Event Kwita Izina - Gorilla Naming Ceremony

The Rwanda Development Board’s Tourism and Conservation Department has just confirmed that their annual Festival of the Gorillas, Kwita Izina, will this year take place on the 05th September instead of the hitherto usual date in the second half of June.

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Period 05/09/2015
Event location Kinigi, Musanze
Host Rwanda Development Board (RDB)
See the agenda http://www.rdb.rw/kwitizina
Event URL http://www.rdb.rw/kwitizina/?page_id=425
Contact person Rwanda Development Board (RDB)
Email address: Email: pr@rdb.rw
Phone: Tel: +250788891444
Contributor Deogratias Tuyisingize
Geographical coverage Rwanda
Keywords Gorillas, Kwitizina,

Naming a newly born baby has been part of Rwandan culture and tradition for centuries. Given the remarkable efforts by the Government of Rwanda, through the Rwanda Development Board, and in collaboration with various conservation partners and local communities , to actively protect the Mountain  Gorillas and their habitat, the old naming century’s tradition was modelled on these species to get the national brand known as “Kwita Izina”.

Names attributed to the gorillas play a significant role in the on-going programme of monitoring each individual gorilla in their families and habitat. Kwita Izina, a uniquely Rwandan event, was introduced in 2005 with the aim of creating awareness of conservation efforts for the endangered mountain gorilla.

For three decades prior to the first official gorilla naming ceremony, the naming of baby gorillas was carried out with little awareness amidst the public by the rangers and researchers that closely monitor these unique animals on a daily basis.

Kwita Izina has been attended by thousands of international, regional and local participants over the recent years. The Government of Rwanda and conservation partners have donated substantial resources to gorilla conservation and continue to do so. Each year new born gorilla babies are celebrated in an exciting event at the foothills of the Virunga Mountains .

Tourism that focuses on natural environments is a large and growing part of the tourism industry in Rwanda. While it can contribute in a positive manner to soci o-economic development and environmenta l protection, uncontrolled tourism growth can also cause environmental degradation, destruction of fragile ecosystems, and social and cultural conflict, undermining the basis of tourism. Therefore, considering that natural forests constitute 8.7% of the national territory, conservation continues to play a crucial role in the country’s development.

Eleventh Annual Kwita Izina 2015

On 5th September, 2015, the Rwanda Development Board will host the eleventh Kwita Izina, naming 24 baby gorillas, the newest arrivals born after last year’s ceremony.

This year’s Kwita Izina will take place as we embark on carrying out another g eneral census of the gorilla population in the Virunga Massif following the one that was carried out in 2010. In 2010, the gorilla population registered a 26,3% growth in a period of 7 years from 2003.

The theme for Kwita Izina 2015 is conserving now and for the future

The private sector has explored expansive business opportunities around conservation efforts that have been harnessed into ongoing profitable and viable business ventures. As a result, the tourism sector has registered continued growth through attracting international hospitality brands and businesses .

Since 2007, tourism has been the leading sector in foreign exchange earnings for the country. The objective is to grow tourism revenues by 25% per annum as projected in the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy 2.