Nigerian chapter calls for education reform

The Institute of Hospitality’s Nigeria chapter has appealed to its government to re-design the curricula of Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism (HLT) courses to meet modern needs as Nigeria experiences stable and strong economic growth.

Ade Iyiade, a hospitality lecturer at Lagos State Polytechnic said at a recent meeting that after a careful analysis HLT courses, including the roles of government agencies and the perceptions of HLT graduates, he recommended the re-structuring of programmes to reflect the industry’s need for multi-skilled operators and managers.  There is a need for lecturers to cover a range of topics including  sales, marketing and human resources.
The curriculum needs to be restructured and multi-skilled professionals attracted. This sort of manpower mix in HLT departments will bring in more research in the areas of consumer behaviour, human resources, marketing, quality management, ICT and so on. The main problem is the curriculum’s over-emphasis on cooking and food service. The programme needs to have a strong operational base along with managerial capability,” he said.

As oil prices rise and consumer spending expands amongst Africa’s most populous nation, some economists predict Nigeria is poised to overtake South Africa as the continent’s largest economy.  Nigeria’s GDP is forecast to increase 8.4% in 2011 and 8.5% in 2012.

African countries have generally weathered the global crisis well, according to the Africa Economic Outlook 2011, a report launched last month by the African Development Bank. Economic expansion was above average in 2010 as resource-rich countries benefited from the post-financial crisis revival in commodity demand, oil and non-oil commodity prices, and in trade.

Recent political events in North Africa and high food and fuel prices are likely to slow the continent’s growth down to 3.7% in 2011 compared to 4.9% in 2010. During this year, sub-Saharan Africa will grow faster than North Africa. The new report predicts a rebound for the entire continent to 5.8 percent in 2012.

Recent World Travel Organisation forecasts also indicate that inbound tourism to Africa will grow over 50% from 2010 to 2020, while Africa’s combined consumer spending is now US$860 billion. Furthermore, inbound tourism to Africa accounts for 5% of the world’s total (Sub-Saharan Africa 3%, North Africa 2%), higher than South America.

A shortage of hotel accommodation across all room categories has sparked the launch of a new hotel investment conference that takes place in 26-27 September 2011 at the Hyatt Casablanca, Morocco. The Hotel Investment Conference Africa brings both the North and South together to share ideas and attract investors. For more information go to www.africa-conference.com

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