Construction of Ellen Degeneres Campus in Rwanda to commence

15 February 2019

Rwanda is set to commence construction of the long
awaited Ellen DeGeneres’ Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund next week.

Felix Ndagijimana, the Director of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund
confirmed the reports and said the campus will be home to the Dian Fossey
Gorilla Fund which has been operating in Rwanda for over 50 years through its
Karisoke Research Centre, based in Musanze District, Northern Province. The
Fossey Fund is the world’s longest-running and largest organisation dedicated
entirely to the conservation of gorillas.

The campus will include state-of-the art science
laboratories, space to hold key partner meetings, classrooms for educational
programming, a dynamic and interactive museum that focuses on Dian Fossey’s

The Dian Fossey museum is expected to act as a key
attraction for tourists as well as an educational facility for local
communities. The campus will also have living laboratories that illustrate key
ecological concepts, such as reforestation or citizen science, as well as
dormitories to host university students.

“This campus will expand our ability to be a key
node in the Rwandan’s government’s Center of Excellence in Biodiversity
Conservation and Natural Resource Management. We feel it demonstrates our
continued investment in advancing the conservation and science goals of Rwanda
but will have an impact much beyond that – it will be a significant investment
in the local communities around Volcanoes National Park,” said the Fund’s

The campus project could create more than 1,500 jobs during the construction process, with 40% of the workforce being female and US $2m spent on local labour and trades. Moreover, US $2.5m will be spent on local materials gathered from within 250 km of the site. The campus is expected to officially open in early 2021.

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