Community-Based Tourism To Spur The Protection Of Rwanda’s Mountain Gorillas - 2012 Edition of the Kwita Izina Ceremony
Musanze, Akarabo, Iwacu, Amatwara, Tabaza, Duhirwe, and Kataza are some of the names given to the 19 baby gorillas named today. The name giving ceremony, known as Kwita Izina,
took place for the 8th consecutive year and gathered thousands of people of all ages, cultures, and social
backgrounds, to name newly born baby gorillas “as a way of giving value and protecting these endangered animals from extinction” explained the Governor of the Northern Province, Hon. Aimé Bosenibamwe.
In the Rwandan culture, on the seventh day after a baby is born, Kwita Izina celebrations are organized, for family and friends to celebrate the new baby’s life through giving him/her a name. The former Rwanda Tourism Agency, which is now under the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), launched the Kwita Izina ceremony in 2005 as a way of protecting Rwanda’s mountain gorillas, increasing tourism and inciting the local population to protect the mammals. “In recent times it has been clear that they are part of our national heritage, it has been clear that they have economic benefit in the light of conservation and our co-existence with them” said the Rt. Hon. Pierre Damien Habumuremyi, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Rwanda.
Since the launch of Kwita Izina in 2005, the One UN in Rwanda supported the Kwita Izina events in various ways and was given the honor to name a baby gorilla in 2009. The baby which was 2 months old was named Komeza, lit. “Go ahead”, a wish for Komeza’s group and family to increase.