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Global Ambassador Samar Haj Hasan is founder and director of Mahara, the first consultancy in Jordan to provide services in the field of social and human development. She is mentoring Rosette Rugamba, founder and managing director of Songa Africa, a luxury tour company in Rwanda. We asked Samar three questions about her experiences so far this week in Belfast.


We’re at the middle point of the mentoring week in Northern Ireland. What are your thoughts on mentoring Rosette so far?


When I reviewed my mentee’s biography and application I questioned the matching process. She is in the tourism business and I am from the social development sector and politics. Also, she had identified financial management as a challenge and I expressed during the interview that that is one of my areas of weakness. I wasn’t sure then that by working together I would be able to add any real value. However, as soon as I heard her story during our first one-on-one mentoring session I could see how much we had in common and that we were a perfect match. We are able to work and complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses. 


What is Rosette’s business strategy for Songa Africa?


She started her tourism company Songa Africa to strengthen the role of the private sector in providing professional tourism services, to promote both Rwanda and Africa as a tourism attraction and as a potential investment contributing significantly to her country’s overall economy.

Rosette’s passion and love for her country and her extensive experience in tourism in the public sector have been one of the key drivers in her success in making tourism a crucial industry in Rwanda’s economy.


Your business in Jordan is completely different from her business in Rwanda. How can you relate?


I could relate to her business story because I took the same steps when I established my consultancy firm in human and social development. My passion and love for my country, Jordan, and my experience in the public sector in social development and politics led me to start up my firm providing consulting on donor-driven projects that impact the community. It is a model to engage the private sector to enhance its role in the social and political development of Jordan. 

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Photography: David Hume Kennerly