The former Arsenal midfielder, Gilberto Silva, is expected in Rwanda where he will join other legendary figures from different parts of the world to name 20 baby Gorillas at the Kwita Izina 18th edition.
He joins other numerous football legends from the club to have named a baby mountain Gorilla over the last four years as part of the Visit Rwanda Partnership deal according to organizers.
Also, a renowned US Veterinarian and social media personality Evans Antin famously known for his selfies and posts with different animals is one of the Gorilla namers at 2022 Kwita Izina.
Among other distinguished namers includes Youssou N’Dour, the former Senegalese Minister of Tourism, and a singer known for mbalax, a popular music style in West Africa as well as Rwandan female sports icon Salma Mukansanga and Lorrene Powell, the founder and Chair of EmCollective.
On local scene, Moshions Creative Director will name the baby Gorrilla’s among others yet to be disclosed.
The naming edition will add up to a total of 350 baby gorillas that have been named since the start of the naming ceremony in 2005.
This year’s edition will be held physically at the foothills of Volcano Park in Musanze district after the two years of virtual ceremonies as a result of the Covid pandemic.
🇷🇼 Welcome to Rwanda @GilbertoSilva!
The @Arsenal legend will be touring the country as part of the #VisitRwanda x #Arsenal partnership, and will be naming a baby mountain gorilla at this year’s @KwitaIzina Gorilla Naming ceremony in Kinigi. pic.twitter.com/kw1tHz9Kx9
— Visit Rwanda (@visitrwanda_now) August 30, 2022
Meanwhile, RDB information optimistically indicates that the inbound tourism to Rwanda is showing a promising return after facing a challenging period during the Covid pandemic coupled with the visitor growth to Volcanoes National Park has shown good recovery during the pandemic period.
“Revenues increased by 25% from US$131 million in 2020 to US$162 million in 2021 with Rwanda welcoming over 512,000 international visitors last year. This year, the sector is showing signs of going back to pre-pandemic levels with the sector generating over US$168 million between January and June compared to US$55.6 million that was ranked during the same period last year.
During the first half of this year, the park generated US$11million while in 2021 and 2020, the park raked in US$6 million respectively,” a statement by RDB indicates.
The year 2019 was a merry year for Rwanda’s tourism where the sector fetched revenues worth US$498 million.