APA – Kigali (Rwanda) – Rwanda has been named 6th in Africa for wildlife conservation, attaining a score of 56.7 percent, according to the Wildlife Economy Investment Index report.
This was announced during the Business of Conservation Conference on Wednesday, August 30. The conference, a collaboration between the African Leadership University (ALU) and the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), took place ahead of the 19th edition of the Kwita Izina annual gorilla naming ceremony which will be held on Friday, September 1 in Kinigi, Musanze district.
The discussions at the conference centered on the impact of politics on conservation efforts and the pivotal roles played by the private sector and non-governmental organizations in driving investments towards wildlife preservation.
The Wildlife Economy Investment Index report, yet to be officially launched, serves as an indicator of the investment potential in Africa’s wildlife economy. It assesses five significant investment avenues within ecotourism, the carbon market, hunting, wildlife ranching, and forest products.
The report outlines a strategic roadmap for the wildlife economy, emphasizing the need to strengthen policies, legal frameworks, and regulatory provisions for natural resource management, particularly pertaining to property rights over wildlife, forests, and fisheries. Other key recommendations include improving the overall business environment, promoting collaboration and partnerships, enhancing transparency and data collection, and building the capacity of all stakeholders involved in managing the wildlife economy.
Commenting on Rwanda’s ranking, Clare Akamanzi, CEO of RDB, highlighted the pivotal role of nature-based tourism, especially ecotourism, in driving Rwanda’s thriving tourism industry.
“Our half-year results show a 56 percent growth in tourism, with gorilla tourism alone experiencing a 70 percent increase. This year, we are optimistic about surpassing pre-pandemic levels,” she remarked. Akamanzi attributed this success to the dedicated conservation efforts focused on mountain gorillas, preserving natural landscapes, and effectively managing national parks.
She expressed eagerness to gain insights from the report on best practices to further enhance their conservation work.