I first came to Rwanda fifteen years ago to offer training on Quality of Service at the then Accor Hotel, Novotel Umubano. It was a short visit, only a week but I still remember the resilience and the quest for knowledge in the eyes of my trainees.
My second visit was in 2007 when my husband accepted a job in Rwanda. That was the beginning of my unshaken love story with this intriguing country because even after he finished his contract and we moved to Gabon then latter to Congo Brazzaville, I decided to continue with my professional activities here.
Rwanda offered me the opportunity to do things I love: write, train, consult, paint, manage companies, become a columnist and a confirmed mystery shopper. It is in Rwanda that I got more involved in many social and sporting activities.
While in Rwanda, I published my first handbook on Customer Service before becoming a Publisher of The ServiceMag. Today, looking back, I still cannot believe it has been eight years in Rwanda and five years of The ServiceMag.
Today, I can humbly describe myself as an advocate for improved service delivery in Rwanda and in many other African countries. True, I was lucky I came to this country at the right time when the Government had decided to tackle the issue of poor service delivery. I am proud of myself because I seized the opportunity, worked very, very hard through the constant support of my husband, of readers and the good people I am fortunate to call my friends.
Publishing a quality magazine with articles in the three languages of Rwanda and distributing it free has been a permanent challenge. Many people still wonder how we managed to survive and remain consistent with each of the 22 issues we produced.
Our passion for Rwanda and excellent service provision in our beautiful Africa has been the real backbone of our work. Throughout these five years, we did not become financially richer with the magazine but we are immensely proud of the impact the magazine has on the entire business community.
I must confess though, that publishing this magazine has been the most difficult job I have done in my entire professional life. For each single issues, it was a struggle to get advertisers onboard and achieve the quality we aimed at especially as we rarely had sponsors to support us.
Now it is time for The ServiceMag to move to another level with new people who will continue to sensitize for improved service. The level of service delivery in Rwanda is still very low and it is important that many SMEs embrace good business practices.
As for me, it is time I move on to other projects. I will obviously still have to work very hard on my new plans but I am optimist because this magazine has been the best school I could ever dream of in terms of learning. Rwanda will forever be with me and I will fearlessly continue to advocate for Rwanda no matter where I am an in any new capacity I find myself in.