Press Release —Local October 19, 2021

IOM facilitates benchmarking workshop to strengthen skills development for Rwanda and Mauritius


Kigali - Skills development contributes to structural transformation and economic growth by enhancing employability and labour productivity and helping countries to become more competitive. Investment in a high-quality workforce can create a virtuous cycle, where relevant and quality skills enable productivity growth and foreign direct investment, which result in more and better jobs for the current workforce and more public and private investments. This, in turn, increases the employability and productivity for both the current and future workforces.

Skills development and employment promotion are central to Rwanda´s transformative vision, aiming to become an upper-middle-income country by 2035 and ultimately a high-income country by 2050. To meet the public and private sectors’ skills demand, the country has to put in place labour market interventions that aim at attracting skilled Rwandans abroad to close the skills gaps in priority sectors and enable students’ mobility for skills development.

To develop responding strategic interventions, Rwanda Development Board (RDB), in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), explored mechanisms used by other countries to attract skilled nationals across the globe back home to fill the skills gaps in various sectors which spearheaded development.

For this reason, RDB and IOM facilitated a benchmarking exercise for the Government of Rwanda and Mauritius to share best practices between the two Governments on how to create better safe avenues for safe labour mobility while improving skills to satisfy the labour market needs in the respective countries. Given that Mauritius has enacted policies to encourage temporary migration, institutionalized labour mobility mechanisms, established regulatory frameworks and undertaken bilateral and regional initiatives to enhance labour mobility, the Government of Rwanda requested to conduct a benchmarking workshop with the Government of Mauritius.

The workshop was attended by 16 representatives from several government ministries and institutions and employment agencies across Rwanda. Government officials from Mauritius joined the meeting virtually. Among the speakers, Mr. Francois Ngoboka, the Head of Targeted Labour Market Interventions Department at RDB described the workshop as insightful learning for the Rwandan counterparts on safe labour mobility, diaspora engagement and skills development. “We aim for safe labour mobility, free from human trafficking and we want to embark on this journey while minimizing the risks and effects that may be associated with labour mobility” he said.

Several recommendations and action points were set at the end of the meeting per government stakeholder such as creating a special migration workers unit (SMWU) and include it in the rules and regulations of the national labour mobility policy (2019), training the national youth to match skills demand in country, include diaspora engagement programmes in policies, etc. At the end of the workshop, Mr. Alexander Twahirwa, the national programme officer at IOM Rwanda, urged the government officials to keep the momentum and work on the recommendations/action points upon return to the office.

The project is funded by the IOM Development Fund and is implemented by IOM Rwanda, in close cooperation with the Government of Rwanda.
For more information on the project, please contact Mr. Alexander Twahirwa, IOM Project Officer for Labour Mobility and Human Development (LMHD), at