Accor has joined a UAE-led initiative that promotes the advancement of women in Africa’s underprivileged rural communities.

The hospitality group has partnered with Evolvin’ Women, a Dubai-based social enterprise, to offer over 25 life-changing skill development placements in 21 properties across the UAE, to women from rural areas of Rwanda.

The two-year placements, which started last month, provide each participant with training, work experience and one-to-one mentoring with Accor hotel colleagues and management.

At the end of the placement, Evolvin’ Women offers every participant the opportunity to share their skills and knowledge with their communities through volunteer work or with organisations where they can forge careers and gradually become financially independent.

The overarching goal of this hospitality-led female advancement initiative is to generate jobs and income, reduce hunger and poverty and improve the sustainability of livelihoods across Africa’s most disadvantaged communities where unemployment rates amongst women are particularly high.

The two-year programme has started with online training in Rwanda, after which participants will be relocated to their designated hotel in the UAE.

The 21 participating hotels, located in Dubai, Fujairah, Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah, span many brands including Fairmont, Sofitel, Rixos, Pullman, Novotel, Adagio, Swissotel, Movenpick and Grand Mercure.