Ladies and gentlemen, I am happy to join you for the 16th Kwita Izina ceremony.

This year we bring a special focus to the rangers, trackers, vets, guides, and porters, who protect our precious mountain gorillas. Their dedication is reflected in the 24 baby gorillas, receiving their names today.

Conservation, tourism, and community development go hand in hand. Each reinforces the other. I commend the people living around the park for being good stewards of the natural environment and such warm hosts for our visitors.

Three great Arsenal players are leaving their mark on a new generation of baby gorillas today: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Bernd Leno, and Héctor Bellerín. Arsenal is a good partner in our effort to show the importance of conservation, and why visiting Rwanda is such a special experience.

I also thank our partners in the hospitality industry who help make Rwanda a compelling destination. After a brief pause due to the Covid pandemic, Rwanda is once again open for visitors.

We were pleased to see so many Rwandan families and residents of Rwanda take the opportunity to enjoy domestic tourism. I hope this will continue, even as our guests from abroad travel here to discover our country’s attractions.

To everyone involved in Rwanda’s growing conservation and tourism sector, I say thank you and keep up the good work. Murakoze cyane.