Cornell University, USA. Cornell University, USA.

Cornell University’s SC Johnson College of Business is planning to provide training and educational resources to approximately 1,275 Rwandans in the hospitality and tourism industry according to a report by the Cornell Sun.

This action comes from the school’s recent partnership with the Mastercard Foundation. The foundation, through its $50 million, five-year initiative Hanga Ahazaza — which means “creating the future” in Rwanda’s official language Kinyarwanda, plans to equip 30,000 Rwandans with skills to transition into the tourism industry.

According to the foundation’s website, the Rwandan students will “receive training in communications, customer service, ICT, and digital literacy skills, and receive on-the-job training and opportunities for employment.”

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Apart from equipping students, Hanga Ahazaza will also help small businesses owners in the tourism and hospitality sector in Rwanda through “increased access to financial services and business development skills so that they can create more employment opportunities” the website further stated.

Cornell’s online teaching department, eCornell, will be part of the initiative and will provide students with online training and virtual access to the faculty for the students in the programme.

Cornell University Hanga Ahazaza assistant director Nickie Fredenburg said the Rwandan government is hoping to create 200,000 new jobs annually and the university, Fredenburg said plans to grow the tourism sector.

“By upskilling current managers, resulting in advancing careers and providing businesses the proper training to increase revenue and in turn, create more jobs,” Fredenburg told Cornell Sun.

Besides Cornell University, the Mastercard Foundation has teamed up with Dalberg, GIZ, GroFin, Harambee, Horwath HTL, I&M Bank Rwanda, Inkomoko, and Vatel Rwanda to roll out the initiative.

The first 25 students to start in Cornell’s program will begin receiving the training in June, according to a University press release, the report stated. This year, Cornel School of Hotel Administration was ranked 9th on the top 50 hospitality schools list revealed by QS Top Universities.