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The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has announced that this year’s edition of the annual Moun-tain Gorilla-Naming ceremony also known as ‘Kwita Izina’ will be held on 5th September 2015 in Kinigi, at the foothills of the Volcanoes in Northern Rwanda. Themed “Conserving Now and For the Future”, the 11th Gorilla-Naming ceremony, will focus on the benefits of ‘Kwita Izina’ as a conserva-tion initiative.

Addressing a Press Conference, RDB’s Chief Tourism Officer, Ambassador Yamina Karitanyi revealed that this year, 24 baby gorillas will be named.

“Through Kwita Izina, [Rwanda] will not only celebrate the birth of 24 baby gorillas, but also acknowledge the impact that local communities have had in sustaining conservation efforts. Togeth-er, we have worked with rangers, guides, conservation groups and local communities towards taking proactive steps to restore and extend the habitat of not only gorillas but also other wildlife as well.”

Ambassador Karitanyi further said that as part of a joint tourism promotion initiative across the

Northern Corridor (Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and South Sudan) , Tourism bodies in the region have decided to give each member state an occa-sion to celebrate a flag-ship tourism event. Kwita Izina was picked as Rwanda’s flagship tour-ism event. In line with this, other initiatives are being undertaken to pro-

mote tourism in the region – jointly with the private sector. These include a current domestic and regional tourism campaign, events and joint marketing efforts under the Northern Corridor initiative.

The Chairman of the East African Business Council, Dennis Karera said that the Government of Rwan-da has created a secure and enabling environment for tourism-related businesses to thrive. “With the East Africa Single Tourism Visa, there is easy movement of tourists. It is up to us as the private sector to take advantage of these opportunities.” He further stressed that Kwita Izina is a great op-portunity for the business community to interact with regional and international operators.

The 11th Kwita Izina will be marked by various activities that will culminate in the Gorilla-Naming ceremony. The event will be preceded by a ‘Kwita Izina’ week that will commence with ‘Inka z’u Rwanda’, a cultural ceremony meant to celebrate cows and their place in the Rwandan tradition, mainly focusing on the impact that they have in social welfare. Other activities to be held in the Kwita Izina week include a Conservation Forum, a photo exhibition, a business exhibition, a Familiari-sation Trip and Regional Tourism Business to Business Forum, as well as a night of cultural immersion – ‘Igitaramo’ – on the eve of the event.