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Rwanda’s exotic gorilla named “Cute one” by Microsoft’s Bill Gates

Rwanda’s exotic gorilla named “Cute one” by Microsoft’s Bill Gates, now has a new baby sister

Posted on 15 July 2014 by peter

Rwanda’s exotic gorilla named “Cute one” by Microsoft’s Bill Gates

Musanze, Rwanda, 30th June, 2014:For a decade, the African nation of Rwanda has celebrated the mountain Gorillas, rare and endangered primates, through a colourful naming ceremony called “Kwita Izina”. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the global event, and Rwanda has a conservation story to tell about these rare primates.

Naming and conserving mountain Gorillas has become an international. Big international names like CNN founder Ted Turner, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Hollywood icon Natalie Portman have visited Rwanda’s mountain Gorillas and named infants. Rwanda has over 150 mountain gorillas, from 10 families or groups. Bill Gates visited the ‘Sabyinyo’ family in June 2006 and named a baby as ‘KEZA’ or ‘cute one’.

On July 1st, 2014, the 10th anniversary of the ceremony, Rwanda will celebrate the birth of 18 mountain Gorillas in Musanze district, near the gorilla habitat shared between Rwanda, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo.

There are strict rules to ensure safety of both gorillas and tourists. Visitors must maintain at least a distance of 7 meters from the gorillas, only 8 tourists are allowed per visit, with a limit of one tourism group per day, per each gorilla group, and visits are limited to an hour.

Rwanda’s mountain gorillas were first brought to international attention by the conservation efforts of American late Dian Fossey in the 1960s and 1970s, a call that Rwanda has given undivided attention since. After the genocide targeting Tutsis in 1994, Rwanda’s tourism and hospitality sectors boomed.

Last year, tourism revenue rose to $294m, from a meager $62m in the year 2000. Payments for gorilla permits count a big portion. In 2010, Rwanda hosted 666,000 visitors who generated US$ 200M – a 14% increase from 2009. In 2013, Rwanda hosted 1,137,000 visitors.

Five per cent of the revenues collected from gorilla tourism are invested in the surrounding communities. Park communities have benefitted from more than 300 projects including schools.

As government revenues have grown, so has the number of gorillas. Ambassador Yamini Karitanyi, Head of Tourism and conservation at the Rwanda Development Board or RDD said last week that Rwanda’s community-led conservation efforts have led to a 26.3 per cent growth in the population of gorillas since 2003.

Source: RNA

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For Rwanda, more mountain gorillas means more revenues

For Rwanda, more mountain gorillas means more revenues

Posted on 15 July 2014 by peter


At the foot of the Virunga Volcanic Mountains, Northern Rwanda, thousands of villagers gather to celebrate the birth of 18 mountain gorilla newborns just meters from the bambooforest up in the hills.

Hundreds of tourists and foreign dignitaries attend the annual baby gorilla naming ceremony, locally known as KwitaIzina. Local foods are prepared. Chefs roast fresh goat meat and fish.  Beer and soft drinks are in abundance.

Rwandan Intore warriors, dressed in traditional attire,brave the freezing mist, thunderously thumping their feet on the floor, jumping high and rhythmically swaying their neatly weaved toupees.The crown suddenly gets wild, with applause in response. Speeches are said and praises made. Selected individuals are given the advantage to give names to the newborns.

On July 1, 2014, Rwanda held the 10thKwitaIzinafestival. American Ambassador to Rwanda, DonaldKoranwas given the privilege. He enthusiastically stepped on the floor and named one of the babies ‘Twiyubake’,loosely translated as self-reliance.

LeoniCuelenaere, the Netherlands Ambassador to Rwanda named the baby ‘Inzozi’, meaning dreams. Some names are so expressive, the crowd cheers when they are announced.

Normally, after the naming exercise, the real party kicks off. Traditional instruments are played to set the mood right.The national troupe, a selection of beautiful and exemplary women dancers seizes the dance floor; swinging their attractivelycurved bodies to the heart-shattering sounds of drum-beats.International and local pop artists perform too. The crowdgets even wilder.

It is a privilege to name a baby gorilla. The Bill Clintons and Bill Gates have once been given such privileges.In June 2006, Bill Gates visited the Sabyinyo familyfrom which he named their new baby ‘KEZA’ [cute].

Biggest names present

KwitaIzina, launched in 2005, which has grown to become an international event, creates a global buzz. Global media networks, such as National Geographic, Discovery Channel, SABC, Reuters and M-Net Studio 53, Animal Planet, all broadcast the event live to millions of viewers around the world. International celebrities, such as Star Wars heroine Natalie Portman have attended. In 2008, Natalie Portman named a baby ‘Gukina’ [to play].

The late crocodile hunter, Steve Irwin, was represented by his former manager John Stainton who named a baby ‘Ingufu’ [strength], in memory of Steve. Renowned American conservationist Jack Hanna, Marjorie Kaplan of Animal Planet and Terry Lundgren,the President of Macys’have attended the festival. Famous actor Don Cheadle was invited to the ceremony in 2010 and named a baby gorilla Zoya, meaning life.

According to Valentine Rugwabiza, theChief Executive Officer of Rwanda Development Board, the eventemphasizes the conservation of the gorillas. Since 2005, KwitaIzina was launched, 163newbornshave been named.

Due to the festival, the mountaingorilla population in Rwanda has increased to over 600from 10 families of the remaining 880 gorillas found in Rwanda, Uganda, and the Eastern DR Congo, owing to collaborative efforts of the government, the local communities neighboring the national park and conservation partners.

“Because of the country’s community-led conservation efforts that led to a 26.3 percent growth in the population of gorillas since 2003,” Rugwabiza said.“That constant growth in the gorilla numbers is a clear sign of good conservation policies by the government of Rwanda.”

More gorillas, more revenue

And for Rwanda, more gorillas meanmore revenues.Gorilla trekking permits count for the large share. In 2010, from 666,000 visitors, Rwanda generated $200m. In 2013, from 1,137,000 visitors, the tourism industry generated about $294m. The industry has grown exponentially, it made only $62m in 2000.

The government allocates 5 percent of the revenues to local communities around the national park.  A school of six classrooms was built with funds from the ‘Shared Revenue Scheme’. More than300 projects have been rolled out, including construction of more than 50 primary schools, roads and clean water supply.

Rwanda’s Prime Minister Dr. Pierre Damien Habumuremyi, who presided over the ceremony, and named the baby ‘Birashoboka’ [it is possible], said conserving the nature is integral to Rwanda’s developmentagenda.

Particularly, he said, “local residents are the primary beneficiaries as it has helped set up community businesses and income generating projects that has improved lives and the communities’ economy.”

The Prime Minister strongly advised residents to keep up the conservation practices in order to maintain the current benefits from tourism.

To emphasize the importance of KwitaIzina, cerebrations are organized with themes.  This year’s theme for example was; “A Decade: Conserving-Empowering-Growing”, with emphasis on how gorilla tourism empowers communities through revenue sharing programs.

Conservationists and gorilla admirers such as Ambassador Cuelenaere, say Rwanda’sconservation effort for the Mountain Gorillas is remarkable.

Emmanuel Bensah, a Ghanaian who attended the carnival said, “Rwanda should serve as an example that Africa can link conservation and tourism.” “This is a message that Africa should not leave conservation to the [foreigners].”

List of dignitaries who named the newborns and the respective gorilla names

  1. Rt. Honourable Pierre Damien Habumuremyi- Prime Minister of the Republic of Rwanda named Birashoboka [all is possible]
  2. H.E LeoniCuelenaere – Ambassador of Netherlands to Rwanda named Inzozi [dreams]
  3. Mr. Omar Samra –Tour operator representing Egypt and the Middle East named Inkindi [high value]
  4. General MushyoKamanzi  -  Army Chief of Staff named Ndengera [protect me]
  5. Mr. Charles OnyangoObbo – Editor, Mail and Guardian AFRICA named Tebuka [hurry through]
  6. Amb. TeglaLoroupe  – Kenyan Athlete and Peace Ambassador named Nakure [let her grow]
  7. Mr. IkechiUko  – Publisher, ATQ Publisher- Nigeria named Umugeni [bride]
  8. Ms. Uwamahoro Agnes – Local Community President of COPAV Mararo, Nyangye Sector named Nkurunziza [Goodnews]
  9. John Sempebwa – Deputy CEO United Tourism Board, Uganda named Imikino [sports]
  10. H.E Donald W. Koran – Ambassador of the United States of America to Rwanda named Twiyubake [self-relience]
  11. Mr. John Mirenge  – Chief Executive Officer RwandAir named Kwigira [self-reliance]
  12. Mr. Ibrahim Mohamed – Principal Secretary for Commerce, Tourism and East African Affairs, Kenya named Isange [welcome]
  13. Ms. Lisa Karanja – Senior Director Business Competitiveness, Trade Mark named Umutaka [Umbrella]
  14. Hon. BarnabaMarial Benjamin – Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, South Sudan named Masunzu [ a place around the Virunga volcanoes]
  15. Mr. Bigirimana Francois  –Volcanoes National Park Guide, Rwanda Development Board named Nkundurwanda [I Love Rwanda]
  16. Dr. Adam Woo – Chief Operating Officer, Chinese Business Network gave a Chinese name which translates to Ubukwe [celebration and double prosperity]
  17. Ms. Keiko Mori – Japanese Friends named Ubukombe [ experience]
  18. Mr. Fidel Nizeyimana- Tracker, Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda Development Board named Ibendera [flag]

Source: KTPress

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Rwamagana District to renovate over six memorial sites

Rwamagana: District to renovate over six memorial sites

Posted on 06 May 2014 by peter

Rwamagana District to renovate over six memorial sites

Rwamagana district will roof six Genocide memorial sites following the request by IBUKA administration in Rwamagana district.

The move aims at protecting the mass graves from water that might enter to destroy the remains of 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

There are 12 genocide memorial sites in Rwamagana district.

The roofed memorial sites include Kigabiro, Rutonde, Mwurire, Musha, Muyumbu and Sovu.

The remaining ones include Muhazi, Nkungu, Kaduha and other three in Gishari sector.

“I commend the districts effort in roofing the memorial sites. However, much effort is needed to roof even the remaining sites,” said Jean Baptiste Munyaneza, IBUKA representative in Rwamagana district.

“We are trying all possible means to roof the remaining memorial sites in 2 years time,” said Nehemie Uwimana; mayor of Rwamagana district

IBUKA is a non-profit genocide survivors’ organization, founded in August 1994 in Kigali, Rwanda. Ibuka’s members strive to memorialize the victims of the Genocide against the Tutsis, provide aid to and protect genocide survivors, assist in the ongoing prosecution of perpetrators, and contest genocide denial and revisionism.

Rwanda is commemorating 20th 1994 Tutsi genocide

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Nyanza gets new Genocide Memorial site

Posted on 30 April 2014 by peter

Nyanza gets new Genocide Memorial site

60 remains of the genocide victims from different parts of Nyanza district will be laid at rest in the new Genocide memorial site worth up to Rwf300 million

A new Genocide memorial site worth over Rwf300 million has been completed in Nyanza district and will be home to additional 60 Genocide remains which will be given a decent burial on May 3rd 2014,in the new site.

Residents in Busasamana sector in Nyanza district joined efforts in community work to clean the site on April 26th 2014.

“We built a modern memorial site to accord a decent burial to genocide victims. The remains of the victims have been lying temporarily in other mass graves in the district,” said Abdallah Murenzi, mayor of Nyanza district.

Nyanza gets new Genocide Memorial site1

Nyanza gets new Genocide Memorial site1  Residents participated in community work to clean and level the compound at the new memorial site in Busasamana sector of Nyanza district

The new Genocide memorial site is the biggest in the district. Rwanda for the 20th time is commemorating 1994 Tutsi genocide victims.

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Rukara Over 8000 genocide remains to get decent burial1

Rukara: Over 8000 genocide remains to get decent burial

Posted on 25 April 2014 by peter

Over 8000 Genocide remains will be laid to rest in Karubamba memorial site, Kayonza district on May 25th, 2014.

Karubamba construction works cost Rwf30 million. The funds were donated by four sectors of the former Rukara Commune, in today’s Kayonza district. The remains were exhumed from Rukara sector, Kayonza district.

Rukara Over 8000 genocide remains to get decent burial

The remains of the genocide victims will be transferred from here to a safer burial place

  “Their former place of burial is in bad shape, and its construction works are poor. That’s why we are transferring the remains to a more decent place of rest,” explains Reverend Pastor Antoine Ntagungira, a genocide survivor from Karubamba cell.

Rukara Over 8000 genocide remains to get decent burial1

The Karubamba Memorial site will be the final resting place of more than 8000 genocide victims

 About Rwf12 Million lacks to accomplish the construction works before the remains are laid to rest in Karubamba Memorial site.

The exhumed remains are of Tutsi from the former Rukara Commune, who sought shelter in Rukara Health Center and Rukara Catholic Parish only to end up murdered during the 1994 genocide against the Tusti.

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Residents give facelift to Mutendeli memorial site

Ngoma: Residents give facelift to Mutendeli memorial site

Posted on 24 April 2014 by peter

 Residents give facelift to Mutendeli memorial site

Residents of Mutendeli sector in Ngoma district injected over Rwf 3 million in Mutendeli genocide memorial site renovation.

“We have embraced activities concerning the genocide memorial sites. The construction fund came from residents alone,” says Eric Rudahunga in charge of Mutendeli memorial site activities.

Residents built the genocide memorial site following advice by Odette Uwamariya, Governor of Eastern province who called on residents to reconstruct sites as Rwanda commemorates the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.

Mutendeli memorial site contains 4150 remains of the 1994 Tutsi genocide victims.

There are 49 genocide memorial sites in Eastern Province, residents are urged to contribute for their renovation.

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Ngoma: Residents to reconstruct 40 genocide memorial sites

Posted on 19 April 2014 by peter

Residents gathered to honor 2462 victims who were slaughtered in 1994 Tutsi genocide in Rukira sector

Residents gathered to honor 2462 victims who were slaughtered in 1994 Tutsi genocide in Rukira sector


Ngoma residents were urged to contribute for the renovation of genocide memorial sites.

49 genocide memorial sites in Eastern Province are not properly built yet the government fund is sufficient to cater for the reconstruction of 4 genocide memorial sites.

“It’s a responsibility of districts and residents to renovate 40 genocide memorial sites. Residents should strive to play their part,” said Odette Uwamariya; governor of Eastern province.

“Genocide memorial sites in Eastern province do not befit the victims buried in them. We have to join efforts and rebuild the memorial sites,” said Gihana Samson, IBUKA representative in Ngoma district.

The call was made to the residents while closing the genocide commemoration week in Rukira sector of Ngoma district.

Rukira memorial site contains 2462 remains of 1994 Tutsi genocide victims.


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Rusizi allocates Rwf50M to Genocide memorial site construction

Rusizi allocates Rwf50M to Genocide memorial site construction

Posted on 06 April 2014 by peter

Rusizi allocates Rwf50M to Genocide memorial site construction

Rusizi district has allocated Rwf50 million to construction activities at Nyarushishi Genocide memorial site, works should be complete by early 2015. Nyarushishi memorial construction works were on standstill for more than 10 years.

The factors behind delayed completion include poor master plan, low quality iron sheets and insufficient ventilation of the mass grave.

 “A new master plan is in place for the site. We will rectify previous errors that hindered completion of construction works,” said Basile Bayihiki; vice mayor in charge of social affairs, Rusizi district

The Nyarushishi Genocide memorial will be the biggest and most modern site to keep the Rusizi genocide remains.

“Some genocide remains from around Rusizi will be transferred to the new facility before the 21st commemoration,” says Michel Nshimyumukiza; coordinator of National Commission for the Fight against Genocide in Rusizi and Nyamasheke districts.

The construction of Nyarushishi genocide memorial site had cost over Rwf50 million.

Genocide memorial sites is where the remains of 1994 Tutsi genocide victims across the country are laid to rest as way of restoring their dignity lost during the brutal death.

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Rukara Women volunteer to cover cost of water for New Memorial Site

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Rukara Women volunteer to cover cost of water for New Memorial Site

Posted on 13 March 2014 by peter

Women from Rukara sector Kayonza District have volunteered to cover water costs for New Memorial site gardens being constructed in Karubamba cell where remains of the 1994 genocide against Tutsis will be laid to rest.

 Rukara Women volunteer to cover cost of water for New Memorial Site

Kayonza Women like volunteering in public works like cleaning the memorial site  

The new memorial site will be the final resting place for the 8000 genocide remains that will be transferred from the old memorial site. These remains of the genocide victims will be transferred to the new memorial site by the time of the 20th commemoration period that will be in April 2014.

Women of Rukara sector debated on the role they can play in maintaining this memorial site and then decided to make flower gardens, according to Agnes Nyinawumuntu; coordinator of National Women’s Council in Rukara sector.

Every woman in Rukara Sector contributed Rwf100 and more for those who could and now they have contributed to about Rwf95000 to pay for the water. The plan made by the Energy and Water Sanitation to bring water to this Memorial Site will coast about Rwf100, 000 and Rwf12, 5000.

The women of Rukara sector have participated in many programs apart from the flower gardens at the memorial site like making flower gardens at the Rukara Teachers’ Quarters, they have a special community work session where they clean and work on the village roads and support the poor among other things.

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Ngoma: Imigano iri kwifashishwa mu gukurura ba mukerarugendo

Posted on 18 January 2014 by peter


Ibiti by’imigano byatewe ku  nkengero z’ikiyaga cya Sake  kuri hegitari 45  ngo bihagire ahantu nyaburanga kandi binabungabunge iki kiyaga ndetse bizifashishwe mu kuboha imitako izajya ituma ba mukerarugendo babasigira amadorali bayiguze.

Imirimo yo gukora iki gikorwa imaze amezi agera kuri atatu ikaba iteganijwe gutwara amafaranga agera kuri miliyoni 90 y’u Rwanda  yatanzwe n’ikigo  cy’umutungo kamere hamwe n’ikigo cy’igihugu cyo kurengera ibidukikije REMA mu mushingwa wayo witwa DEMP.

Uretse kuba iyi migano biteganijwe ko izatuma abaturage biteza imbere binyuze mu bukerarugendo,ngo hari na gahunda yo guhugura aba baturage mu kubyaza umusaruro iyi migano bigishwa kuyikoramo ibikoresho byo mu rugo nk’imeza intebe n’ibindi.

Umukozi w’ikigo cy’umutungo kamere akaba n’impuguke kugihingwa cy’imigano,Munyensanga Frederic,yavuze ko iyi migno atari ukubungabunga ikiyaga gusa ahubwo ko izanabazanira amafaranga menshi binyuze mu makoperative bakazaba bazafashwa mu guhugurwa uburyo bayibyaza umusaruro.

Yagize ati” Abo twatangiriyeho iyi gahunda imigano yabagiriye akamaro kanini ubu  mu makoperative yabo baracuruza imitako  ikozwe mu migano mu kinigi muri Musanze bayigurisha ba mukerarugendo,ahantu nkaha rero twiteze ko  abaturage bahaturiye bizabagirira akamaro kanini.”

Uyu mukozi akomeza avuga ko imigano ari ingirakamaro bityo ko bakangurira n’abaturage kuyihinga kugirango bazayibyazemo umusaruro kuko irinda isuri kandi ikanakorwamo ibikoresho byinshi.

Umukozi w’akarere ka Ngoma ushinzwe amashyamba,Uwiragiye Venant,nubwo iki gihingwa cy’umugano gisa naho ari gishya muri aka karere,abona nawe kizanye ubukungu mugihe cyakiriwe neza n’abaturage bakakibyaza umusaruro.

Yagize ati” Ubundi uretse no kuba bayibyaza umusaruro urabona ko ubwayo kuyibona izengurutse iki kiyaga ari ikintu nyaburanga kizakurura ba mukerarugendo ndetse n’bi biyaga byacu bikarekwa kwangirika. Abaturage rero ni babe maso aya mahirwe ntazabapfire ubusa.”

Kugera ubu igice cyambere cyo gutera iyi migano cyararangiye ikaba yaranafashe nkuko byagaragaye ubwo abakozi b’ikigo cy’umutungo kamere babisanze kuri uyu wa 14/01/2014.

Aya mafaranga agera kuri miliyoni ijana akaba ariyo azakoreshwa muri iki kigokorwa cyo gutera imigano kuri hegitari 45 z’inkengero z’ikiyaga cya Sake. Kugera ubu koperative y’inkeragutabara akaba ariyo yafashe isoko ryo gubikurikirana no gubitera iyi migano.

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