The Institute of National Museums of Rwanda (INMR) has embarked on revamping museum structures and service packages to be able to double the current revenue of Rwf200m from cultural tourism per annum.
The director of the institute, Robert Masozera said during an interview with The New Times after officially inaugurating a children’s library at the environmental museum in Karongi District.
The library is one of the projects aimed at revamping museums.
The library dubbed Uruhongore (kraal) was set up with support from a local not-for-profit publishing house ‘Bakame Editions’ in conjunction with the German embassy.
The German support that will stand at Euro 25,000 by the time the library is fully stocked is from the German Climate Finance Fund according to Gabriele Berdelmann, the second secretary at the embassy.
The library has a variety of children books with social life stories as well as promoting environmental protection.
Agnes Ukundamariya, the founder of Bakame Editions said they have so far produced over 6,000 copies of one edition of a children’s book on environment titled ‘Uruhimbi rwa Nyanka’ which was put in the library at the museum.
Masozera said the library will also attract parents with their children to visit other sections of the museum.
He said the Karongi-based museum is one of eight museums in the country that are being revamped so as to increase revenues from cultural tourism.
“We want to double or triple the current Rwf200m annual revenues. That is why we have recently introduced a comprehensive package that covers all museums. It means that with a single payment, one gets a 30 per cent discount to visit all museums,” Masozera explained.
General entrance fees for each museum are; Rwf1, 500 for nationals (adults), $5 for EAC citizens, $8 for foreign residents in Rwanda and $10 for non-residents.
Students pay Rwf700, $2, $3 and $5 respectively for nationals, EAC citizens, residents and non-residents.
The museums also generate revenues from other services such as providing venue for wedding photo shoots, receptions and conference halls, among others.
Masozera said statistics show that at least between 180,000 and 200,000 people visit the eight museums per year while the number was not more than 1,000 before 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi adding that until 2003, there was only one museum.
Relocating animals from Kandt House
Meanwhile, Masozera told The New Times that features related to environment including living animals such as reptiles at Natural History Museum (Kandt House) in Kigali will be relocated to the environment museum in Karongi.
He said relocation has already started and by September 16, all features will have been relocated so that the museum in Nyarugenge remains only for history about Germany colonization of Rwanda.
Kandt House is believed to be the first modern house to have been built in Kigali, and it was the residence of the German colonial governor of Rwanda.
“We want that Karongi museum to be one of the four biggest museums in Rwanda. That is why we have got a library of children and besides the relocation of animals to this museum, we shall have other features such as medicinal herbs, energy, display of methane gas extraction from Lake Kivu, different minerals produced in Rwanda etc,” he said.
He said that the museum could also start hosting big international events such as conferences related to environment, sciences and others so as to generate more revenues.