28 Apr 2017

BirdLife opens new office in Rwanda

The Kigali Office © BirdLife
The Kigali Office © BirdLife
By Jean Paul Ntungane, Maaike Manten & Jude Fuhnwi

Home sweet home

BirdLife International has opened a brand new office in Rwanda! This ‘Kigali Project Office’ hosts part of the Regional Implementation Team (RIT) for the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund’s investment in the Eastern Afromontane Hotspot (other members of the team can be found in Cambridge, Brussels, Amman, Addis Ababa and Nairobi). The office is dubbed BIKO and is located in the Kacyiro sector of Kigali, close to many other NGOs, government agencies and Embassies.

Coffee, chai and cookies

The new office was ‘launched’ on 26th April 2017 with a small party, in the presence of various Rwandan CEPF grantees and our fellow-RIT member IUCN. While munching snacks and drinking coffee or chai, grantee staff (re)connected with each other, with the RIT and with the hosting agency ASPIRE. The plan was to start a bird list during the event, but despite the presence of bird books and binoculars, this did not happen – there was just too much to talk about.

During the Kigali office launch © BirdLife

Things to do

During the event, Serge Nsengimana, Executive Director of the BirdLife Partner NGO in Rwanda, ACNR (Association pour la Conservation de la Nature au Rwanda), said: “It is very good to have a BirdLife project office here in Rwanda. Now that it is up and running, we can start the work!” Everybody who attended was keen to do this work together, so new plans for collaboration were discussed, invitations issued and further meetings and events plotted.

To get things off on the right foot, ACNR and the BirdLife/CEPF RIT staff already planted trees at the Kigali Junior Academy in Kigali in March. This marked the beginning of a joint ‘greening programme’ to offset our CO2 emissions.

BirdLife member, Jean-Paul Ntungane planting a tree © BirdLife

Hills, mountains

The staff of the new BirdLife International Kigali Project Office / CEPF Regional Implementation Team are very happy to be welcomed in Rwanda so warmly by their partners and colleagues. They would also specifically like to thank the Government of Rwanda for supporting the registration of BirdLife International in Rwanda, and everybody who has helped to make this office possible.

And in the end, what could be a better place to work from, to conserve the region’s Afromontane Key Biodiversity Areas, than “the land of a 1000 hills”?


See the interactive map of all projects implemented under the CEPF Eastern Afromontane Hotspot programme here.

The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) is a joint initiative of l’Agence Française de Développement, Conservation International, the European Union, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Government of Japan, the MacArthur Foundation, and the World Bank. A fundamental goal is to ensure civil society is engaged in biodiversity conservation. More information on CEPF can be found at

BirdLife International, together with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society (BirdLife in Ethiopia) form the Regional Implementation Team (RIT) for the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) investment in the Eastern Afromontane Hotspot (2012-2017). The investment will support civil society in applying innovative approaches to conservation in under-capacitated and underfunded protected areas, Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) and priority corridors in the region.