New AWF Office Cements Rwanda’s Position as a Conservation Hub

New AWF Office Cements Rwanda’s Position as a Conservation Hub

Organizational Updates

New AWF Office Cements Rwanda’s Position as a Conservation Hub

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Rwanda office opening

(KIGALI, RWANDA – 18 July 2022) The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) opened the AWF Rwanda office in a move to further cement the integral role of African leadership and integration in managing conservation on the continent.

The unveiling ceremony which was graced by AWF’s CEO, Kaddu Sebunya, as well as AWF Board Trustees and Former Ethiopian Prime Minister, H.E. Hailemariam Desalegn, who emphasized the importance of partnerships between state and non-state actors in conservation efforts.

He also added that Rwanda has intensified its conservation efforts by rolling out unique and innovative programmes such as the revenue sharing arrangement with the communities living in conservation and protected areas.

The newly opened office will give AWF a much-needed footprint in the region while at the same time reinforcing its commitment to Rwanda’s 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 acknowledgement of the huge strides that the government and her partners have made in habitat protection,” Kaddu Sebunya said.

Mr. Sebunya also lauded the government’s efforts in leading conservation initiatives from the front by ensuring that communities staying next to protected and conserved 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,” Mr. Sebunya said.

AWF Country Director Belise Kariza said the opening of the new office was 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,” Ms. Kariza said.

Already, AWF is playing a critical role in putting Rwanda on the conservation map by being a co-convener of the ongoing Africa Protected Areas Congress (APAC), which runs from 18-23 July at the Kigali International Convention Centre.

“This office will serve as a focal point for Rwanda’s conservation efforts, and its proximity will mean that liaison with government and other agencies focused on conservation will be much better aligned and efficient,” H.E. Hailemariam Desalegn said. “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. AWF enthusiastically endorses the ‘green growth’ socio-economically linked conservation model for which Rwanda is globally known, hence our positioning. Our organizational 10-year vision is based on the aspiration of replicating this model in many places throughout Africa.

About African Wildlife Foundation

AWF is the primary advocate for the protection of wildlife and their habitats as an essential part of a modern and prosperous Africa. Founded in 1961 to focus on Africa’s conservation needs, we articulate a uniquely African vision, bridge science and public policy, and demonstrate the benefits of conservation to ensure the survival of the continent’s wildlife and their habitats. AWF aims to build a future for Africa where people and wildlife thrive.

The African Wildlife Foundation engages and supports African leadership at all levels to ensure development in Africa is sustainable and protects wildlife and their habitats as an investment in Africa’s future.

For media queries, interviews, or more information, please contact Wambui Odhiambo (Media Specialist, African Wildlife Foundation) at wodhiambo@qlpty.com or Tel: +254728886987.