Rwanda has scored a first, becoming Arsenal’s FC first official sleeve partner as part of the country’s drive to become a leading global tourist destination. The English Premier League football club will have all their teams wear ‘Visit Rwanda’ on the sleeves.

The three-year deal will also see ‘Visit Rwanda’ become the Gunners’ official tourism partner. The ‘Visit Rwanda’ logo will feature on the left sleeve of all Arsenal teams from next season, the football club said in a statement on its website.

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,” Venkatesham added.

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According to Arsenal FC, 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”.

President Paul Kagame lays a foundation stone to $818 million Bugesera International Airport. Photo: Twitter/RwandaGov

Rwanda has been making great strides to strategically position itself as the ideal tourism and investment destination as Akamanzi noted.

“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 players from the 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.

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The deal will also include exposure in the Emirates Stadium. ‘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, according to the club.

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. Rwanda is ranked as the second easiest place to do business in Africa by the World Bank and has been awarded for its leadership in tourism and competitiveness by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and the World Economic Forum respectively.