What is the Hanga Ahazaza Initiative?

Hanga Ahazaza logo

The Mastercard Foundation Hanga Ahazaza initiative is a $50 million, five-year initiative focused on increasing employment opportunities for young people while expanding the tourism and hospitality sector in Rwanda.

Hanga Ahazaza, meaning “create the future” in Kinyarwanda, is a consortium of partners from the education, development, and private sectors. Working together, they will support small businesses and entrepreneurs in the tourism and hospitality sector through increased access to financial services and training, and by connecting them to young people with the skills needed to be successful employees.

The Cornell SC Johnson College of Business is providing educational training to hospitality professionals in Rwanda via eCornell online courses, virtual events, and executive education courses.


An instructor discusses topics with a student

Program Information

In 2018 Cornell University launched its Certificate in Hospitality Management Program as a part of the Mastercard Foundation Initiative in Rwanda. This 10-month program is designed to provide upskill training to managers and supervisors in the Hospitality and Tourism Industry and includes curriculum in Service Excellence, Leadership, Operations, Marketing, Accounting and more.

Hospitality Management Program

In this 10-month online program you will focus on various content areas including hotel operations, service, leadership, financial management, marketing, and revenue management. The program is delivered by Cornell through both online courses that can be completed at anytime and live, virtual synchronous events with Cornell faculty. The course roster has been modified to fit the Rwandan context to ensure you are receiving the most relevant hospitality and tourism related instruction. Upon completion of this program students will earn a Recognition of Achievement in Service Excellence, a Certificate in Hospitality Management and a Certificate of Specialization from Cornell University.

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and cohorts begin every 3 months.

  • Must be fluent in English, both written and verbal
  • Must be within the ages of 18-35.
  • Must be employed within the hospitality and tourism industry and currently hold a position at the supervisory or managerial level, or be entering a position at this level.
  • Must have access to a computer and internet.

Apply:  https://www.ecornell.com/portal/hanga-ahazaza-apply/

On-Demand Program in Service Excellence and Tourism

Our on-demand program allows students to work at their own pace with the entire program taking approximately 1-3 months to complete. Students will complete 18 on-demand lessons covering topics in Service Excellence, Servant Leadership and Understanding the Behaviors of Others. This program is appropriate for individuals in non-managerial or supervisory positions. The lessons in the program have been modified to fit the Rwandan context to ensure you are receiving the most relevant hospitality and tourism related instruction. Upon completion of the program students will earn a Recognition of Achievement in Service Excellence and a Recognition of Achievement in Tourism from Cornell University.

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.

Eligible candidates:

  • Must be fluent in English, both written and verbal
  • Must be within the ages of 18-35.
  • Must have a desire to improve their customer service deliver
  • Must have access to a computer and internet.

Apply:  https://www.ecornell.com/portal/hanga-ahazaza-apply-tourism/

Student Success

Benjamin Mutabazi

Benjamin says that this program expanded his leadership and communication skills, as well as his understanding of marketing. Since completing the program, he’s been promoted to guest house manager. He hopes to own his own hotel one day.

Adelphine Abewe

Adelphine is 30 years old and resides in Kigali. She believes that the program’s comprehensive training will help her contribute to the Rwandan Hospitality industry. She owns an indoor plant company #elamorgardenkigali, and hopes to open a restaurant and boutique hotel aimed at providing opportunities for young women.

Scovia Mutoni

Scovia is Co-Founder of Transinvest Tours & Travel, Ltd. A graduate of the Hanga Ahazaza program, Scovia says, “I ensure that I am continually updated about global trends in this industry. I always look out for opportunities.”

Contacts

Kim A. Szpiro
Associate Director, Hanga Ahazaza Initiative
Cornell SC Johnson College of Business
Ithaca, New York
+ 1 607-255-4038
kas396@cornell.edu
Twitter and Instagram: @kszpiro

Evelyn Kahinju Karamagi
Program Manager, Hanga Ahazaza Initiative
Cornell SC Johnson College of Business
+ 250 786 406 120
ekk58@cornell.edu

Henry Hakundwumukiza
Instructor, Hanga Ahazaza Initiative
Cornell SC Johnson College of Business
+ 250 783 510 180
hh497@cornell.edu

Vianney Gasarasi
Instructor, Hanga Ahazaza Initiative
Cornell SC Johnson College of Business
+250 78 444 770

vg232@cornell.edu

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About the Mastercard Foundation

mastercard foundation logo

The Mastercard Foundation seeks a world where everyone has the opportunity to learn and prosper. The Foundation’s work is guided by its mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion for people living in poverty.

One of the largest foundations in the world, it works almost exclusively in Africa. It was created in 2006 by Mastercard International and operates independently under the governance of its own Board of Directors. The Foundation is based in Toronto, Canada.

About the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business

Cornell SC Johnson College of Business logo

Cornell University has created a reimagined model for business education that reflects the future of business itself: flexible, collaborative, and cross-disciplinary. The Cornell SC Johnson College of Business unites the strengths of three business schools— School of Hotel Administration, Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management and the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management — so that every student can benefit from the combined power of business at Cornell: more degrees, faculty, resources, and expertise. Whether the focus is creating great customer experiences, solving real-world challenges, or deeply immersing in a particular industry, each of our schools offer something unique and meaningful.