The New Times (Kigali)

14 June 2012

Rwanda: Rwf120 Million Beauty Academy Opens

Universal Beauty Academy (UBA), the first of its kind in the country and established by a local businesswoman at a tune of Rwf120 million, was on Wednesday launched in Gasabo District.

In an interview with The New Times shortly after the opening, investor Alphonsine Niyigena, who owns a string of beauty salons in Kigali City, said the objective of the academy is to enable Rwandans, especially the youth, acquire relevant skills in hair dressing and other relevant tips.

"The cosmetic industry requires skilled employees because they deal directly with people's lives. This is what mainly motivated me to invest in this facility which will also help our youth get employability skills," Niyigena said, adding that studies at the school will commence next month.

Niyigena said the courses at the school will include hair dressing and beauty therapy, computer training in salon management, accountancy and stock management.

She said the school will offer long-term courses of 12 months, where a student will pay a total tuition fee of Rwf540, 000.

The school has the capacity to accommodate 360 students in shifts and it has two halls for theoretical courses in beauty therapy and hair dressing and six rooms for practical lessons in beauty studies.

Peter Kamana, one of the hair dressers from Nyamirambo sector and already admitted at the centre said: "I am really happy because some of us who wanted to specialise in this profession can now do so."

Joyce Mukansanga, a saloon owner in Nyabugogo, said the standard practice was to employ people who only gained skills on the job, which she said, was dangerous.

"It will help investors in the sector to get employees with the required skills which gives us hope that service will improve and ultimately earnings from this type of business," she said.

Faustin Mbundu, the Chairman of the Private Sector Federation (PSF), said his institution will strive for the promotion of a regulatory framework aimed at boosting investment in the hair and beauty industry in the country.

The Director General of Workforce Development Authority (WDA), Jerome Gasana, who opened the academy, thanked the founder for her innovative idea, saying it will help government efforts of reducing unemployment in the country.

Gasana also told The New Times that WDA in collaboration with a UK-based hair company called Shair Academy will, before the end of July this year, open another beauty academy in Remera sector.

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