FOR RELEASE:  March 23, 2018

Sarah Magnus Sharpe
Cornell SC Johnson College of Business

[email protected]

Cornell SC Johnson College of Business partners with the Mastercard Foundation on educational and training initiative in Rwanda

SC Johnson College of Business to train young Rwandans in hospitality and tourism industries

Newswise — ITHACA, N.Y. – The Cornell SC Johnson College of Business is proud to join the Mastercard Foundation Hanga Ahazaza initiative, which is dedicated to increasing economic opportunities for youth while enhancing access to financial services to small businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector in Rwanda.

The SC Johnson College of Business has been awarded a five-year partnership, to upskill young Rwandans aged 16-35 in the hospitality industry. In collaboration with Cornell University’s eCornell and the SC Johnson College of Business executive education program, this new initiative will focus on various content areas, including hotel operations, service, leadership, financial management, marketing and revenue management, that will be taught in combination of both online courses and live, virtual synchronous events with faculty.

"We are excited to partner with Cornell on this important initiative," said Steve Cumming, Associate Director at the Mastercard Foundation. "Tourism and hospitality is a growing industry in Rwanda. Working with a globally recognized leader in this sector will ensure that young people and training instructors have access to world-class teachers and content, equipping them with in-demand skills from globally recognized employers."

Hanga Ahazaza, which means ‘create the future’ in Kinyarwanda, aims to increase employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for young men and women in Rwanda by providing them with the skills they need to succeed. SC Johnson College of Business is one of several education, development, and private sector partners in the initiative.

“We are honored to serve an integral role in Hanga Ahazaza, as we envision this initiative will make a significant and positive impact,” said Rohit Verma, Dean of External Relations at SC Johnson College of Business. “Building on the unique strengths of Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration, we will provide educational training to youth in Rwanda in the areas of hospitality and business management, and prepare them to take leadership roles in the growing service industry in their home country.”

Since its founding in 1922 as the first program of its kind in the United States, Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration has led the world in teaching the business of hospitality and generating new knowledge for the hospitality industry.

The SC Johnson College of Business program will seek students currently working in the hospitality industry at either supervisory or management levels who are looking to advance their careers and increase their earning potential in Rwanda. As part of the partnership, SC Johnson College of Business will complete a skills gap analysis to determine the best development and delivery of existing and new course content, with curriculum to be adapted based on particular service needs in the region. Students will also have the opportunity to attend the Professional Development Program (PDP) at Cornell. Additionally, Cornell faculty will develop research projects in support of Hanga Ahazaza goals. At the conclusion of the program, students will have an opportunity to attend a graduation ceremony in Rwanda.

The SC Johnson College of Business expects to train students over the course of five years. The first cohort of 25 students will begin their studies in June of 2018.




About Cornell SC Johnson College of Business

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 AdministrationCharles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Managementand 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.


About the Mastercard Foundation

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. For more information and to sign up for the Foundation’s newsletter, please visit Follow the Foundation at @MastercardFdn on Twitter.


About the Mastercard Foundation Hanga Ahazaza Initiative

The Mastercard Foundation Hanga Ahazaza initiative aims to increase employment and enterprise opportunities for young Rwandans in the country’s tourism and hospitality sector.

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 in the tourism and hospitality sector through increased access to financial services and tools and connecting them to young people who have the skills they need to be successful employees.


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