natural jellies that remove bacteria that cause skin infections — products he developed while teaching lessons to his classes.
“Starting my business was very difficult,” he admits. “My salary as a teacher was very low.”
Cephas produced each soap by hand, a long and painstaking process. After school, he walked to the local markets with his soaps in a backpack to sell.c
UNDP is working with partners in Rwanda to inspire, train, and provide young entrepreneurs like Cephas with the tools they need to succeed through YouthConnekt.