The hospitality industry should embrace renewable energy options to ensure sustainable power supply and ease the burden of high power fees, sector players have been advised.
Emmile Mulego, the managing director of Kigali-based Woodland and Rimas Holdings, noted that there is need to invest in cheap and reliable power to encourage more investments in the sector.
He argued that ‘over-reliance’ on hydro power is hurting the sector, advising industry players to get alternative energy sources, especially renewable energy.
“We have the potential to offer quality services, but there is need to invest in skills development, as well as affordable and sustainable energy sources,” he said in an interview last week.
Rwanda Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production Centre’s Steven Niyonzima urged investors in the industry to embrace energy-saving mechanisms of production to reduce the cost of operation.
“Accessing cheap energy is still a big challenge for businesses in the hospitality sector. Investors should embrace alternative sources of energy and more energy efficient technologies to be competitive,” Niyonzima said.
He urged business operators to tap into opportunities presented by renewable energy such as bio gas and solar energy.
Meanwhile, lack of hands-on skills continue to constrain the development of the local hospitality industry. The sector depends largely on imported expertise for its survival, especially for managerial and other lead positions. This has worried many stakeholders who are now pushing for more support to vocational training, and setting up of specialised schools to teach industry-related courses and reduce the present skills gap the sector faces.
“This responsibility should not be left to the government alone; companies in the sector should ensure staff training as a key priority,” Mulego said.
A survey conducted by the Private Sector Federation last year indicated that lack of requisite skills and a demoralised workforce are some of the major challenges constraining the growth of the hospitality industry.