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How partnership with Cornell University is contributing to Rwanda’s tourism sector

By IGIHE
On 25 mai 2022 at 08:23

Since 2018, Mastercard Foundation and Cornell University entered partnership to boost Rwanda’s tourism through ‘Hanga Ahazaza’ initiative.

The five-year program is focused on increasing employment opportunities for young people while expanding the tourism and hospitality sector in Rwanda.

Hanga Ahazaza is a consortium of partners from the education, development, and private sectors, working together to support small businesses and entrepreneurs in the tourism and hospitality sector through increased access to financial services and training, and by connecting them to young people with the skills needed to be successful employees.

As we are few days to go for Rwanda to host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2022, Cornell University has released the fifth cohort of 400 graduates including hotels’ employees ready to compete at the labour market and contribute to improved service delivery.

The graduation ceremony took place on Tuesday 17th May 2022 at Kigali Serena Hotel. It was attended by Alex M. Susskind, the Director of the Food and Beverage Institute, Cornell University and Ariella Kageruka, Rwanda Development Board (RDB) Acting Chief Tourism Officer among others.

Graduates have been undertaking tourism and hospitality courses delivered virtually for ten months and received assignments which they worked on with colleagues from the United States of America (USA).

Beneficiaries have revealed that studying under this program will contribute to Rwanda’s tourism sector and improve service delivery.

“Offering good services and teamwork are among essential takeaways,” said Wibabara La Reine.

Munyengabe Ingabire Nicole, an alumnus of the program has also underscored that students are equipped with relevant skills in the hospitality sector.

“This program presents huge opportunities and has equipped us with hands-on skills helpful at the labour market,” she said.

The Country Head of Mastercard Foundation in Rwanda, Rica Rwigamba commended the contribution of Hanga Ahazaza in youth empowerment.

She equally hailed the partnership with the university to promote tourism and hospitality and urged graduates to leverage on acquired skills go help the country improve service delivery.

Despite effects of COVID-19 pandemic, the Acting Chief Tourism Officer at RDB, Ariella Kageruka said that more efforts are being expended to overhaul services in tourism sector through training programs among others.

Through the Hanga Ahazaza program, the partnership between Mastercard Foundation and Cornell University is expected to enable 30,000 young people to access dignified and fulfilling work in the tourism sector.

A total of 400 students have graduated from tourism courses.
The Country Head of Mastercard Foundation in Rwanda, Rica Rwigamba commended the contribution of Hanga Ahazaza in youth empowerment.
riella Kageruka, Rwanda Development Board (RDB) Acting Chief Tourism Officer also attended the event.
Alex M. Susskind, the Director of the Food and Beverage Institute.
Munyengabe Ingabire Nicole has also underscored that students are equipped with relevant skills in the hospitality sector.
Some of graduates in a group photo after receiving certificates.

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