This year’s edition of the annual Mountain Gorilla-naming ceremony will see the launch of Kwita Izina awards to recognise local conservationists for their lifetime achievements and contributions to the wildlife conservation and tourism.
The Kwita Izina ceremony will be held on 5th September in Kinigi in Northern Rwanda.
The biannual awards are also in line with encouraging local communities to play a continuous role in the protection of environment for better future.
This Year’s Kwita Izina theme is “‘Conserving now and for the future’, as part of a broader focus on the benefits of Kwita Izina as a conservation initiative.
The Rwanda Development Board’s Chief Tourism Officer, Ambassador Yamina Karitanyi, announced that “Through Kwita Izina, we will not only celebrate the birth of 24 baby gorillas, but will also acknowledge the impact that local communities have had on sustained conservation. Together, we have worked with rangers, guides, conservation groups and local communities to take proactive steps to restore and enhance the habitat of not only the gorillas but of other wild life as well”
Naming a newly born baby has been part of Rwandan culture and tradition for centuries.
Given the remarkable efforts by the Government of Rwanda, through the Rwanda Development Board, and in collaboration with various conservation partners and local communities, to actively protect the Mountain Gorillas and their habitat, the old naming century’s tradition was modelled on these species to get the national brand known as “Kwita Izina”.
Kwita Izina, a uniquely Rwandan event, was introduced in 2005 with the aim of creating awareness of conservation efforts for the endangered mountain gorilla
A general census that was carried out in 2010 has showed that in 2010, the gorilla population registered a 26,3% growth in a period of 7 years from 2003.
Since 2007, tourism has been the leading sector in foreign exchange earnings for the country.
The objective is to grow tourism revenues by 25% per annum as projected in the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy 2.