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New Institute To Fill Tourism Gap Launched 

Interviewed By Orock Eta

A new institution going by the name Achas Higher Institute of Management has been launched in Buea to impart tourism knowledge and resources with its international partners to promote best practices in tourism education in an otherwise tourist rich but unexploited sector in Cameroon.

Acha Anyi

In this exclusive interview, Achas Higher Institute of Management Founder/Executive Director, Paul Acha Anyi, a Masters Degree holder in International Tourism and Leisure Studies from The Netherlands, and lecturer at the Department of Tourism Management, Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria, South Africa, told The Post how they intend to go about the tourism education and create much-needed employment for the youth. Read on:

The Post: Tell us a little about yourself.

Paul Acha Anyi: I graduated from the University of Yaounde I with a degree in English and struggled to find a good job to no avail. After teaching in Cameroon and Botswana for nine years, I decided to study for a Masters in International Tourism and Service Management at Stenden University in Holland and at the London Metropolitan University in the UK.

So what brings you back to Cameroon?

I decided to bring my experience to my country to impact on other young people’s lives. My mission is to start a higher institute of sustainable tourism, hospitality and business management. We shall combine academic excellence with work place training.

How do you hope to achieve all that in a country where tourism is little known?

Our approach to education is unique in the following ways: we believe in education today, jobs tomorrow, so we are career focused and train people to fill particular job positions. Our institute is also linked to other international universities and members of our academic advisory committee come from universities in the UK, Australia, USA. Our focus is on tourism, conservation, hospitality and other management subjects, which generate the greatest number jobs worldwide.

There are many other reasons why Achas Higher Institute of Management is the first of its kind in Cameroon and it should be every student’s first choice because our greatest enemy in Cameroon is unemployment, especially for university graduates.

How far have you gone in establishing the institution?

We are presently putting finishing touches on our two operating sites in Buea on Malingo Street next to Lady L Hotel and at Mile 17 where registration is going on. We will run the institute with expert lecturers from Cameroon, South Africa, the UK and other partner universities around the world. We draw our training and education model mainly from Stenden University in Leeuwarden in The Netherlands and Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria, South Africa.

Do you see any bright future for the tourism industry in Cameroon?

There is a great deal of potential for tourism development in Cameroon, considering the amazing natural resources, cultural heritage and the rapidly expanding hospitality industry. My principal recommendation is that Government should do more to promote growth in the private sector and develop tourism infrastructure. This will not only open up opportunities for employment, but will equally enhance service excellence and bring more foreign exchange into the country.

How different is your institute from other schools?

We combine academic excellence with work place training. Students can do internship in or out of Cameroon especially as I have a company in South Africa, Achas Travel and Tours. We are also linked with other international universities and our certificates come from overseas. Our academic advisory committee is made up of experts from other universities in the UK, Australia, Malaysia. And our fees are moderate.

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