The course conducted by Rwanda National Police (RNP) falls in the existing agreement with Rwanda Development Board signed in February 2010. It was organized to improve their overall professionalism in ensuring security of game parks and tourists.
The training covered topics such as drills and duties, skills at arms, self defense, voice procedures, Rwandan values, patriotism, first aid and physical fitness, among others.
Speaking during the pass-out, Commissioner of Police Vianney Nshimiyimana, the commandant of PTS, said that the refresher course was designed and conducted based on the challenges that the park rangers were facing in countering illegal activities within game parks.
“All these areas covered were designed to instill discipline, value and protection of service equipment, teamwork, alertness, safety precaution, quick and right way to respond in times of need, effective communication and efficient handover-takeover process,” Nshimiyimana said.
“This was a short but rewarding course, but it is one thing to acquire skills and another to put the skills to good use. You are leaving here and Rwandans expect a difference in the accomplishment of your daily duties,” he added.
Chief Financial Officer at RDB, Mark Nkurunziza said that this course is vital in the tourism promotion and conservation of game parks in Rwanda.
“Tourism is an essential pillar of national development and game reserves play the lead role in this case as major revenue generation, and the security of these tourist destinations is key,” Nkurunziza said
Rwanda has four game reserves; Akagera, volcanoes, Nyungwe and Gishwati-Mukura, which is currently under conservation.
Akagera, volcanoes and Nyungwe alone add about US$19 million in the national coffers, annually, according to Eugene Mutangana, the Head of Conservation at RDB.
Meanwhile, Nkurunziza said that following the increase in the price of Gorilla Permits from US$ 750 to US $1,500, the government also increased the revenue sharing scheme from 5% to 10% to support development activities of communities around.
He further outlined poaching, illegal mining activities and bee harvesting as some of the challenges facing game reserves in Rwanda, but which the training comes to address.