“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Mastercard Foundation to help build skills and opportunity for Rwandan youth at scale,” said AMI’s Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Rebecca Harrison. By Jean d’Amour Mugabo




African Management Initiative (AMI), a pan-African workplace learning organisation, has partnered with the Mastercard Foundation on a $4.5 million programme supporting around 7,000 young Rwandans to build their skills and businesses in the hospitality and tourism sector.

The partnership was inked in Rwanda’s capital Kigali on Wednesday.

AMI is joining Hanga Ahazaza, a $50 million initiative from the Mastercard Foundation focused on increasing employment opportunities for young people while expanding the hospitality and tourism sector in Rwanda. Hanga Ahazaza will equip 30,000 young men and women with the skills they need to transition into jobs, as well as strengthen small businesses in this sector.

AMI will contribute to Hanga Ahazaza through two programmes over five years. The ‘Inspiring Managers’ programme will support 3,800 supervisors and aspiring supervisors in the hospitality and tourism sector to develop their management skills. The ‘Grow Your Business’ programme will help 3,120 entrepreneurs build their small and micro businesses, leading to further growth and job creation.


Bisate Lodge villas at night, near Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.Photo credit Andrea Frazzetta,Bloomberg

Both programmes will kick off in May 2019 and run for four to six months. Each programme combines a series of interactive in-person workshops alongside practical online tools and courses to help participants apply what they are learning directly in their jobs and businesses. The focus is on helping employees improve their performance at work and entrepreneurs increase their business revenue and profits.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Mastercard Foundation to help build skills and opportunity for Rwandan youth at scale,” said AMI’s Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Rebecca Harrison.

“Skills development is critical for Rwanda’s economic development, and we know that practical and scalable solutions like this can transform businesses and create real opportunity for young people.”

AMI is pioneering a scalable approach to business skills development for Africa, that combines online learning with interactive training workshops and ongoing support for participants as they apply what they learn in their jobs and businesses. AMI has trained more than 26,000 people in 15 African countries since its launch in 2014 through company training as well as entrepreneurship and employability programmes.

“Rwanda’s hospitality and tourism sector is experiencing significant transformation and growth, offering high potential for youth employment opportunities,” said Rica Rwigamba, Senior Program Manager at the Mastercard Foundation.

“We look forward to collaborating with AMI as part of this initiative. We believe their unique approach to business management and leadership skills training will further expand professional and entrepreneurial opportunities for young Rwandans, especially young women, in this sector.”

AMI has opened application for the Inspiring Managers and Grow Your Business programmes, and encourages applications and inquiries from young people employed in the hospitality and tourism sector who want to accelerate their careers; employers in this sector who want to build the skills and capacity of their staff; and entrepreneurs running small and micro businesses in the hospitality and tourism sector.

Rwanda’s tourism fetched $438 million in 2017, reflecting a 12% increase compared to the previous year while the country’s total exports grew by 36% to fetch about $2 billion in 2017.