Yesterday was the 8th gorilla naming ceremony, where 19 baby gorillas were named in a colorful ceremony in Kinigi, Musanze district. The annual event attracts people from across the world, many of whom are celebrated conservationists that have dedicated their lives to the protection of endangered species like the rare mountain gorillas, found in the Volcanoes National Park.
Over the years, Gorilla tourism has made Rwanda a prime tourist destination. The naming ceremonies have helped create awareness about the importance of gorillas to the communities living around the Volcanoes National Park - the home of the rare mountain gorillas.
The importance of gorillas to the nation needs not be over emphasized. They contribute over 90 per cent of revenues generated from National Parks and are a brand unique to Rwanda and the region that shares this great tourist attraction.
For purposes of conservation, it is paramount that joint regional efforts including Rwanda Uganda and DRC are deepened further in order to guarantee the safety of gorillas from the occasional poachers who remain a danger to the survival of the gorillas.
As we celebrate the birth of 19 mountain gorillas through the naming ceremony, we need to appreciate the central role of neighboring communities in conservation efforts and more so, in their dedicated turnout to witness and make Kwita Izina naming ceremonies the success and global brand they have become.