Top Arsenal player to attend Kwita Izina 2018

Top Arsenal player to attend Kwita Izina 2018

A member of the Arsenal first-team is expected to participate in this year’s gorilla naming ceremony, locally known as Kwita Izina.

The highly-rated conservation event is held in Kinigi on the slopes of the  Volcanoes National Park.

The Arsenal star will join the long list of global celebrities and personalities who have taken part in naming newly born mountain gorillas.

The ceremony is organized by the Rwanda Development Board (RDB).

The RDB Chief Tourism Officer, Belise Kariza, without revealing names said that a number of superstars have been lined up for the annual conservation and tourism flagship event set to take place on September 7.

Kwita Izina, a uniquely Rwandan event, was introduced in 2005 with the aim of creating awareness of conservation efforts for the endangered mountain gorilla.

23 infant mountain gorillas will be named this year, Kariza said.

The participation of Arsenal is part of the long-term deal the club signed with Rwanda.

The three-year partnership includes players from the club wearing “Visit Rwanda” on the sleeves of their jerseys, starting this football season.

“One of the ways that we are going to leverage Visit Rwanda Campaign in this year’s Kwita Izina is to bring a first-team Arsenal Player. Which one? We will communicate to you over time.

“That same player will visit (different tourism destinations in) Rwanda and we will be making it public when that time comes,” Kariza said.

The theme of this year’s event is ‘Conservation is Life’.

Some 258 mountain gorillas have been named in the 13 ceremonies since the first Kwita Izina in 2005.

Since the first Kwita Izina the gorilla population has grown by 26.6 per cent.

Mountain gorillas contribute up to 90 percent of government revenues from national parks.

In 2016 alone, Rwanda earned $404 million from tourism. The target this year is $444 million.