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9th Gorilla Naming Ceremony to Empower Communities Around Virunga Parks

9th Gorilla Naming Ceremony to Empower Communities Around Virunga Parks


This year’s Kwita Izina {gorilla naming ceremony} is under the theme, “Celebrating nature and empowering communities” and seeks to empower communities surrounding the gorilla park areas.

“We chose the theme to appreciate the local communities surrounding the parks as well as recognize their role in protecting nature and the park,” says Rica Rwigamba, the head of tourism and Conservation at Rwanda Development Board.

While unveiling this year’s Kwita Izina program, Rica Rwigamba said that it would be moer than just one event but a series of events which will include community celebrations, launch of community projects as well as the Kwita Izina caravan. This tour will go from Kigali to Kinigi passing by the different touristic attractions and community projects on that route.

Through the tourism revenue sharing scheme, RDB funds various community projects throughout the country. This year, Maize Grinding Plant, a maize production cooperative near Nyungwe National Park will be launched. This women’s cooperative used to cut trees from the park to curve mortars for maize crushing. Today, with the support of RDB, they have a modern grinding machine that has increased their production. They now supply maize flour throughout their area.

The 9th annual gorilla naming event will take place on 22nd June in Musanze District, Northern Province of Rwanda.12 baby gorillas and 1 family will be named by various government officials and international guests.

According to the organizers, there will be free transportation arrangements from Kigali to Musanze.

Kwita Izina was initiated to identify and protect the endangered mountain gorillas and their habitas in the Virunga parks. More than 80 per cent of tourists visit Rwanda for gorilla tracking.

Rwanda boasts of 293 of the 480 gorillas in Virunga parks.

The caravan tour is set to replace last year’s Kwita Izina cycling tour.