How the Rwanda-PSG partnership blossomed into fruition

By Alain Jules Hirwa
On 5 December 2019 at 05:38

In quick succession, one post, tweet and share after another, the social media was, in moments so brief, awash with news of Rwanda entering a fresh and solid partnership with Paris Saint Germain, a French professional football club that is home to such famous players as Neymar and Mbappe.

The partnership deal is the second with a football club following a three year deal with Arsenal FC in May 2018.

So, for now, it is a done deal, ink on paper, PSG is to advertise Rwanda’s tourism through the “Visit Rwanda” brand. The partnership started Wednesday, in Paris Saint Germain’s match with Nantes. The brand appeared for the first time on the sports jerseys of the substitutes.

For this partnership to come into existence, it took a long journey to reach an agreement with a team that started way back in 1970 in France.

The club was, in 2011, acquired by the State of Qatar, through its shareholding organization Qatar Sports Investments (QSI).

This organization, founded in 2005, has headquarters in Doha, Qatar. It invests in entertainment and sports industries. Nasser Ghanim Al-Khelaifi is the president of both the QSI and PSG.

According to information available to IGIHE, the PSG-Rwanda advertising partnership was made easy by the good relations between Rwanda and Qatar.

The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, made a state visit to Rwanda in April 2019 where he also visited the Akagera National Park together with President Paul Kagame during which occasion, the two countries signed deals in sectors of culture, sports, tourism, trade, and aviation.

As Rwanda positions to export its beauty to the world, one of its targets is France, especially, Paris which is considered the cultural capital city of the world. Most people consider Paris as a city of tourism, fashion, and fine dining and wining.

Starting from next year only tea and coffee from Rwanda will be sold at the Parc des Princes, PSG’s stadium, opening great opportunities for Rwandan farmers and industries.

The information available indicates that Rwanda wanted the “Visit Rwanda” brand to be on the kits players wear during main games but it could not sail through as other sponsors had already taken the slots.

Currently, PSG has about 30 sponsors with Nike and Accor being the major partners under a deal valued at $165 million.

Pundits have come to give snapp insights into how Rwanda is bound to immensely gain from the partnership.

One analyst has given his view on the beauty of the deal. “The Arsenal deal got Rwanda to another level is different from this [PSG deal], but the good thing about this one is that the income reaches the citizen.”

Pie Ntwari, the NAEB communications manager, told IGIHE that farmers have to increase production.

He said, “It is good to see our market expand. What is amazing is that we will be the only ones allowed to trade [in the stadium] tea and coffee. We expect an increase in foreign currency earnings. This gives farmers another reason to increase production and quality. We expect a stable market for three years.”

There will also be a talent show between Rwandans and the French that will last a week. That week was called “Semaine du Rwanda à Paris” to be organized by PSG to market what is done in Rwanda.

This will also add value and opportunities in the fashion industry, whose involvement will start in a few months’ time.

PSG will also promote talents of Rwandans through a football school that will start in Kigali from where they will share experience with Rwandan coaches and young footballers.

The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, made a state visit to Rwanda in April 2019 where he also visited the Akagera National Park together with President Paul Kagame
As Rwanda positions to export its beauty to the world, one of its targets is France, especially, Paris which is considered the cultural capital city of the world.

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