In an annual conversation event, Rwanda named 22 baby gorillas at the foot of volcanic mountains in the Northern Province’s Musanze district.
Rwandan President Paul Kagame presided over the Kwita Izina (gorilla naming) ceremony which attracted thousands of tourists, conservationists, foreign diplomats and members of diplomatic corps, all from various parts of the world according to Xhinua.
Kwita Izina aims to conserve the endangered mountain gorillas in the East African country, by tapping into tourism revenues generated by the event. Furthermore, the event monitors mountain gorillas in their natural habitats.
“We are proud of what our country has achieved in terms of tourism revenues generated over the years. The revenue sharing scheme with communities around national parks has greatly helped conservation efforts,” said Belise Kaliza, chief tourism officer of Rwanda Development Board (RDB)
Kwita Izina is inspired by the ancient Rwandan tradition of naming babies soon after they are born.
“Today is not only about Kwita Izina, it is about remembering that development must be founded on protecting our environment. When we protect our environment, we are also taking care of ourselves. There is no trade-off between economic growths and protecting our environment, they complement each other,” said President Paul Kagame
Gorilla population has grown by 26.3 percent since the inception of the ceremony, which rates very highly on the country’s tourism calendar. However, the current numbers of gorillas will be known in 2017 after the ongoing general census of the gorilla population in the Virunga Massif is done. The last registered gorilla population was 480 in 2010, a 26.3-percent growth from 380 in 2003.
Gorillas contribute about 90 percent of the revenues generated by the Rwanda national parks. The 12th edition of Kwita Izina was held on September 2 where the 22baby gorillas were named.
Here are some of the tweets from the Kwita Izina ceremony
President Kagame: When we protect our environment,we are also taking care of ourselves #KwitaIzina2016
— Presidency | Rwanda (@UrugwiroVillage) September 2, 2016
— Richard Kwizera (@Muzungu4) September 1, 2016
— David Toovey (@DavidToovey) September 1, 2016
— Allan Ssenyonga (@ssojo81) September 2, 2016
— Frank Matsaert (@FrankMatsaert) September 4, 2016