On the 2nd of September 2022, Kwita Izina took place where 20 baby gorillas were named, born over the last 12 months. The gorilla naming ceremony was held in Kinigi at the foothills of Volcanoes National park Rwanda.
Kwita Izina is an annual gorilla conservation event and happened for the 18th time since its inception in 2005.
The popular gorilla conservation ceremony was attended by various dignitaries including President Kagame and his wife, Didier Drogba, Itzhak Fisher, Uzo Aduba, Youssou N’Dour, Gilbert Silva, Dr Cindy Descalzi Pereira, and many more.
Ngirente, the deputy director of the Rwanda Development Board expressed his gratitude by saying that they were pleased and able to meet again physically for the celebration of Kwita Izina after two virtual editions due to the covid-19 pandemic.
He further said, “the event of naming newly born gorillas is an exhibition of Rwanda’s diligence to conservation and the part the event plays in Rwanda’s social economic development”.
Rwanda Development Board’s second in command revealed that Rwanda’s conservation efforts have resulted in the high rate of reproduction of gorillas in the last 18 years.
“Rwanda safeguards its natural resources by empowering people that is why our tourism income distributing project is a significant part of our conservation strategy”, Ngirente said.
He spurred the locals living around the national parks to continue seconding government wildlife conservation efforts.
Chief Executive Officer of the Rwanda Development Board, Clare Akamanzi said while at the ceremony, “the mountain gorillas are a rare resource only found in three countries in the world, watching them is an extraordinary experience for tourists around the world”.
Among the gorilla’s name providers included conservationists, global stars, partners, and dignitaries.
In 1996, The mountain gorillas were regarded as critically endangered species by International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to extinction according to Mrs. Clare Akamanzi.
“Due to their improved wellbeing contributed by conservation efforts from different partners, in 2018 mountain gorillas moved from being critically endangered to endangered”, Clare said.
Kwita Izina has become the main tourism event in Rwanda. It has heightened efforts to conserve mountain gorillas that allowed the country to generate revenue.
The major objective of the event is to assist watch over each gorilla and their families in their locales.
Over the last 18 years since the inauguration of Kwita Izina, 354 newly born gorillas have been given names in the process.
The tourism income in Rwanda surged from 131 million US dollars in 2020 to 164 million U.S dollars in 2021, which conceptualizes a 25% increase..
The tourism sector has accumulated more than $168m this year between January and June as opposed to the $55.6m that was registered at the same time last year according to the Rwanda Development Board. This reveals that the industry is steadily recovering from the turbulent times of covid-19.