A Rwandan by the name Edwin Sabuhoro has recently won a global Young Conservationist Award for his untiring and highly successful efforts to conserve the environment, as well as helping the commnunity around Volcanoes National Park benefit from his innovative concepts.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Sabuhoro helped transform former mountain gorilla poachers into tourist guides under Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village. Under this umbrella, tourism is up, and poaching is down.
He has been hailed, as he actually is, an inspiration to the youth for honest endeavour and using his head to help not only himself but the community of both animals and people alike to have security of life and livelihood respectively.
Success has not been sudden for this young man. A few years ago he received a State award and a certificate from Prime Minister Bernard Makuza for his work as a tourism warden at Volcanoes National Park and his great commitment to professional guiding ethics.
It appears that he has followed his Masters Degree thesis titled: “Ecotourism as a potential conservation incentive for local communities around Rwanda’s Parc National des Volcans” to the letter.
It is rare that we marry our books to our life and work experiences; but that is exactly what Sabuhoro has done. It is this kind of innovation that will lift us out of abject poverty; and will also help ‘job-poor’ graduates from tramping Kigali streets looking to get employed, to turning their certificates to better account, as in creating their own jobs.
We are still lucky that almost everyone who graduates can still find something to do in our human resource-starved nation. But the time is coming soon when the graduate glut will set in, and so we need to get prepared for this.
The pride we take in having KIST around should extend to other institutions – they need to provide us with manpower that will create jobs not only for themselves, but for us too, like Sabuhoro has managed to do.