Rwanda : Akon, Obasanjo and other celebrities at gorilla naming ceremony

Gorilla trekking in Rwanda. Photo : RR

Casablanca, Morocco (ADV) – At least 23 baby gorillas were named Friday at the annual gorilla naming ceremony commonly known as Kwita Izina in Musanze district, northern Rwanda.

The gorillas were named by different personalities from Rwanda and beyond. They included international conservationists, sports personalities, renowned philanthropists and diplomats.

Rwanda is targeting tourists cross the globe through “Visit Rwanda” brand in order to reach its tourism revenues target of 800 million U.S dollars by 2024.

According to Belise Akariza, the chief of tourism department at Rwanda Development Board, by 2024 Rwanda aims to expand the home of gorillas, the Volcanoes National Park, by almost 25 percent, enable Rwanda’s gorilla population to grow by 15 to 20 percent and reduce infant gorilla mortality by 50 percent.

The annual event has become a major tourism ceremony in the small central African country. It has boosted efforts to conserve endangered mountain gorillas which have enabled Rwanda to tap tourism revenues hinged on conservation.

Revenue from gorilla tickets increased by 14.1 percent in 2017 while permit sales slightly rose by 3.5 percent, according to RDB recent report.

The report shows that last year Rwanda’s tourism generated 438 million U.S. dollars.

Gorillas contribute about 90 percent of tourism revenues from Rwanda national parks, according to RDB.

RDB says due to conservation efforts, the population of the endangered mountain gorilla has increased to 604 in 2016 in the Virunga Massif compared to 480 in 2010.

© Bur-csa – N.A – African Daily Voice (ADV)