It’s probably accepted wisdom today that serving women is an investment with infinite returns. We see this firsthand, because we’re investing in the education of East Africa's most promising future professionals and leaders.
Akilah is a college with campuses in Rwanda and Burundi that connects young women to economic opportunity. We work closely with our partners in government, civil society, and the private sector to deliver a market-relevant curriculum that prepares our graduates to move directly into professional careers and leadership roles. We focus on three of the fastest-growing industries in East Africa today: entrepreneurship, hospitality management, and information systems. Our results prove the value of our model: 90% of alumnae are employed within six months of graduation, earning incomes on average 5x the national average.
But it’s not only about delivering education that makes sense in the current job market. The other component of our success is a nurturing environment that provides a space where young women can heal some of the trauma of their past and gain the confidence to lead. Our students undergo a visible transformation during their 3 years on campus. Many enter as timid, uncertain young women from rural Rwanda and Burundi. But during their time at Akilah, their knowledge and self-esteem grow, and they graduate as determined, empowered, confident professionals, ready to launch meaningful careers, improve their earning potential, take control over their own lives, and reinvest in their families and their country. These outcomes illustrate to us that girls’ education isn’t just important, it’s imperative— imperative for the success of girls, communities, nations, and the world.
To learn more about the Akilah Institute for women, visit www.akilahinstitute.org.