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Young people are to revolutionize the tourism and hospitality industry

Rwanda is looking to expand its tourism and hospitality sectors, and in order to do so, young people are being encouraged to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge.

It has been observed that, despite the fact that many young Rwandans work in the hospitality and service industries, many of them lack the necessary skills to improve their service delivery.

It is critical to change that narrative because Rwanda is attempting to achieve sustainable development through those sectors.

The Hanga Ahazaza program is one of the initiatives aiming to do just that.

Recently 300 hospitality management, on-demand tourism, and professional development scholars graduated from Cornell University’s fourth Hanga Ahazaza program in Partnership with The Mastercard Foundation.

The 300 scholars comprising managers, supervisors, and new business owners have undergone the 10-month program to better equip them with the skills needed to improve service delivery in the tourism industry.

This is a significant step toward closing the gap in the hospitality and tourism sectors.

During the ceremony, Arielle Kageruka, Head of Tourism and Conservation at the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), stated that you cannot have a strong tourism and hospitality sector if it is comprised of individuals who lack the necessary skills and knowledge to enhance it.

She went on to say that now that these young people have been trained, they will be able to “leverage the skills acquired through the program to close the gap in the service industry and uphold service excellence.”

Kageruka explained that having Rwandans with advanced knowledge in sectors such as tourism and the various departments is critical for proper leadership and the sector’s transformation.

Because these young people have been trained in various courses related to the tourism and hospitality industries, they will be able to assist the many investors who wish to invest in Rwanda.

Many investors, according to Arielle Kageruka, come looking for people who can work in various departments of the industry.

In this light, it is critical that those who work in the industry have the necessary knowledge for their positions and thus contribute to its transformation at this time.

Desire Mutangana, one of the scholars also who is currently senior corporate sales manager at the Radisson Blu hotel and the Kigali convention center, said that young people must specialize in their fields in order to revolutionize their industries.

“You should specialize in it. You must invest in it, both in terms of learning and honing your skills. Make an effort to improve on a daily basis, and do so as a professional.” he stated

He went on to say that specializing in their fields would benefit who they are and what they do.

“It is good to specialize in what you do because it provides you confidence and the opportunity to execute on a high quality of service in the industry that you work for,” he said.

Professor Alex Susskind acknowledged the graduates’ hard work and perseverance in successfully undergoing and finishing the training during his remarks at the ceremony.

He stated that these young people are at the core of the industry’s growth and transformation.

“It is not possible for the hospitality and tourism sector to grow anywhere in the world without great people like you.” Professor Susskind stated.

If young people pursue the knowledge and skills needed in their sectors, only then will they be able to transform their industries and contribute to Rwanda’s long-term development.

Arielle Kageruka urged the graduates to put their newly acquired skills to use in order to contribute to sustainable development.

One of the graduates with Professor Professor Alex Susskind
The Hanga Ahazaza program aims to increase employment opportunities for young people in the tourism and hospitality industries.

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