Posts tagged as: germany

Team Work Key in Football, Says German Legend Matthaus

By David Kwalimwa

German football legend Lothar Matthaus believes African teams regularly fail to perform on the big stage because every player in the squad wants to be the hero.

Speaking on Wednesday at Mathare Youth Sports Association in Nairobi during a coaching clinic organised by Pay-Tv service provider StarTimes, Matthaus said players should embrace team work and selflessness to succeed with their national teams.

“African players want to shine in isolation. They want all the glory. When you study African players playing for their clubs in Europe, they do very well, but with their national teams the same player will probably think, ‘I want score so that I become the hero of this tournament’. That should not be the case,” the 53-year-old, who won many titles in Germany and Italy in his three decades-long playing career said.

Besides Nigeria and Cameroon’s triumph at the Olympics in 1996 and 2000 respectively, African teams have struggled to make an impact in international tournaments.

Matthaus urged local coaches to embrace the culture of discipline and motivation to succeed in their careers. Among those who attended the coaching clinic are 2015 World javelin champion Julius Yego and former Harambee Stars custodian Mohammed Abass.

“You rather have eleven players on the pitch who believe in you and your discipline other than the best eleven players available.”

“We have had StarTimes bring us (ex-Nigerian internationals Nwankwo) Kanu and Sunday Oliseh in the past. Now we get to see Mattaus. You see the kids are excited and are eager to learn from him. That is the difference,” Abass added.

The ex-Germany captain and 1990 World Cup winner, who was voted as the world’s best player in 1991, also shared an hour long on-the field coaching tips with dozens of players affiliated to the MYSA U-14, U-16 and women football teams.

Kenya

Duale to Seek MPs Approval of Sh11.5 Billion for Poll

Majority Leader in the National Assembly Aden Duale says he will be requesting MPs to approve the release of Sh11.5… Read more »

Sevens Stars Target WC Qualification

By Deus Bugembe

Kampala — The mere thought that the Rugby Cranes Sevens side fancy themselves for a place at the World Cup tells how fast the shorter version of the game in the country has improved after almost a decade of slumber.

Coach Tolbert Onyango deserves his share of credit for this revitalisation phase since his appointment in 2015.

It would be safe to take the Kenyan born coach serious if he said Uganda deserves and has what it takes to qualify for the 2018 Rugby Sevens World Cup at the iconic AT&T Park in San Francisco.

“We know the route there, win the Africa Cup and you are there,” he told Daily Monitor during the launch of the Africa Rugby Sevens Championship due on October 6-7 yesterday.

Uganda are defending champions of the Africa Cup and repeating the feat they achieved in Nairobi last year would guarantee Uganda their first World Cup appearance, something the ladies’ side achieved in 2007 in Dubai.

It would also take them on a familiar route of the HSBC Rugby Sevens Series Qualification.

Uganda will be seeded first when they host Tunisia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Madagascar, Senegal, Namibia, Morocco and Ghana for the continental showpiece to be hosted at Legends Rugby Club.

“We have tasted the international stage and we want more, we have what it takes to get to the World Cup and it’s what we are targeting when the Africa Cup starts,” added Onyango.

With Guinness coming on board with a Shs200m annual kitty for the sevens side, the financial burden will be sized down starting with a trip to Munich, Germany where Uganda will play in the Oktoberfest 7s to test how ready they are to defend their Africa Cup.

While a second place finish would ensure Uganda miss out on a trip to San Francisco, it would take them to the other side of the world in Australia for the 2018 Commonwealth games.

The Selected side is a familiar one with only 18 year old Black Pirates’ Desire Ayera joining without ever experiencing sevens rugby at the top level.

Brian Kikawa returns to the side after years of absence and he’s joined by James Ijongat.

Rugby Cranes’ Sevens team

Ramadhan Govule, Eric Kasiita (captain), Desire Ayera, Adrian Kasiito, James Ijongat, Michael Wokorach, Phillip Wokorach, James Odong, Timothy Kisiiga, Pius Ogena, Brian Kikaawa, Fred Odur.

Uganda

Women Murders – Another Body Found in Garden

Less than a day after a body of a woman was found dumped in a bush in Nkumba village, another body of a woman has on… Read more »

Fast-Rising Valary Aiyabei Ready for Big Stage

By Bernard Rotich

As athletes prepare for Sunday’s Berlin Marathon, many will be looking forward to good run and to achieve greater goals in their careers.

It’s an athlete’s dream to win a race or at least be on the podium, and Prague Marathon champion Valary Aiyabei is no exception.

Aiyabei will team up with 2015 Berlin Marathon champion Gladys Cherono for the race on the streets of the German capital.

Fresh from breaking the course record for Prague Marathon in May, Aiyabei has recovered well and is aiming for a good race.

Aiyabei says her training sessions went well and she is looking forward to running a good race in Berlin where she will compete in her first major marathon.

“Having recovered well from the race that I participated in May, I want to be in the podium on Sunday in Germany. My training has been incident-free,” the athlete said.

She insists she is not scared of competing against big names from Ethiopia.

“I know there will be stiff competition from the Ethiopians who are tough but I have also done enough training and I’m ready to compete against them. I will run my own race and just hope for the best,” said Aiyabei.

“I have improved in my training compared with what I did before I participated in Prague Marathon in May. I concentrated on the long runs which entails covering more than 35km during training,” said the Iten-based athlete.

Aiyabei ran in Prague in May, breaking the course record to win in 2hours, 21:57min ahead of Ethiopians Amene Beriso and Tadelech Bekele who were second and third respectively.

The athlete also won both 2016 Barcelona Marathon and 2016 Valencia Marathon in a course record.

Aiyabei is coached by her husband Kennedy Tarus who also doubles up as a pacemaker in marathon races. According to Tarus, Aiyabei has trained well and should seal a podium finish and lower the course record should weather conditions allow.

“She can lower the course record in Berlin. We just hope for the best. We’ve done our part,” said Tarus.

The two Kenyans are expected to face stiff competition from Aberu Kebede (2012) winner, Amane Beriso who was second in Dubai Marathon (2016) and Meseret Mengistu who was 2015 Paris winner all from Ethiopia.

Kenya

Duale to Seek MPs Approval of Sh11.5 Billion for Poll

Majority Leader in the National Assembly Aden Duale says he will be requesting MPs to approve the release of Sh11.5… Read more »

NCS, UBF Close to Agreement

By Abdul-Nasser Ssemugabi

Kampala — The row between the National Council of Sports (NCS) and Uganda Boxing Federation (UBF) which last week led the former to suspend the latter is soon ending, according to UBF president Kenneth Gimugu.

As promised in the wake of the suspension, Gimugu met the NCS on Monday to arrest any possibilities of legal battles that cost boxing before he assumed office.

“I have met some members of the NCS and their response was positive,” Gimugu told Daily Monitor on phone yesterday afternoon.

The crisis meeting chaired by NCS’s vice chair Zubair Galiwango, also included David Katende and Bernard Ogwel who signed the missive that sought to suspend UBF for: failing to produce in time accountability reports of the national boxing team’s trips to the African Championship in Congo-Brazzaville in June and the World Championship in Hamburg, Germany in August.

NCS also interested the police’s criminal investigations department into the disappearance of the three boxers: Muzamir Kakande, David Ayiti and Geoffrey Kaketo, who haven’t returned from Germany.

But another source that attended the meeting said NCS was more injured by the negative publicity in the media about the government sports regulator’s failure to adequately facilitate the national team on an international assignment.

UBF spokesman Fred Kavuma, who has been the key villain in this saga because he was the team manager in Germany, said last Saturday that NCS could have another motive because he delivered accountability reports and NCS returned stamped copies before they issued the suspension letter last Friday.

Gimugu however said he is doing it afresh. “I’m going to deliver the reports myself before another meeting with them (NCS) on Wednesday (tomorrow). There’s more than enough light at the end of the tunnel.”

Uganda

Presidents Call for Accelerated Action to End Child Marriage

President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda has emphasized the importance of education for girls and skills training to boost… Read more »

Rwanda Improve By One Place in Latest FIFA Ranking

By Jejje Muhinde

Rwanda moved up one place to 118th in the latest FIFA world ranking released on Thursday in Zurich, Switzerland.

The move by Amavubi is attributed to the 2-1 win over Sudan in an international friendly last month. At the continental level, Rwanda is ranked 31st, above Togo, who dropped eight places to 32nd.

Neighbours Uganda remain the best-ranked team in the East African region – gaining two places to 14th on the continent and 71st globally. Kenya is 21st in Africa after dropping six places to 88th in the global rankings.

Tanzania dropped to 125th worldwide, while Burundi 129th, Sudan 134th, Ethiopia 144th and South Sudan 150th.

Egypt remain Africa’s top-ranked team despite dropping five positions to 30th in the world, followed by Tunisia (31), who moved three spots ahead of Senegal (33) and DR Congo (42).

The reigning world champions, Germany, returned to the summit of the FIFA rankings, pushing Brazil back into second place.

European champions Portugal climbed three places to third – even though they are second in their World Cup qualifying group behind Switzerland.

Argentina are fourth in the rankings despite struggling to qualify for the World Cup after drawing their last two games – away to Uruguay and at home to Venezuela.

War-torn Syria, who have reached the Asian playoff stage in the World Cup qualifiers despite playing their ‘home’ World Cup qualifiers in Malaysia because of the security situation in the country, rose to their highest-ever ranking of 75.

Three other teams reached their best-ever place – Peru (12th), Northern Ireland (20th) and Luxemburg (101st) after they held France to a 0-0 draw away.

Rwanda

Tunga Promotion Returns

Twelve motorbikes and a brand new car are up for grabs as the Airtel Tunga promotion returns. In its third year running,… Read more »

Cement Wars – How Dangote Price Cuts Drive Competitors Into Loss Territory

By Allan Olingo

The entry of Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, into the cement business in Tanzania has rocked the industry in the region, with cement manufacturers looking at huge losses.

The cutthroat competition introduced by Dangote Cement through price cuts, is forcing the firm’s competitors to sell their products at prices lower than their cost of production.

In the past two weeks, two of the region’s cement players with more than 60 per cent combined market share in Tanzania, posted negative results which they blamed on the price wars that have seen them consistently sell their products below cost as they struggle to stay afloat.

The Tanzania cement sector has experienced disruption following the entry of Dangote Cement, as discount pricing unsettled the large cement players in the region, further raising competition and cutting margins in the local and regional cement market.

Tanzania Portland Cement Company (TPCC), majority owned by Germany’s Heidelberg Cement, posted a 45.6 per cent drop in first-half profit after an output glut, while Kenyan headquartered Athi River Mining (ARM) Cement saw its losses compounded fivefold, from $2.54 million to $13.3 million.

ARM chief executive officer Pradeep Paunrana said that in the past six months, they have been forced to sell cement at a price below cost in Tanzania, which has hurt its 26 per cent market share.

“The commodity’s price in the Dar market fell from $88 per tonne in September last year to lows of $60 per tonne this year. This has greatly affected us,” Mr. Pauranha said.

The price cut was occasioned after Dangote Cement slashed its prices by up to 40 per cent in 2015 to gain market share, leaving the smaller players struggling.

TPCC, Tanzania’s biggest cement maker, with a 36 per cent market share, reported a net profit of $5.5 million, down from $10.03 million a year ago. Its chairman Hakan Gurdal said the drop in profit resulted from the lower prices in an increasingly competitive market that saw the firm’s revenue drop by 16 per cent to $52.57 million.

“The market situation remains challenging, but we will continue to work to maintain our market leadership. We are now implementing strict cost controls to reduce the cost of sales and administrative expenses,” Mr Gurdal said.

Last month, Dangote announced that it would start using its own gas-powered plant in Tanzania this month to reduce its reliance on diesel generators for electrical power which had seen its operations costs increase. This means that the firm’s costs will drop significantly, probably affording it further price cuts, to the detriment of its competitors.

Even as the other firms complained of high production costs, Dangote’s Mtwara plant increased volumes by at least 64 per cent in the first half of 2017, pushing the six-month sales to more than 400,000 tonnes, despite the losses incurred in its operations costs.

“The factory is still reliant on diesel generators which results in net income losses that weigh on our operations outside of Nigeria. However, we expect to have gas turbines installed by September, which will immediately bring the plant into profitability,” the firm said.

Mr Dangote has used his Ethiopian and Tanzanian plants to gain a foothold in the regional cement industry. His targeting of the consumers with low-cost cement, which is 20 to 40 per cent cheaper than other locally produced products, drove down retail prices in a market where they had remained static for close to a decade. It has since gained a 23 per cent market share after its 2015 opening of its three-million-tonne-per annum plant in Mtwara.

For ARM, losses have now forced it back to the drawing board as it seeks a new round of fundraising to steady its business, probably through selling a stake to a new investor in the short term.

ARM’s Tanzania business has remained uncompetitive as cement prices there have been declining, with the current levels of $66 per tonne, from a high of $105 in 2016.

Strategic investor

The Tanzania business accounted for 29.3 per cent of ARM’s total sales and income in 2016 but also contributed 65 per cent of the loss before tax.

“Our plan is to sell our non-cement business, which is the fertiliser plant in this case, take short term shareholder loans and bring on board a strategic long-term investor. We are doing this to restore the value which has been eroded because of our Tanzanian operations,” Mr Paunrana said.

In September 2016, the firm received $140 million investment from CDC Group, to reduce the long term debt which has been escalating over the years. As at December, its debt halved halved to $126.17 million from $232.53 million in 2015, However, the firm is looking to add more debt to ease near-term repayment obligations.

Analysts at Genghis say that they expect cement firms in the region to continue performing below par as the production cost remain high in Tanzania and Kenya, due to a ban of imported coal in Tanzania.

“We are confident that challenges relating to supply of coal will come off from the second half of this year due to the new two coal mines in Tanzania. Other challenges relate to electricity supply , but this is expected to level off, though at a slower pace, as the government installs new transmission lines,” analysts at Genghis said.

Tanzania: Cement Wars – How Dangote Price Cuts Drive Competitors Into Loss Territory

By Allan Olingo

The entry of Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, into the cement business in Tanzania has rocked the industry in the region, with cement manufacturers looking at huge losses.

The cutthroat competition introduced by Dangote Cement through price cuts, is forcing the firm’s competitors to sell their products at prices lower than their cost of production.

In the past two weeks, two of the region’s cement players with more than 60 per cent combined market share in Tanzania, posted negative results which they blamed on the price wars that have seen them consistently sell their products below cost as they struggle to stay afloat.

The Tanzania cement sector has experienced disruption following the entry of Dangote Cement, as discount pricing unsettled the large cement players in the region, further raising competition and cutting margins in the local and regional cement market.

Tanzania Portland Cement Company (TPCC), majority owned by Germany’s Heidelberg Cement, posted a 45.6 per cent drop in first-half profit after an output glut, while Kenyan headquartered Athi River Mining (ARM) Cement saw its losses compounded fivefold, from $2.54 million to $13.3 million.

ARM chief executive officer Pradeep Paunrana said that in the past six months, they have been forced to sell cement at a price below cost in Tanzania, which has hurt its 26 per cent market share.

“The commodity’s price in the Dar market fell from $88 per tonne in September last year to lows of $60 per tonne this year. This has greatly affected us,” Mr. Pauranha said.

The price cut was occasioned after Dangote Cement slashed its prices by up to 40 per cent in 2015 to gain market share, leaving the smaller players struggling.

TPCC, Tanzania’s biggest cement maker, with a 36 per cent market share, reported a net profit of $5.5 million, down from $10.03 million a year ago. Its chairman Hakan Gurdal said the drop in profit resulted from the lower prices in an increasingly competitive market that saw the firm’s revenue drop by 16 per cent to $52.57 million.

“The market situation remains challenging, but we will continue to work to maintain our market leadership. We are now implementing strict cost controls to reduce the cost of sales and administrative expenses,” Mr Gurdal said.

Last month, Dangote announced that it would start using its own gas-powered plant in Tanzania this month to reduce its reliance on diesel generators for electrical power which had seen its operations costs increase. This means that the firm’s costs will drop significantly, probably affording it further price cuts, to the detriment of its competitors.

Even as the other firms complained of high production costs, Dangote’s Mtwara plant increased volumes by at least 64 per cent in the first half of 2017, pushing the six-month sales to more than 400,000 tonnes, despite the losses incurred in its operations costs.

“The factory is still reliant on diesel generators which results in net income losses that weigh on our operations outside of Nigeria. However, we expect to have gas turbines installed by September, which will immediately bring the plant into profitability,” the firm said.

Mr Dangote has used his Ethiopian and Tanzanian plants to gain a foothold in the regional cement industry. His targeting of the consumers with low-cost cement, which is 20 to 40 per cent cheaper than other locally produced products, drove down retail prices in a market where they had remained static for close to a decade. It has since gained a 23 per cent market share after its 2015 opening of its three-million-tonne-per annum plant in Mtwara.

For ARM, losses have now forced it back to the drawing board as it seeks a new round of fundraising to steady its business, probably through selling a stake to a new investor in the short term.

ARM’s Tanzania business has remained uncompetitive as cement prices there have been declining, with the current levels of $66 per tonne, from a high of $105 in 2016.

Strategic investor

The Tanzania business accounted for 29.3 per cent of ARM’s total sales and income in 2016 but also contributed 65 per cent of the loss before tax.

“Our plan is to sell our non-cement business, which is the fertiliser plant in this case, take short term shareholder loans and bring on board a strategic long-term investor. We are doing this to restore the value which has been eroded because of our Tanzanian operations,” Mr Paunrana said.

In September 2016, the firm received $140 million investment from CDC Group, to reduce the long term debt which has been escalating over the years. As at December, its debt halved halved to $126.17 million from $232.53 million in 2015, However, the firm is looking to add more debt to ease near-term repayment obligations.

Analysts at Genghis say that they expect cement firms in the region to continue performing below par as the production cost remain high in Tanzania and Kenya, due to a ban of imported coal in Tanzania.

“We are confident that challenges relating to supply of coal will come off from the second half of this year due to the new two coal mines in Tanzania. Other challenges relate to electricity supply , but this is expected to level off, though at a slower pace, as the government installs new transmission lines,” analysts at Genghis said.

Germany Legend Matthäus to Visit Kenya

By Author: Kennedy Motari

Nairobi — Germany’s most capped player and former captain Lothar Matthäus is scheduled to arrive in Kenya on September 18 as part of a two-day Bundesliga legends tour courtesy of African broadcast partners StarTimes.

As part of his tour in Kenya, the 1990 World Cup winner will conduct football clinics at the Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA), Riruta Youth Sports Association (RYSA) and the Star Soccer Academy.

“His visit is a huge boost to Kenya’s upcoming football talent as they will have an opportunity to learn from one of the most accomplished footballers while the star will have a chance to spread the German way of football in Kenya,” StarTimes Director of Brand Marketing and Public relations Japheth Akhulia said.

Matthäus becomes the third Bundesliga legend to visit the country after the Nigerian duo of Nwanko Kanu and Sunday Oliseh toured last year.

Speaking on Monday during the announcement, Star Soccer Academy director Rishadi Shedu whose boys have benefited from all visits by Bundesliga legends said he was excited that his young boys will be getting an opportunity to learn from yet another great.

“We had Oliseh and Kanu sharing with the young players last year and the boys learnt a lot. It is a great opportunity for us as well to be inspired by another legend and these visits play such a huge role in motivating the youngsters,” Shedu, a former Bandari and Sony Sugar head coach said.

For the first time, MYSA will be hosting one of the StarTimes organized clinics and CEO Henry Majale has termed the move as one in the right direction in football development in the country.

“I think this is a perfect opportunity for kids to learn from the very best. I believe they will get motivated in pursuing football more seriously,” Majale offered.

On the sidelines of the clinics, the 56-year-old will meet 2016 Olympic javelin silver medallist Julius Yego.

“They will talk about professional talent management among other sporting issues a key indication that we are not just focused on football but we committed in all sports as well,” StarTimes’ Akhulia further said.

The presence of Matthäus at the three academies will be a boost to their football ambitions, learning from one of football’s greats. He featured in 464 Bundesliga games for Borussia Monchengladbach and Bayern Munich, won seven league titles and scored 121 goals.

Kenya

Nurses’ Strike Forces Patients to Seek Treatment in Tanzania

People in need of medical services in Taita Taveta and Kwale counties are now trooping to Tanzania seeking for treatment… Read more »

Fast-Track Setting Up of National Forensic Lab, Says Prosecution

By Nasra Bishumba

The justice sector has made tremendous improvements over the past one year but to reap even more, there is need for government to accelerate the establishment of the National Forensic Laboratory, Prosecutor-General Jean-Bosco Mutangana said Monday.

Speaking at the launch of the Judicial Year 2017/18, which was officiated by President Paul Kagame at Parliament, Mutangana said his office was still relying on its partnership with Germany’s Hamburg University to obtain forensic evidence from DNA tests.

“Last year alone, we sent 93 DNA samples to Germany. There is need to speed up the process to establish our own forensic laboratory to improve further on how fast we deliver justice,” he said.

The Rwf7-billion facility was initially planned to be up and running by 2015, but the deadline was missed. The long-awaited forensic facility will be an important addition in terms of providing scientific evidence while also significantly slashing down the cost of evidence-gathering, officials say.

Previous reports from Police indicate that the country spends about Rwf800,000 to ship a single sample to Germany or the UK.

In July this year, Justice minister Johnston Busingye told the parliamentary Standing Commission on National Budget and Patrimony that though a forensic laboratory would add significant value in preventing crimes, procurement issues had slowed down the whole process to ensure operationalisation.

Appearing before the Commission to discuss sectoral Budget Proposal for 2017/18 fiscal year, Busingye said that equipment for the laboratory had been bought and returned several times, slowing down the entire process.

“One of the biggest challenges we have when it comes to such processes is the tendering process. However, in this particular case, while we have bought laboratory equipment, among other forensic laboratory materials, we had to return some of it more than once because it didn’t meet the specifications,” he said.

Meanwhile, in the 2016/17 Judicial Year, the Prosecutor-General’s Office investigated a total of 3,130 cases gender and sexual related offences and 3,086 of them were finalised.

Of these, 1,772 cases were read in court, and Prosecution won 1,488 which is an equivalent of 84 percent.

Cracking down on corruption

Mutangana said the rate at which corruption cases are handled has greatly improved.

“We received 1,036 cases and worked on 1,013, which is 97.8 percent (completion rate). The conviction rate of these cases has improved rising to 84.2 per cent from 79.05 per cent,” he said.

Specifically, the Prosecutor-General’s office investigated cases of mismanagement of funds meant for welfare programmes, including Girinka, Mituelle de Sante, and VUP programmes.

“In the 2016/17 judicial year, Prosecution filed 64 cases. 43 of them involved 64 individuals, 49 were found guilty of embezzlement and were ordered to refund more than Rwf100 million and were f ined more than Rwf175 million,” he said.

Mutangana also pointed out that in the past year, his office had also started giving special attention to some sectors, based on the information it receives.

“For instance, in the medical field, in 2016/17, we investigated 15 hospitals and in these 93 personnel were investigated for embezzlement of funds, 68 were taken to court, 35 of them await verdict, while 17 were found guilty and ordered to refund more than Rwf1.1 billion,” he said.

He warned that the medical field was one of the many that would be investigated to put a stop to mismanagement and embezzlement of government funds.

The Noble Task of Naming a Mountain Gorilla

By Susan Muumbi

Every year, Rwanda names its baby gorillas at the Kwita Izina ceremony, held at the base of the Volcanoes National Park where the endangered mountain gorillas live.

Volcanoes is part of the Virunga range of mountains that also covers parts of the DR Congo and Uganda.

This year, Kwita Izina was held on September 1, and was graced by President Paul Kagame.

“Mountain gorillas are a part of our natural resources and our heritage. It is everyone’s responsibility to conserve and protect biodiversity. In protecting gorillas, we have everything to gain,” he said.

I climbed the Volcanoes to see the gorillas with some of the namers who shared their thoughts about naming the baby gorillas.

Prof Dr Eberhard Fischer is the head of the Department of Botany and Biodiversity at the University of Koblenz in Germany. “I was really surprised when I got the invitation to name a gorilla, and it is a great honour. It is the highlight of my visits to Rwanda,” he said.

Over the past 30 years, he has identified and named some of Rwanda’s plants, and written books on the country’s biodiversity. He has research projects in Namugongo forest, out of Nyungwe National Park, with a focus on agroforestry, to protect the 300 hectare forest, and also gives botanical workshops to forest rangers.

“This was my 102nd time to come to Rwanda, and 16th time to see the gorillas. Every time is like seeing the gorillas for the first time.”

Dr Fischer named a baby gorilla from the Isimbi group, who was born on March 2, this year. He called it Isuku, which means cleanliness in Kinyarwanda.

Dr Tara Stoinski is the chief executive and chief scientific officer of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and the author of over 90 scientific publications and books.

“It’s a huge honour to name a gorilla. I have studied and loved gorillas for more than two decades. Knowing that these names represent what has been happening in the lives of the gorillas, and the people who protect them, make the naming very special.

“It’s the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Karisoke Research Centre by Dian Fossey this year. We have been working with the government in Rwanda to help protect gorillas for 50 years. As part of the anniversary celebrations, they gave us the honour of giving a baby gorilla a name,” she said.

Dr Stoinski named a baby gorilla from the Titus group, who was born on August 4 last year. She called it Macibiri. Nyiramacibiri was Dian Fossey’s Kinyarwanda nickname.

In the lead up to the Kwita Izina ceremony, a series of talks titled Conversation on Conservation are held, and this year the MC was Dr Winnie Kiiru. She promotes elephant protection initiative through the Stop Ivory organisation. She is also a trustee of the Kenya Wildlife Service. It was her first time to see the gorillas.

“I didn’t know I was going to be more than the MC at the conference. When I was asked to name a gorilla, I was truly honoured because I know how big a deal this ceremony is.

I asked the universe to grant me a gift for my 50th birthday which is on September 19. I got the opportunity to go gorilla tracking, something I’ve wanted to do for a long time,” she said.

Dr Kiiru named a baby gorilla from the Kryama family, who was born on April 1, last year. She named the baby Arakaza, which means welcome. They are just over 800 mountain gorillas remaining in the world, with about 400 in Rwanda.

Last year, Rwanda earned more than $400 million from tourism, and 5 per cent was invested in community development projects through revenue sharing.

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