Kigali, Thursday — President Kagame addressed the virtual 16th Gorilla naming ceremony, also known as Kwita Izina. The ceremony which coincided with the World Gorilla Day was held under the theme "Conservation and Sustainable Tourism - A Foundation for Future Generations".
This year, 24 baby gorillas that call Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park home were named by the Volcanoes National Park staff - the frontliners of conservation who protect and care for them every day. They include the park rangers, guides, wardens, trackers and veterinary doctors. Three Players of the Arsenal Football Club, a partner to the Visit Rwanda campaign also took part in the ceremony.
President Kagame noted in his remarks that conservation, tourism, and community development go hand in hand, each reinforcing the other. President Kagame also commended the people living around the park for being good stewards of the natural environment and such warm hosts for Rwanda's visitors.
The Kwita Izina gorilla naming ceremony is modelled off a centuries old tradition in which Rwandans name their children in the presence of family and friends. For three decades prior to the first official gorilla naming ceremony, park rangers and researchers named Rwanda's mountain gorilla babies as part of monitoring each gorilla in their family and habitat.