KIGALI - Akilah Institute, a hospitality and tourism training body, yesterday officially launched its activities at their headquarters in Kibagabaga.
In an interview with The Sunday Times, Elizabeth Davis, one of the co-founders of the institute, observed that part of the motive behind the establishment of the institute was to create a platform for empowering women.
“We started out to establish this institute with a goal of economically empowering young women by enabling them become professionals in the hospitality sector. We are so happy with the current achievements and we hope to enlarge the institute in the near future,” she said.
She added that they chose to start programs in hospitality and related fields because of the immense potential in this sector in Rwanda
“I think Rwanda has a unique advantage in the field of tourism and hospitality, the economy is opening up and setting off in terms of development. We are confident that the skills we offer will position people well to contribute to this development,” she added
Talking to journalists after the launch, Rosette Rugamba the Deputy CEO in charge of Tourism and Conservation at the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) noted that the coming on board of Akilah Institute to provide skills to the tourism and hospitality sector is timely and means a lot.
“We recognise the skills gap in the hospitality and tourism sector. Akilah has come at a time when we need foundations like these to support the government in increasing skills to strengthen this priority sector in our economy,” she observed.
“This means a lot to the tourism sector, to the girls who are acquiring the skills and to the economy ,and we pledge our support and collaboration to the institute.”
The institute offers both two-year and three -ear diplomas in hospitality and hotel management related disciplines as well as other skills in computer and languages, especially English.
The Institute intends to relocate to Bugesera within one year where they will construct the main campus and students’ facilities accommodating up to 250 students. They have started with 50 students who are studying for free.
It is projected that by 2020, over 2 million tourists will be coming to Rwanda annually. This calls for increased capacity and skills in the hospitality industry which is key to the tourism sector development and sustainability.