Arsenal announced in a statement yesterday that Rwanda Development Board, through its subsidiary, the Rwanda Convention Bureau, became the club’s first official sleeve partner as part of Rwanda’s drive to become a leading global tourist destination, using ‘Visit Rwanda’ messaging. By Sam Waswa

“The three-year deal will also see ‘Visit Rwanda’ become our official Tourism Partner,” the club announced.
Under the partnership, Arsenal said, the ‘Visit Rwanda’ logo will feature on the left sleeve of all club teams next season. The new kit for season 2018/19 was unveiled on May 22.
Rwanda is one of the fastest growing economies in Africa with a booming tourism sector that has seen the number of visitors double in the last decade.
The country’s national parks are attracting record number of tourists due to growing numbers of wildlife including black rhino, lions, zebra, chimpanzees and the famous mountain gorillas. Rwanda is also attracting new hotels and lodges across the country, making it easier to experience longer, unique and memorable vacations.
Arsenal’s chief commercial officer, Vinai Venkatesham, said: “This is an exciting partnership which will see us support Rwanda’s ambition to build their tourism industry. The country has been transformed in recent years and Arsenal’s huge following will bring Rwanda into people’s minds in a new and dynamic way.
The Arsenal shirt is seen 35 million times a day globally and we are one of the most viewed teams around the world. We look forward to working with the ‘Visit Rwanda’ team to further establish the country as a leading tourist destination.”
Speaking about the mega deal, Rwanda Development Board chief executive officer, Clare Akamanzi, said: “We’re thrilled to be partnering with Arsenal and showcasing the vibrancy and beauty of our country. Rwanda is a country pulsing with energy, creativity and innovation.
“Visit Rwanda and discover why we are the second fastest growing economy in Africa. Investors in Rwanda are able to register their businesses in only six hours and prepare to enjoy the opportunities accrued from the free trade agreements that we’ve signed with over 50 countries.
“Renowned for our incredible and unique Mountain Gorilla tracking experience, tourists can also enjoy a variety of water sports, cycling, hiking, bird watching to list a few of the tourist attractions available while in Rwanda.”
As part of the deal, Arsenal announced that its men’s and women’s teams will visit Rwanda and club coaches will host coaching camps to support the development of the game for boys and girls in the country.
“‘Visit Rwanda’ will gain global exposure through branding on matchday LED boards at Emirates Stadium, all the interview backdrops and a broad range of other marketing rights. They will also have the opportunity to engage our fans around the world through the club’s social media channels.”

A country which has been in the past accused of human right rights, with the political opposition accusing President Paul Kagame of suppressing dissent, jailing opponents and destabilizing neighbouring countries, is poised to benefits greatly from the new deal.
Awareness of Rwanda as a country will be boosted and so will be awareness of its human rights record.