The gorilla naming ceremony characterised with entertainment and renditions from local entertainers, is the climax of the Kwita Izina week. It will be celebrated in Kinigi where names will be given to the 24 baby gorillas. This is an exciting and once in a lifetime event that attracts close to twenty thousand people. At a reasonable fee, breakfast and snacks will be available at the site for all participants and guests. During and after the naming ceremony the following activities are planned:
Kwita Izina Awards: The awards will be launched during the eleventh Kwita Izina and will be given every two years to recognizese local conservationists for their lifetime achievements and contributions to the wildlife conservation and tourism. This award will be give n by the Rwanda Development Board to celebrate wildlife conservation and tourism achievements that have had a significant impact in improving of tourism and the protection of the wildlife globally.
Business Exhibition: The exhibition will bring together exhibitors from the business community. The Kinigi Community Complex will exhibit and sell their products which include; honey, handicrafts and interactive weaving sessions. It will also provide an opportunity for operators to sell packages, hotels to showc ase their services and provide refreshments that people can buy and for the participants to acquire souvenirs.
The famous community party (Igitaramo) will be held on the evening prior to the main naming ceremony. Rwandan traditional dances, story -telling and cultural performances will highlight this evening.
A joint effort between Rwanda Development Board, Musanze District and the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund saw the birth of a community library in Bisate sector. Residents turned up in high numbers to launch the Bisate Learning Centre, the latest addition to the school campus which has 2300 students from nursery to secondary level.
The guest of honor, Rwanda Development Board’s Chief Tourism Officer, Ambassador Yamina Karitanyi and the Northern Province Governor, Mr. Aime Bosenibamwe, were present to inaugurate the project. Ambassador Karitanyi said, this year we are launching a community project during the Kwita Izina week as we strive to highlight how the progress of our communities is central to conservation efforts.
The Bisate Learning Centre is a product birthed under the revenue sharing scheme, a mechanism that ensures ten percent of tourism revenues are invested back in the national parks’ neighboring communities. Community liaison officers from the Rwanda Development Board worked in partnership with Musanze District leaders and the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund to build a library, housing a significant range of educational material for school-aged children, tourism and conservation material, as well as a computer centre. The Bisate Learning Centre aims to improve access to books and ICT, for all residents starting at a young age. It will hold the necessary resources to promote a reading culture and ICT as an educational path.
Chief Park Warden of Volcanoes National Park, Prosper Uwingeri, explained, the tourism revenue sharing scheme, works in partnership with district leaders and residents to develop annual initiatives that will benefit communities, ensuring the themes of conservation and tourism lie at the core. Ideas are primarily assessed for sustainability, community impact and relevance to conservation. Every year, a total of 12 sectors inside 4 districts directly benefit from this revenue sharing initiative.
This year’s 11th edition of Kwita Izina’s theme ‘Conserving now and for the future’, echoes Rwanda’s mission and resounding commitment to keep conservation at the core of its tourism activities. Every year, Kwita Izina is preceded by a week-long series of events that serve to reinforce the event’s theme. Upcoming highlights include a Photo Exhibition at the Kigali Public Library, a Business Exhibition in Musanze, a Business to Business Forum and a High Level Panel discussion on Conservation, both in Kigali.
28th Aug – 6th Sept
In the spirit of engaging the private sector and maintain the momentum of increasing tourism revenues, a customised familiarisation trip will be organised for selected regional and international travel writers and tour and travel operators. The trip will give an opportunity to new and ongoing tourism operators to explore and become familiar with Rwandan touris m experiences . It is hoped that from the trip, they will start packaging and selling Rwanda as a destination to their markets. The trip will be followed by a Business to Business meeting and concluded by a gala dinner that will announce deals sealed..
1st – 2nd September
In the spirit of engaging the private sector and maintain the momentum of increasing tourism revenues, a customised familiarisation trip will be organised for selected regional and international travel writers and tour and travel operators. The trip will give an opportunity to new and ongoing tourism operators to explore and become familiar with Rwandan touris m experiences . It is hoped that from the trip, they will start packaging and selling Rwanda as a destination to their markets. The trip will be followed by a Business to Business meeting and concluded by a gala dinner that will announce deals sealed.
28th – 29th September
The event is a two-day annual conference with delegates attending from all over the world. It is an important forum bringing together leading experts to debate Africa’s common conservation challenges and find solutions to preserve ecosystems for future generations.
This year topics are:
Conservation in the face of climate change
Conservation – a collective responsibility
Cross-cutting theme: “Engaging Youth in Conservation Innovation”.