By Shafiq Kyazze.
Rwanda’s government recently signed a £34 million deal with English Premier League giants, Arsenal.
‘Visit Rwanda’ will be emblazoned on the left sleeve of players in Arsenal’s first, under-23 and women’s teams.
The country’s President, Paul Kagame is a proud supporter of the North London based football club whose players are set to visit the country for a publicity stunt in the coming months.
Paul Kagame, the president of Rwanda.
The East African nation hopes to generate over £600 million from the deal as well as double Tourism receipts from £302 to £600 million by 2024.
The fast–growing nation mainly relies on tourism as its chief source of foreign exchange and has experienced an influx in the number of British travellers visiting over the last 12 months.
The deal has drawn criticism with some calling it elitist.“Many people in Rwanda are kept in the dark and don’t know the actual money invested. Rwandans are learning this through foreign media,’ local political analyst, Robert Mugabe said.
British daily newspaper, Daily Mail, referred to the new jersey as the “shirt of shame”.
“British taxpayers will be rightly shocked to learn that a country supported by huge handouts from the UK is in turn pumping millions into a fabulously rich football club in London. It’s ludicrous,” Tory MP Andrew Bridgen was quoted by the Daily Mail.
The CEO of Rwanda Development Board, Claire Akamanzi retaliated saying anyone who criticizes the Arsenal deal because Rwanda is an aid recipient either wishes the country to remain poor or doesn’t understand the key role marketing plays.
‘The more Rwanda earns from tourism, the more we can invest in our people. That’s the connection,’ the CEO tweeted.
Shafiq is a Chemical engineering student at The University of Manchester. He has a strong background in philosophy and history having been exposed to such issues at a very tender age. He has a voracious interest in economics, history, politics, philosophy and social issues. Shafiq is also an avid Barcelona fan and is currently a writer at TCS network.