"Empowering 100 Women Future Leaders in Hospitality Excellence"
KIGALI: One hundred Rwandan women are taking part in a 3-day training programme in Kigali, entitled, "Empowering 100 Women Future Leaders in Hospitality Excellence".
The training programme was conducted by experts from the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management.
The training, which began yesterday, is focusing on excellence in the hospitality industry, with an aim to impart world-class skills in tourism and hospitality through capacity development. Focus areas include food and beverage service, hotel front office operations, improving the customer experience, the role of information technology in the hospitality industry, and industry-specific communication skills.
The emphasis will be also placed on the growing importance of the role of women in hospitality and how their inclusion will enable Rwanda to meet its tourism development goals.
The training was made possible through international cooperation between the UAE and Rwanda, via a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two countries' foreign ministries on 8th March 2018, coinciding with the International Women’s Day.
The UAE Embassy in Kigali and Rwanda Development Board coordinated technical and logistical support for the programme.
Commenting on the training programme, Hazza Mohammed Falah Kharsan Al Qahtani, UAE Ambassador to Rwanda, said, "The UAE is impressed by the Rwandan Government’s Policy of promoting gender equality and empowering women across all sectors."
The UAE, he said, will support this endeavour in the tourism and hospitality industry, which is a major potential growth area for both job-creation and income-generation for a number of countries across the world, especially Rwanda.
"Rwanda has demonstrated their world-class ability to promote women’s empowerment through achieving the highest number of women parliamentarians worldwide. We believe that Rwanda will be able to apply this ability to empower women to the hospitality industry with similar levels of success. The UAE is honoured to play a role in helping Rwanda further develop this capacity, through sharing our own experience in this area, which will ultimately help to increase both the quantity and the quality of tourism to Rwanda.
In turn, Belise Kariza, Rwanda Development Board’s Chief Tourism Officer, said, "Rwanda has made tremendous strides in the tourism industry over the years, but there are areas that require more improvement, such as increasing the quality of service delivery. This training will go the extra mile in improving Rwanda’s tourism and hospitality industry in terms of delivering exceptional services. Thanks to our partnership with the UAE, the training will bridge skill gaps in the industry, helping us to reach our national annual target of US$800 million by 2024."
"The figures of women in the Rwandan business world are increasing," she said, adding that if Rwanda is to achieve its tourism development goals, then women will need to play a greater role. "Historically, there have been negative perceptions of women working in the hospitality industry, the time is right for women to be empowered so that they can move into positions as industry leaders."
For his part, Dr. Scott Richardson, Executive Dean of the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management, said that it was a privilege and an honour to be part of an initiative that would empower women within the Rwandan hospitality industry.
"The hospitality industry is about people. From food and beverage to service and within management, it is the people that create outstanding experiences for guests. Therefore, education and training plays a vital role in the development of the sector and ensuring women have customer-centric skills and knowledge is vital for the continued growth of the industry,
The Rwandan constitution states that women should be represented in a minimum of 30 percent of all government occupations. The current Rwandan parliament is composed of 60 percent women representatives, positioning Rwanda as the country with the highest number of women parliamentarians worldwide.
The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management is an educational institution situated in Dubai and internationally recognised for its Hospitality Management Degree programmes and for its Educational Consultancy and Training and Development Services.