As the 12th annual gorilla naming (Kwita Izina) ceremony peaks around the corner, Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and its tourism branch have embarked on showcasing what their revenue sharing policy achieved in the past year.
This time they set their sights on the Eastern Province, home to the Akagera National Park where they unveiled new classrooms for one of the local communities.
The idea to share tourism revenues with local communities was multi –pronged; giving communities direct benefits from tourism, enhancing conservation by preventing poaching and the usual corporate social responsibilities.
It began around Virunga National Park, where schools and health centres were constructed and former poachers reconverted into park guards and are now at the forefront of conservation efforts.
So why can’t sharing of revenues be duplicated in other areas such as the mining sector that operates in nearly every corner of the country?
It is an embarrassment to see children studying in dilapidated buildings yet mining companies are reaping huge profits from their activities.
The same goes for rural factories and industries; Chipping in to raise the living conditions of the people around your businesses, the very people who play a hand in their very existence should be a moral obligation of giving back to society.
Of course one cannot force a private firm to dig in their pockets for the sake of local communities, but they could be sensitized on adopting the noble cause of sharing as it also helps to prop their commercial image.