Ethiopia officials to emulate Rwanda’s way of managing parks

Herd of zebras in Akagera National Park

Herd of zebras in Akagera National Park

 

Officials from the ministry of agriculture in Ethiopia visited Rwandan  as way of initiating Public-Private Partnership in the management of Akagera National Park.

 

In Ethiopia, national parks and other forests fall under the ministry of agriculture.

 

The team is comprised of 7 persons, led by the Erestu Yirda who is a cabinet member of Ethiopia in a position of State Minister of Agriculture and Mr. Gatluak Tut Khot, the President of Gambella People’s National Regional State.

 

The officials discussed with Rwanda’s Permanent Secretary at the ministry of agriculture, Ernest Ruzindaza on experiences meant to move agriculture sector to the next level in both countries in Kigali on February 20, 2014.

 

The visit on sharing experience comes as a result of an agreement on Agriculture Technical Cooperation signed by both countries in June last year in Ethiopia.

 

The agreement has a number of focuses, including, but not limited to training and capacity building in small-scale horticulture irrigation, watershed development and soil fertility management among others.

 

Mr. Erestu Yirda, the Ethiopia’s State Minister of Agriculture, noted that they were very keen to learn from the Rwandan experience of land use planning – more than 95% of land properties have been registered.

 

“We visited Rwanda to learn from Rwandan experience of the Public-Private Partnership in the management of Akagera National Park because forests in our country fall under the ministry of agriculture,” said Yirda.

 

“We also took the opportunity to share experiences with Rwanda’s agriculture officials.”

 

Akagera Park, African Parks and Rwanda Development Board partnered to form the Akagera Management Company (AMC).

 

This is a 20-year joint management agreement with a vision to restore, develop and manage the park to international standards.

 

The Rwandan Government is unique among the African Parks portfolio as the only Government assisting financially towards the management of the park.

 

Approximately USD 10 million has been secured for the restoration and development of Akagera over the first 5 years of the project, including a USD 2 million 120km boundary fence project funded by RDB.

 

In 2012 the visitor numbers to Akagera continued to grow, with a year on year increase of 12%.

 

Rwandan nationals comprise 50% of visitors to the park, demonstrating the extent to which Akagera is a source of national pride within Rwanda.

The park generated US$487,000 from gate entry fees and tourism activities in 2012, representing a year on year increase of 24%.

 

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