Would you like to build
a great career in tourism & hospitality?

Would you like to improve your skills in all the relevant topics? Do you want to gain practical experience while doing so? Ukarimu may help you out!

What is Ukarimu?

Ukarimu is a Swahili word that means “hospitality”. It is also the name of our initiative through which we aim to boost the skills of young people working in the African tourism & hospitality industry. Check this video to find out how other young people benefited from Ukarimu!


Ukarimu is a training program that trains you in the right skills for a great career in tourism & hospitality. It is developed by experienced training providers in collaboration with tourism experts. With courses in hospitality, tourism entrepreneurship and (soon) tour guiding, Ukarimu can prepare you for various career paths! The focus of Ukarimu is on gaining practical skills, on helping you to understand the industry and to make you a professional employee. Ukarimu is implemented by various training providers in different locations. All Ukarimu courses follow this structure:

Class or field-based training
Work-based learning or internship
Closure training and assessment

Current Courses


(6 months)

Tour Guiding

(6 months)

Product Development & Entrepreneurship

(2 months)

What our graduates say

Ukarimu App

If you cannot wait but want to start straight away, download the free Ukarimu app. in the Google Play Store, and start learning right away.

Important! This app does not replace the training courses, but it will give you a head start as you will learn more about working in the tourism sector.

Frequently Asked Questions

Ukarimu is the first open-source curriculum for tourism and hospitality training in Africa. The Ukarimu team works together with innovative training institutions to implement high quality trainings.

The approach of Ukarimu is: 

  1. Based on active learning
  2. Focused on Africa
  3. Relevant to the private sector
  4. Focused on soft and practical skills
  5. Supported with videos and an offline app
  6. Open-source
  7. Short & easy to implement

Ukarimu was developed to overcome the frustration of African tourism companies regarding the lack of practical, accessible and contextualized training materials that would help to train young people in the skills needed for a career in the tourism & hospitality sector. 

The first Ukarimu curriculum was developed in 2018 by EyeOpenerWorks and Mango Tree, two Ugandan organizations that received support from tourism training providers in Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa. Financial support was provided by Booking.com. Later on other courses were added with the help of the GIZ Employment and Skills for Development in Africa programme (E4D).

The development of Ukarimu is formally and informally supported by various organizations and individuals. The Ukarimu team wishes to thank the following organizations for their involvement and commitment: EyeOpenerWorks, the GIZ Employment and Skills for Development in Africa programme (E4D) which is commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and is co-funded in Uganda by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad). We also wish to thank Booking.com, Mango Tree Educational Enterprises, Matoke Tours, Tripesa, the Uganda Hotel Owners Association (UHOA), Urithi, the Rwenzori Tourism Academy, Kara-Tunga Arts & Tours and the Karamoja Tourism Academy.

They would also like to thank a multitude of other institutions for their collaboration and encouragement including the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), the Ugandan Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife & Antiquities, the Ugandan Directorate of Industrial Training, the Uganda Tourism Association (UTA), the Tourism & Hospitality Sector Skills Council, the Uganda Safari Guides Association (USAGA), the Association of Ugandan Tour Operators (AUTO), Enabel, PUM, Casa Uganda, SkillEd, Moonatic Marketing, the Brand Factory, Kawa Training Center, Ujima Foundation, Jobortunity, Khwela, Southwest Tourism Academy and Elgon Tourism Academy.

Finally, they would like to specifically thank April Brown, Charlotte Beauvoisin, Sam Kalule, Gloria Tumwesigye and everyone else that invested personal time and effort into developing Ukarimu.

Ukarimu works together with trainers at training institutions. In order to implement the curriculum successfully the trainers are advised to go through a Training of Trainers, which is organized occasionally. These trainers will also be helped remotely by the Ukarimu developers in implementing the training.

The ideal Ukarimu trainer is a good listener, rather than a talker. A facilitator, rather than an instructor. An experienced tourism professional, rather than an experienced teacher.

Tourists are visiting Africa in large numbers. All over the continent this creates job opportunities for young people: near major attractions, in hotels and safari lodges and with tour operators.

Unfortunately many young people lack the professional skills required in the industry, and regular educational institutions fail to provide them with relevant training opportunities. Most courses are very theoretical and pay little attention to the development of soft and practical skills.

Applying for Ukarimu trainings is done through the implementing training providers. However, if you fill in the contact form, follow us on social media or register for our newsletter, we can keep you updated!

Students are selected through a recruitment process that may differ from training to training. In all trainings, eagerness and positive attitude are the most important selection criteria.

It depends on the type of training. Generally, Ukarimu training does require a commitment fee.

Each training has a different timeline, however, Ukarimu trainings typically last anything from 3 to 6 months, depending on the course and the training institution. More than half of the training consists of work-based learning.

This depends on the specific training course and training implementer.

No, but collaborations are sought with official assessment bodies where possible. In Uganda for example, the training providers that implement hospitality trainings are advised to work together with the Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT). Ukarimu also provides certificates during the graduation, however these are not officially recognized.

No. As the training is based on peer-to-peer learning and practical exercises, you need to be physically present. However, there is an Ukarimu app that you can download for free in the Google Play Store. This app focuses on the skills that you can learn remotely.

The Ukarimu Academy app is an offline tool that can be downloaded for free in the Google Play Store or be accessed online. The infrastructure is developed by Skill-Ed and the content is similar to the Ukarimu training content. However, whereas the Ukarimu curriculum targets the facilitator, the app targets the individual student. The app does not replace the physical training fully, as teamwork and practical experiences are crucial. Instead, it is a supplementary tool that helps students to make a head start, go through the content again, or to make Ukarimu content accessible for anyone that cannot attend a physical training.

Please fill in the contact form and we are happy to get back to you! 

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