RWANDA’S ELEVENTH ANNUAL GORILLA NAMING CEREMONY TO TAKE PLACE SEPTEMBER 5TH, 2015
Tourists from Around the World Will Travel to Rwanda for the 11th Annual Kwita Izina, Themed “Conserving Now and For the Future”
Kigali, Rwanda – On September 5th, 2015, the Rwanda Development Board will host the eleventh annual Kwita Izina – gorilla naming ceremony – at the foothills of the Virunga Mountains. The theme for the 2015 festivities is “Conserving Now and For the Future.” The growing gorilla population has become a major tourist draw, and thousands are expected to turn out for the naming of 24 baby mountain gorillas this year.
“Gorilla naming is an important part of Rwanda’s conservation efforts,” says Ambassador Yamina Karitanyi, the Head of the Tourism & Conservation Department under the Rwanda Development Board. “The centuries-old tradition now serves to play a significant role in the monitoring of each individual gorilla in their habitat and with their families. The Kwita Izina ceremony is a demonstration of the commitment to the conservation of Rwanda’s wildlife by the local communities, conservation groups, researchers, rangers, and tourists.”
Although gorilla naming, a uniquely Rwandan tradition, has always been a part of the country’s culture, Kwita Izina was introduced in 2005 with the aim of creating awareness for the endangered mountain gorilla. This year’s Kwita Izina will take place as Rwanda carries out another general census of the gorilla population in the Virunga Massif. The last report in 2010 showed encouraging growth in the gorilla population, registering a 26.3% growth in a period of seven years. The Rwanda Development Board has been continuing their conservation efforts and expects to once again see growth in the gorilla population.
New to the ceremony, the Kwita Izina Awards will launch this year. The Rwanda Development Board will bestow the Kwita Izina Award to celebrate achievements that have had a significant impact in improving of tourism and the protection of the wildlife globally. Awards will be given to recognize local conservationists for their life-time contributions to conservation and tourism.
Throughout the event, a business expo will highlight the economic growth in Rwanda. The Kiningi Community Complex will exhibit and sell their products including honey and handicrafts and offer interactive weaving sessions. It will also provide an opportunity for operators to sell packages and for hotels to showcase their services.