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Kwita Izina Festival benefits tourism and communities

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang H. Thome, eTN Africa Correspondent  Aug 19, 2016

Ahead of the annual festival of naming young born gorillas in Rwanda, the communities near the Volcanoes National Park have again seen real benefits percolate down to the grassroots level, when the RDB, Rwanda Development Board, under which the tourism and conservation public sector falls, launched 7 new classrooms, paid for with tourism revenue funds.

This project at Nyabihu was funded by the tourism revenue sharing scheme adopted by the Government of Rwanda since 2005. Through this mechanism, RDB is at the forefront of community development by supporting projects that benefit the people living around the national parks and involving them in conservation activities, including the park rangers and guides of the park.

The Chief Tourism Officer of the Rwanda Development Board, Ms. Belise Kariza, said partnerships with district staff and engagement with communities are essential ingredients to identify solutions to Rwanda’s tourism development. She added: “As the tourism industry in Rwanda contributes massively to the growth of our economy, we as RDB have to promote the well-being of local community members. The residents of Nyabihu District play a key role in the conservation activities of Volcanoes National Park, which generates the most income of Rwanda’s tourism.”

The school was initiated in 1979 by the Catholic Church and the local government. However, due to the high number of new children in the area in the vicinity of Volcanoes National Park, the RDB had funded the school’s extension by constructing 7 classrooms worth Rwf 55,846,613.

At the inauguration, the Minister of Education, Dr. Papias Musafiri, commended the RDB for this initiative, which has increased the literacy rate around the Volcanoes National Park, as children now have a conducive environment for studying.

The construction of classrooms allows children to have access to nearby schools, enabling them to have time to concentrate on studies after school. This initiative serves as a significant strategy for collaborative efforts to engage the educated youth in conservation activities.

The main gorilla naming ceremony this year will take place at Kinigi Park Headquarters festival grounds on September 2, 2016.

The Rwanda Development Board is a member of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) .

Kwita Izina Festival benefits tourism and communities

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