Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente has reiterated the significance of conserving nature and wildlife, saying it goes a long way in improving people’s well-being as well as saving Mother Nature for generations to come.
The prime Minister was officiating at yesterday’s Kwita Izina ceremony where 23 baby gorillas – which were born between July last year and June 2018 were named.
Thousands of people – including local and international celebrities, conservationists and wildlife experts – gathered in Kiningi, Musanze District in Northern Province to attend the 14th annual Kwita Izina ceremony at the foothills of the Volcanoes Mountains.
The baby gorillas were given names by a select group of Rwandan and international conservationists, sports personalities, renowned philanthropists and diplomats.
Speaking at the event, Premier Ngirente noted that this annual national tourism flagship ceremony goes beyond just tourism travel to reminding the world that there are mutual benefits in conservation.
“This ceremony is about our people,” he said. “When we protect our environment and our mountain gorillas, we help our people to improve their wellbeing. Indeed, where there is peaceful co-existence of wildlife and people, there are mutual benefits”.
To put it into context, Ngirente highlighted government commitment to spend 10 per cent of the proceeds from national parks on establishing development projects such as schools, roads, clean water and medical facilities for the communities around these tourist attraction sites.
“This is to enable social-economic wellbeing of communities surrounding our national parks,” he said.
He said that Rwanda is endowed with enormous tourism opportunities, hence encouraging private sector operators to exploit the available opportunities by diversifying tourism products.
“This will increase the length of stay for our tourists,” he said.
Clare Akamanzi, Chief Executive Officer of Rwanda Development Board, noted that the Government is convinced that, with the available conservation and tourism marketing strategies, the sector will yield expected financial outcomes.
“There is no doubt that conservation will underpin the growth of Rwanda’s tourism sector as we strive to double revenues to $800 million.”