Teaching Women to Become Workplace Leaders

Empowering young women to achieve economic independence and obtain leadership roles through a unique model of market-relevant education.

Akilah, an accredited women’s college in Rwanda, offers an accessible, affordable, and highly effective diploma program that empowers young women to enter and thrive in the workforce.

Historically, the high cost of education, distance between homes and schools in rural communities, and traditional gender norms have limited female participation in tertiary education in Rwanda, where fewer than 7 percent of university-aged women enroll in higher education.

Akilah’s model seeks to ensure that more women have access to higher education and that those women graduate with the skills necessary to find meaningful employment. Akilah offers affordable tuition through an extensive student loan program and scholarships. Its diploma programs in Hospitality Management, Information Systems, and Business Management & Entrepreneurship are aligned with the country’s fastest-growing sectors so students enter the workforce with in-demand skills. The institute’s academic model combines practical training with leadership and soft-skills development to prepare graduates for the professional world. 

As a result, 89 percent of Akilah alumnae secure jobs within six months of graduation and earn incomes that average 12 times the national per-capita median income. Akilah graduates go on to assume leadership roles in their workplaces and communities. They become supervisors and managers or start their own businesses and employ other women. Many serve as mentors or community leaders, and 90 percent financially support at least one family member or individual.

Through Amplify, Akilah will work to establish a sustainable financial model that will allow it to scale across Africa and empower exponentially more women, while remaining accessible to low-income students in search of further education and workforce-readiness support

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