Tuesday, 16 April 2013

WDA to open Rwf 12 billion hospitality college

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The college will equip students professional skills needed in the service industry.
THE WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT Authority (WDA) in partnership with a Swiss based hospitality management institution is planning to construct a state -of -the –art Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centre  (IPRC) – Kigali Hotel

The facility, estimated to cost $19 million (approximately Rwf12billion), will be a training centre for the hospitality industry.

Speaking to The New Times last week, Jerome Gasana, the director general of WDA said they are working out a plan with Les Roches International School of Hotel Management, located in Swiss Alps in the Canton of Valais, Switzerland , to kick off the project in Kigali.

“This is an initiative between WDA and Les Roches to establish a university that will train Rwandan students in professional skills needed in the service industry,” he said.

Les Roches has a network of hospitality campuses in Switzerland, Spain, China, Jordan and Australia, and once the Kigali campus plan is finalised, it will be added on the network of the Swiss based hospitality academy.

Gasana stated that WDA sent Rwandan students to study at Les Roches. About 11 have graduated and are among the spear-leaders of the initiative to construct IPRC Kigali Hotel.

He noted that WDA has already forwarded the training facility proposal that contains the school’s plan, accommodation capacity, among others, to Les Roches authorities for approval.

“The institution will have about 64 rooms designed as training places for hospitality education programmes both theory and practicals,” he said.

Initiative welcomed

The WDA boss stated that, the construction is estimated to take two years.

According to WDA, once the university is in place, many hotel and restaurant employees will have the opportunity to upgrade their skills.

In a bid to promote service industry, the Rwanda Hotels and Restaurants Association (RHRA) was created to champion the growth of hospitality sector.

“We are pleased by the initiative and can’t wait for the hospitality campus to open in Rwanda,” said Denis Karera, the chairman of RHRA.

He noted that Rwandan students have been going to Les Roche to acquire skills in hospitality management, but now they will be taking their courses at IPRC Kigali Hotel.

“When it comes to skills in the hospitality industry, we are still at a lower level. The university will enable us to move forward to acquire professional knowledge in the service sector,” he noted.

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