A world-class hospitality management institute initiated by the Government of Rwanda with support from a renowned Swiss hospitality and tourism school could finally begin operations this year.
The revelation was made yesterday by officials at the Workforce Development Authority (WDA) shortly after they met members of the senatorial Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Human Rights, and Petitions.
MPs in the committee met the authority's management on Tuesday and Wednesday to assess the body's governance and better understand current issues in the delivery of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).
Renowned Swiss hospitality and tourism school, Les Roches International School of Hotel Management, has been working with WDA for the last eight years to set up the hotel management institute in Rwanda.
The Chairperson of WDA's Board of Directors, John Bonds Bideri, told The New Times that works to build the institute's premises at WDA's headquarters in Remera will be completed in the next two months and the school is likely to start training students by the end of 2019.
"It should start working as soon as possible because everything is in place for it to start operations," he said in an interview shortly after meeting the senators.
Built at the tune of over Rwf4 billion, the hospitality management institute will be delivering diplomas in hospitality management, especially hotels management, and will serve as a college to train both working hotel operation professionals and aspiring hotel service workers and managers.
Bideri said that the school will address the challenge of poor service delivery in the country's hotels and contribute in the implementation of government's strategy to promote conference tourism.
"The institute is expected to bring our hospitality industry to the global standard and will help already existing and new hotel brands in the country to get capable staff," he said.
The equipment to be used by the students and their trainers is already available, according to officials.
Government intends to maintain the partnership with Les Roches International School of Hotel Management in its bid to make the Rwandan college a world class institute.
Eight years ago, Les Roches International School of Hotel Management identified Rwanda as the appropriate location of a sister hospitality and tourism school on the African continent.
That's how the idea of setting up the hospitality management institute in Rwanda in partnership with the government here was born.
The school was expected to open within three to five years after the idea was initiated in 2010 but was delayed because the Rwandan government did not provide the promised infrastructure like offices and equipment on time.
Now that construction of the school's premises is nearing completion, officials at WDA are confident that the college is on course to enrol the first cohort of students.