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RDB commences Kwita Izina 2017 countdown

Rwanda yesterday launched the countdown towards the annual gorilla naming ceremony, known as Kwita Izina.

The 2017 event will take place on the 01st of September this year in Kinigi outside the town of Musanze at the national park headquarters.

It will the the 13th edition of the event which has become a magnet for the global conservation fraternity and in particular those concerned with primate conservation.
Ms. Belise Kariza, Chief Tourism Officer at Rwanda Development Board, was speaking to the local media yesterday and said: ‘Rwanda’s conservation journey has been more rewarding within the past decade, because of the involvement of local communities within the entire tourism and conservation industry to uphold responsibility and sustainability to biodiversity‘.

This year two community projects in education and one healthcare project will be launched around the three major national parks in Rwanda as follows: Akagera Primary School on 23rd of June, Nyungwe National Park on 29th of June and the second phase of Gihorwe Health Post in Kabatwa Sector on 17th of August.
These projects have been in the pipeline since between 2013 and 2014, with additional developments this year that will continue to transform these institutions into 12 year basic education schools as well as a fully equipped and operational health centres.

The Chief Tourism Officer also announced the planned activities for Kwita Izina week, with a call to action for the public and all key stakeholders to participate in these activities and continue driving the discourse on sustainable tourism, leaving a stamp for future generations.

The weeklong event will be initiated by the Gala Dinner on 26th of August where industry leaders will come together to celebrate and support Rwanda’s conservation success and raise funds for conservation project which is Volcanoes National Park Conservation Easement.

The Conservation & Tourism Exhibition will take place between the 27th to 28th of August, targeting the public and industry stakeholders to showcase diverse tourism products in the region and host education displays. The Conversation on Conservation that annually brings together leading experts to deliberate Africa’s common conservation challenges will also take place from the 28th to the 29th of August 2017.

Rwanda also seeks to re-enforce the domestic tourism campaign dubbed Tembera u Rwanda following Kwita Izina 2017. A mini draw promotion event will be held on 4th of July and lucky winners will be gifted with an opportunity to visit the gorillas in November 2017.

Since the initial launch of Kwita Izina in 2005, a total of 239 mountain baby gorillas have been named. The success has been unmatched and this year we expect over and above positive outcome.

No information was available at this time about the proposed 41st Africa Travel Association Congress which was postponed from last year to the 28th to 31st of August in Kigali, more or less coinciding with the run up to the main Kwita Izina event on the 01st of September.

Mugiejor A

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