The Fifth EPRN Students’ Conference

DATE : 3rd December 2021
Venue : Kigali – Rwanda

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
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 in 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. Budget and Partnership arrangement

Is your company /institution interested in supporting and unleashing the potential of youth ? Kindly join hands with EPRN to make this conference successful. Partners will contribute to activities’ budget and take part in their implementation towards achievement of conference objectives, and at the same time widen the visibility of partners’ brands.

In case you are interested to partner with EPRN in organizing this students’ conference, kindly contact us through

5. More information about this conference

For further clarifications, kindly write to us through with a copy to or call 0789648172 / 0788615859 .

6. Address
o Office at University of Rwanda-Gikondo Campus, KK737St
o Tel : +250788357648
o P.O. Box 7375 Kigali, Rwanda

Done at Kigali on October 05th, 2021.

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