Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has revealed that 20 baby gorillas are set to be named during a ceremony scheduled on 2nd September 2022.
The baby gorillas were born between August 2021 and July 2022 in Kinigi Sector of Musanze District in Northern Province.
The ceremony known as ‘Kwita Izina’ will coincide with the inauguration of different development projects for residents in the outskirts of Virunga National Park where the species dwell.
The annual baby gorilla naming ceremony attracts various participants including Rwandans, sports personalities, members of the diplomatic corps, foreign dignitaries, philanthropists and conservation enthusiasts from across the world among others.
The Chief Tourism Officer at RDB, Ariella Kageruka has said that Kwita Izina is a fruit of Rwanda’s efforts to promote conservation and tourism whose revenues have increased steadily.
This follows the drop by 70% owing to effects of COVID-19 pandemic.
Last year, Rwanda registered an increase by 25% in tourism revenues reaching US$164 million up from US$131 million of 2020.
In 2019, the country generated US$498 million from tourism.
Kwita Izina will be held at a time when the world continues to recover from effects of COVID-19.
The ceremony will bring together high profile personalities whose names will be announced effective from next week.
The Governor of Northern Province, Dancille Nyirarugero has disclosed that residents in the foothills of Virunga National Park appreciate fruitful conservation efforts of gorillas and biodiversity.
Since 2005, Nyirarugero said, the residents have benefitted from Rwf3 billion allocated for different infrastructures including schools and health facilities among others.
“Organizing the Kwita Izina annual ceremony in Northern Province induces pride to residents. It is also an opportunity to receive visitors from different walks of life,” she noted.
Nyirarugero also highlighted that the event to be held next month evidences economic recovery following the ease of COVID-19 related restrictions.
A total of 354 baby mountain gorillas have been named since the ceremony was launched in 2005.
It is set to be held in-person for the first time after the emergence of COVID-19.
Individuals who participated in similar ceremony virtually are expected to visit the baby gorillas named over the past two years.