CMAAOHUB: A golden programme for young graduates in search of employment

The CMAAOHUB Club is a programme initiated by CMAAO Afya Bora. This programme is commonly heard whispered between the young people living in different corners of the economical capital of Burundi, Bujumbura. From those hearsays, anyone will undoubtedly be curious about its specificity and mainly its work coupled with its goal. Shikiriza via its contributor went in search of more light on this opportunity available to Burundian youth.

The “Centre Médical d’Accueil, Accompagnement et d’Orientation (CMAAO AFYA Bora)” is an association under Burundian law based in Bujumbura. Apart from its interest and activities in the health domain, it succeeded, too, to focus on what might interest young people, especially those graduated in search of employment. The Burundians will undoubtedly say « Ubwiza buca mu kanwa », which roughly means “a good health is felt and passes through the stomach ». Similarly, the French speakers will not hesitate to say “le ventre affamé n’a point d’oreille” (a hungry stomach has no ears). From there, one will not be mistaken if s/he understands that « no good health with an empty stomach ». CMAAO AFYA Bora knew this, even, before the others.

From caring for the sick to training young people in entrepreneurship

CMAAO AFYA Bora, besides its good omen in the care and support of patients of various pathologies, knew how to behave in front of the challenge of the moment, youth unemployment. Although he didn’t put aside his initial work, the care, support and guidance of patients, he succeeded to create another initiative, CMAAOHUB.

The CMAAOHUB club programme is an initiative launched by the CMAAO AFYA Bora in 2021. It consists of equipping graduated young people in search of employment with practical skills in entrepreneurship and personal development. This is done mainly through a 2-month training, and an accelerated and continuous coaching. During these two months, a set of modules are to be reviewed. These are the module of planning and management of the project cycle, patriotic entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship and health without drugs, introduction to entrepreneurship and legal aspects of companies in Burundi, daring to undertake, choice of a business idea, creation and management of Income Generating Activities/Companies/Cooperatives, financial education, personal development, becoming the best version of oneself, exchange of experience in the field of entrepreneurship and the organisation of forums, festivals, debates and exchanges in the framework of youth empowerment.

After this two-month training, a written exam is organised after which a certificate is given to those who pass it. In addition to this, each class has the duty to set up a cooperative, a place to apply the knowledge acquired during the training.

On this date that a second batch has finished going through all the planned modules, a cooperative of the previous batch is at work and progressing well as reported by Mr Eloge NINEZA, CEO of CMAAO AFYA Bora.

As Eloge NINEZA, CEO of CMAAO AFYA Bora, points out, the CMAAOHUB programme came at the right time to counter youth unemployment which, according to him, is « a ticking time bomb » for Burundi. This training, coaching and support programme for young graduates, novices and/or emerging in entrepreneurship, has also come, according to the same initiator, to provide knowledge and practical skills in entrepreneurship to young graduates which can help them to seize young people’s opportunities, which are constantly increasing, and to give up the bad behaviour that hinders society.

According to the same CEO, the CMAAOHUB club is also created to inculcate youth the entrepreneurial culture by encouraging self-employability of young people and promoting innovation, creativity, experience sharing and seizing opportunities.

« The existence of a bank for youth investment, the Economic Empowerment and Youth Employment Programme, the Ministry of Youth, companies and enterprises created by young people, hillside cooperatives, the promotion of information and communication technology (ICT) and the national development plan that gives a prominent place to young people is a great and golden opportunity for them to seize, » he said.

Strategy for the successful implementation of this giant programme for young people

For the successful implementation of this giant youth empowerment programme, CMAAO AFYA Bora has known which foot to step on.

« The CMAAO AFYA Bora centre has partnered with the Association for Progressive African Youth, AJAP in French acronym. And both associations are partner organisations of the Ministry of East African Community Affairs, Youth, Sports and Culture as well as the Ministry of Public Health. This also motivated us to embark on this project of setting up a programme to support and accompany young graduates in search of employment, » he says.

« Since its inception, we have been delighted with the steps we have taken to empower Burundian youth. We get success stories from those who have been trained and we are proud of them. We expect great things, too, from the second batch recently trained. This one will get certificates on this 27 January 2022. We will spare no effort when it comes to contribute to the empowerment and development of our youths. We also ask everyone to join forces for the effective development of our youth, » he added.

Reactions of young people trained in the framework of the CMAAOHUB club

Isaac Irakoze, one of the laureates of this programme, the second promotion, says that he is satisfied with the knowledge received from this programme which took two months.

« Apart from new acquaintances and new friends, I have gained a lot of things, especially in the choice of business ideas; project development, management and monitoring and evaluation; as well as the associative field and personal development. At the end of my bachelor degree, I had no idea about project development, management and monitoring. Everything I learned during this programme will be applied, step by step, in various initiatives which I am an active member or founder. If every young person should have access to these lessons, our young people would no longer complain about employment », says Irakoze.

As far as Edouard Nzambimana, also a laureate of this programme, is concerned, the knowledge he has got will serve him as an indestructible foundation for a better professional life integration and/or for a self-employment or job creation.. He calls for the expansion of the programme to other places in the countryside because, according to him, young people in the countryside are also in need of this knowledge and competences that are rarely given at school.