Rwanda: Kagame Discusses Partnership With Gorilla Namers

3 September 2023

President Paul Kagame, on September 2, met with different dignitaries who named baby gorillas during the annual Kwita Izina ceremony and discussed various areas of partnership respectively.

The 19th edition of Gorilla naming ceremony themed "Conservation is Life" saw 23 baby gorillas named and celebrated as the fruits of Rwanda's conservation efforts, on September 1, in Kinigi, Musanze District.

According to the Office of the President, Kagame took time to receive and discuss with different individuals, including sports legends, actors, and industry captains.

They were later hosted at a gala dinner organized by Rwanda Development Board in the name of celebrating Rwanda's conservation journey and the contribution of each partner including park rangers, and other players in the tourism industry.

During the day, Kagame met with Andrew Mitchell MP, UK Minister of State for Development, who during his four-day visit to the country, launched the UK's Digital Library Program in Rwanda, a partnership with UNICEF aimed at keeping more Rwandan girls in school. During Kwita Izina, he named a baby gorilla Mukundwa.

He also met with Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary General of UN World Tourism Organization, they discussed the future of sustainable tourism policies that benefit wildlife ecosystems, and the communities involved.

The Head-of-State received Idris Elba, British actor, musician, and producer alongside his wife, Sabrina Dhowre, a Canadian model and activist, to discuss opportunities for partnerships in developing the creative arts industry.

Equally, he also discussed with Cyrille Bolloré, CEO of Bolloré Transport and Logistics, about the company's current and future investments in Rwanda.

In addition, he met with Sol Campbell, an Arsenal legend, the British professional is a football manager and former player, among many others.

At the gala dinner, Clare Akamanzi, CEO of RDB, noted that in the journey of 19 years since the naming initiative in 2005, the then-almost-extinct mountain gorillas have grown by 26 percent to 604 gorillas.

"Kwita izina means the growth of the meaning of lives of people that live around the gorillas. We have so many stories of people that used to be poachers but today, they are the number one defenders of gorillas," she said.

She thanked the guests for their continued support in promoting Rwanda's tourism industry and contribution to conservation efforts.

The colorful evening was a mixture of good music and live painting of two baby gorilla faces as the participants vibrantly interacted with each other over food and drinks throughout.

Performing artistes included Nyundo Band, Christiane Boukuru, Dawidi, Mani Martin, and Ruti Joel.

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