Inspired Managers Keep Rwanda’s Hospitality and Tourism Industry Flying High
- Company: RwandAir
- Programme: Inspiring Managers
- Country: Rwanda
- Partners: Mastercard Foundation
As RwandAir returns to the skies and tourism slowly returns to pre-Covid levels, one thing passengers can count on is that behind the inspired RwandAir experience is an inspired manager.
Over the last two decades, Rwanda has positioned itself as a leading luxury eco-tourism and events destination. RwandAir, the country’s national airline, has been central in promoting tourism and trade in the country.
When Covid-19 hit, the RwandAir fleet and workforce were grounded, after several months the airline’s management was able to navigate these challenges and come out even stronger thanks to the skills gained through AMI’s Inspiring Managers programme.
Established in 2002, RwandAir is one of Africa’s fastest-growing airlines. The airline serves 26 destinations across 21 countries throughout western, central, eastern and southern Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Europe. With more than 700 employees, the airline also plays a central role in the country’s thriving hospitality and tourism industry. In the fourth quarter of 2021 alone, hospitality and tourism services generated 49% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a result of foreign currency revenues and job creation.
However, Rwandan businesses of all sizes were not immune to the impacts of Covid-19. For RwandAir, it wasn’t just the bottom line that took a hit due to reduced tourism and flights. Challenges were also felt as remote work changed how the company managed its teams and ensured productivity.
Fortunately, 70 RwandAir leaders from across the company had enrolled in AMI’s Inspiring Managers Programme.
Designed for businesses in Rwanda’s hospitality and tourism sector, Inspiring Managers has been offered by AMI since 2019 in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation. The programme supports organisations and companies in the sector to upskill managers and bolster a key sector of Rwanda’s economy as a result.
“When the pandemic broke out, we had to reduce the number of staff at the office and the rest worked remotely. By learning from the programme how to communicate effectively, I became confident to empower my teammates to accomplish their daily tasks properly irrespective of us being in the office,” says Anthony Gatsinzi, Cargo Planning and Pricing Manager at RwandAir.
Focused on equipping emerging and established managers with skills to improve their capacity and motivate their teams, Inspiring Managers also provides access to practical tools to help participants apply the skills gained in their workplaces. In the three years of the programme being delivered in Rwanda, more than 20 leading hotels and other institutions companies have participated. Eighty-five percent of participants who completed a recent survey indicated that their competencies have improved.
“Before the AMI Inspiring Managers Programme, I was the kind of person who did all my tasks alone, but after the training, I learnt how to communicate effectively and share responsibilities with my team. These days, I use this new approach with the staff that I lead,” says Assia Uwimana, Customer Relations Manager at RwandAir. After completing the programme, she learnt how to share responsibilities with her team and delegate tasks which made the work seamless.
“RwandAir’s partnership with the African Management Institute has empowered our managers, which improved the efficiency of the teams they manage,” says Yvonne Manzi Makolo, Chief Executive Officer of RwandAir. “We have started to experience great changes at our workplace including better delivery of customer service, which is our number one goal,” she says.
“For me, the African Management Institute came at the right time,” says Aloys Musoni, Customer End-user Outreach Station at RwandAir, who believes managers need more professional skills to help them carry out their daily duties and inspire their teams to deliver and offer better services to the customers. “AMI has helped our teams to be in a better position to achieve RwandAir’s main objective of providing world-class services to our passengers,” says Aloys.
As RwandAir returns to the skies and tourism slowly returns to pre-Covid levels, one thing passengers can count on is that behind the inspired RwandAir experience is an inspired manager. As the AMI and Mastercard Foundation continue to support the hospitality and tourism sector to rebound, we look forward to more inspired managers enabling the sector to reach new heights.
Learn more about the AMI Inspiring Managers Programme here.
The opportunities and threats of taking charge.
Taking a management role will offer a chance to develop greater self-reliance and heightened judgment. Leadership requires being comfortable with paradoxes and trade-offs. You have to balance short term and long term results.
Stanford Social Innovation Review features AMI in ‘Pacing Entrepreneurs to Success’ Article
In the 2022 summer edition of Stanford Social Innovation Review, the African Management Institute (AMI) was featured in the article “Pacing Entrepreneurs to Success”.
Moving from an operational to a strategic role
The third coaching letter in a series offered as part of AMI co-founder and chairman Jonathan Cook's regular columns in BusinessLIVE, responding to real questions managers in small or medium enterprises have asked.