The news that Rwanda, DR Congo and Uganda will sign a partnership treaty in order to foster coordination and cooperation in conserving wildlife is timely. The three nations share the Virunga Massif, the home of rare Mountain Gorillas.
Mountain Gorillas are Rwanda's main tourist attraction and it is essential that these animals are protected from poachers, the effects of civil strife and all other detrimental circumstances that might lower their numbers.
However, it is impossible to protect those in our borders because the animals migrate. So, if there are problems in, for example, DR Congo, these issues also affect our Mountain Gorillas.
If we mean to protect these rare resources, we need to look beyond our borders and understand that Mountain Gorilla conservation is a regional task whose responsibility doesn't lie with one country.
Furthermore, this cooperation should not stop with this very specific project. Looking at the East African region as a whole, one must ask why the East African Community (EAC) has failed to put in place a single tourist visa? Currently, a tourist has to pay to cross each and every member state. This ends up hindering tourism and development.
The region must quickly work together to uplift its people. There is no time to waste. The agreement between the three CEPGL nations shows that cooperation is possible.