Africa Wildlife Foundation Opens Office in Rwanda
The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) has today officially opened an office in Rwanda.
The newly opened office will give AWF the much-needed footprint in the region while at the same time reinforcing its commitment to Rwanda’s conservation efforts and also cements the integral role African leadership and integration play in conservation management on the continent.
The unveiling ceremony was graced by the AWF Chief Executive Officer Kaddu Sebunya, AWF Board Trustees, and Former Ethiopian Prime Minister H.E Hailemariam who emphasized the importance of partnerships between state and non-state actors in conservation efforts.
“The opening of this office is a clear manifestation of the importance we attach to Rwanda’s role in biodiversity protection, and an acknowledgment of the huge strides that the government and her partners have made in habitat protection,” Sebunya said.
Sebunya also lauded the government’s efforts in leading conservation initiatives from the front by ensuring that communities staying next to protected and conservation areas are not alienated, but are part and parcel of the protection efforts through a revenue-sharing arrangement.
“I believe that this is one area that many other governments on the continent should borrow a leaf from because no conservation efforts can be successful without the active support and input from the local communities,” he added.
AWF Country Director Belize Kariza said the opening of the new office is a clear indication of the growing ties between the organization and the government of Rwanda.
“We are confident that this partnership will greatly improve our collective conservation efforts around the country as Rwanda continues to provide global solutions to the challenges of conservation,” Kariza said.
H.E Hailemariam Desalegn, Former Ethiopian Prime Minister revealed that the new office will serve as a focal point for Rwanda’s conservation efforts, and its proximity means that liaison with government and other agencies focused on conservation will be much better aligned and efficient.
“I am glad that our partnership with the government has been cemented further and we will continue to explore new ways of working together for our mutual benefit.”
With a history of more than four decades of working in Rwanda on endangered mountain gorilla conservation issues linked to regional human livelihood improvement programs, AWF is proud of the long relationship with the Government of Rwanda.