Rwanda’s WDA set to partner with Les Roches to establish hospitality training campus


A regular source from Kigali has sent information that Rwanda’s Workplace Development Authority has apparently entered into an agreement with Swiss based Les Roches International School of Hotel Management, one of the world’s best reputed hospitality training institutions, to create a training facility, and an attached application hotel, in Kigali. Jerome Gasana, Director General of the WDA, reportedly last week told the media in Kigali that they were planning to establish a campus of Les Roches in Kigali, where Rwandan hospitality students could get top quality education before joining the workforce.

According to the source the project cost was given at around 20 million US Dollars, which would include a 60+ bedroom application hotel attached to the campus, though it was not made clear if both partners would share the financial burden of if Les Roches would only come on board to operate the facility, which would extend their presence to Africa for the first time. The project implementation was given as 24 months, once all permits and licenses have been secured, which would put a potential opening of the hotel school into the mid to late 2015 timeframe.

Hospitality training has been prioritized by Rwanda and the Rwanda Development Board’s Tourism and Conservation Department has over the past two years undertaken a series of initiatives to train hospitality staff and support programmes aimed to improving service quality in the tourism and hospitality sector.

A number of regional tertiary training institutions have in the past scouted Rwanda with the view of opening either a campus or else recruiting Rwandan students for their institutions, a sign that the fast growth of the tourism industry in Rwanda is being backed up by measures to train young Rwandans in the field before starting their careers in the workplace. The opening later this year of the region’s first Marriott Hotel in Kigali has also seen a number of staff taken to sister hotels of the group in the Gulf region, where they are trained to become the backbone of personnel.

Tourism, besides agriculture and increasingly mining, is one of Rwanda’s key economic activities and has over the past years recorded annual double digit growth, providing foreign investment opportunities, earning the country foreign exchange, opening job opportunities and improving the image of the country abroad through excellent visitor experience. Watch this space for regular and breaking news from East Africa’s hospitality and tourism industry.