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In secondary school, I chose Economics as my favorite subject, and this exposed me to different insights about the economic situation in Rwanda and Africa. According to the United Nations Population Division, annual increases in Africa’s population will exceed 42 million people per year, and total population will have doubled to 2.4 billion by 2050. This means that for every month, Africa’s population will increase by 3.5 million people and over 60% are young people below the age of 25 years. Such a population growth, which is growing at a faster rate than any continent, must be met with the same increase in economic opportunities. In my country, Rwanda, the government has made some significant strides in meeting this demand even though unemployment still stands at 28.6% female and 14% male among the youth creating the need for us to do more in creating opportunities and employment. We have already seen in African many African countries what can happen when young people are out of jobs. In light of this, I want to start a fashion industry in few years to create employment for the youth in Rwanda while at the same time building an African fashion brand that will promote the rich tapestry of African cultures and fabrics. The Fashion industry will focus on harnessing the talents of young Rwandans while at the same time providing them a source of income and employment. Fashion has been my passion since a child. Growing up in a low-income family, I barely had clothes to wear, and I would watch most of my neighbors go for days wearing the same clothes. Luckily for my mother, she found a low paying job as a clothe sewer using just her bare hands. I spent most of the time helping and also learning from her. I would put together the pieces of clothes left over and sew my clothes to wear. In no time, the number of clothing I had started to increase. The more clothes I sew, the more I got better at sewing clothes. I quickly grew the passion for fashion. I fell in love with designing different styles of clothing. Few years after, I gained admission to the Agahozo Shalom for my high school studies. There, I got the opportunity to start my fashion and design club. This was a platform for other students who had the same interest in fashion to grow their passion and for me. I firmly believe that addressing youth unemployment will require a substantial collaboration between the private and public sectors, and my goal is to create that reputable fashion brand that supports employment and job creation while working with the public sector to provide the different skills that will empower vulnerable young girls to start clothes sewing like my mother. I will work with varying agents of fashion to advertise my clothes and extend my brand beyond Rwanda in the future. This will enable me to contribute to the development of my country through job creation and payment of taxes which will help reduce the unemployment rate and boost the economy of Rwanda.

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I'm Eric!

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