Call for registration for the Fifth EPRN Students’ Conference

Venue : Kigali – Rwanda
Date : 3rd December 2021

Theme : “Youth and Covid-19 : Challenges and emerging Opportunities"

1. Background

The coronavirus pandemic, which started in China in December 2019, has not only created challenges on the health system, but it has had a very big impact on youth globally. School dropouts, mental health problems, unemployment, home based sexual violence and early pregnancies… those are some of many challenges facing youth and specifically university students due the Covid-19 pandemic. On another hand, Covid-19 generated some opportunities to youth including but not limited to getting jobs by the time classes were closed mostly those related to e-services ; undertaking hands-on income generating activities like from construction, mining, masonry, etc. According to the NISR Labor Force Survey (2020) ; the number of students combining studies and employment increased from 123,100 in February 2020 to 324,084 in August 2020. In the same way, the share of employed students in the total employment increased to 8.8 in August 2020 from 3.4 in February 2020 and from 3.0 percent in August 2019. Furthermore, the share of unemployed students in the total unemployment abnormally increased to 15.5 percent in August 2020 as compared to 5.8 and 6.2 percent of February 2020 and August 2019 respectively. The 5th Students Conference aims to assess challenges facing youth during Covid-19 and opportunities brought by Covid-19 in Rwanda and empowering the youth with the culture of reading and writing.

About EPRN Rwanda

Economic Policy Research Network (EPRN Rwanda) is a Research and Training Institution with a mission to contribute to the evidence-based economic policymaking by providing high-quality research, building capacities and creating networking opportunities. The Students Chapter is a flagship project of EPRN, which aims to develop young researchers, provide opportunities for university students such as debate competition, networking, youth seminars, study trips, research conferences. So far, four student conferences in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 have been organized with more than 14 papers presented and awarded. EPRN website :

2. About the Conference

Every year, EPRN and partners prepare a research conference for university students at bachelor level ; who write papers and participate in debate competition on selected topics. Interested university students from both public and private universities write good quality research papers ; or attend debate sessions around one or more of the following subtopics :

Education and human capital development

Digital economy

Labor market

Gender and GBV

Green economy

The main objective of this Conference is to brainstorm challenges facing youth during covid-19 and point out opportunities following the coming of covid-19. Specifically, the conference seeks to :

Assess challenges facing youth during covid-19 and suggest recommendations to contain the challenges

To point out opportunities which resulted from covid-19 and policy actions to enhance them

To improve the culture of reading and writing in youth
• Creating a platform, which gives opportunity of exchange and networking for youth, students, young researchers, and learn from best practices across the country.

3. About the Competition

The competition will be held in two categories : Quiz competition and paper writing competition

3.1. Quiz competition

Interested will form groups of three members. The preliminary selections of the groups to participate in the group quiz will be done under each university’s student chapter. The first round of competition will be held at provincial level, and winners from provinces will compete at national level during student conference. Three winning groups will be rewarded. Current awards are as follows : 500,000 (1st group) ; 300,000 Rwf (2nd group) and 100,000 (3rd group) ; but may change depending on secured partners going forward.

3.2. Paper writing competition

EPRN advertise a call for abstracts and interested students respond by submitting abstracts around one of the suggested subtopics. Authors of the selected abstracts are trained in Research methodology and are assigned with supervisors to help them come up with quality papers.

The best three papers are presented sign the conference and awarded as follows : 300,000 Rwf (1st paper ;) 100,000 Rwf (2nd paper) and 50,000Rwf (3rd paper). This may also change depending on secured partners going forward.

4. Important Dates

* Deadline to submit abstracts and register competition groups is due on 24/09/2021.

* Provincial Pre-selections (Quiz competition) :

Kigali : 9/11/2021
North : 11/11/2021
East : 15/11/2021
West : 17/11/2021
South : 19/11/2021

* National Level competitions and Conference Day : 03/12/2021 in Kigali

5. Call for Registration on competition

This competition is open to university students at bachelor level. Interested candidates may register to compete for research paper writing ; or go for quiz competition (debate).
Those interested to compete through research papers writing, kindly submit your abstracts indicating the : (a) topic of your paper, (b) background, (c) rational of your paper, (d) methodology you will use and (e) source of data. The abstract must be not more than 500 words. Abstract may be submitted by one student or more.
Those interested to compete through debates (quiz competition) ; kindly form groups of three persons each ; indicate : (a) your group name, (b) names of group members and their respective university. (NB : students from different universities may form one group).

Submit your abstracts and groups through e-mail : and copy to / OR call 0789648172/ 0788615859. Submissions deadline : 24/09/2021, 5pm Kigali time.
Female contestants and students with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.

6. Address

Economic Policy Research Network :
Office at University of Rwanda-Gikondo Campus, KK737St
Tel : +250788357648
P.O. Box 7375 Kigali, Rwanda

Concept Note

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