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Mail Online: DFID does not give any money to Rwandan sponsorship of Arsenal FC

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Today’s Mail on Sunday and MailOnline have both implied that UK aid to Rwanda is being used to fund a £30 million sponsorship deal with Arsenal FC. This is misleading.

UK aid to Rwanda has been carefully and specifically earmarked for programmes that will support the country’s most vulnerable people and help it stand on its own two feet. UK aid is not used for sponsorship deals with Arsenal FC and DFID is not giving any money to Visit Rwanda or the Rwanda Development Board.

Rwanda remains one of the poorest countries in the world. Over a third of its population live in poverty. UK aid contributed to Rwanda’s achievement of lifting almost two million people out of poverty since 2005.

British taxpayers’ support is providing Rwandans with the means to have productive livelihoods, it is helping to educate more than 350,000 children and it is also helping Rwanda to generate more taxes to help end aid dependency.

The International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt has been clear that the UK is assessing where countries can invest in their own systems and that when governments, who could and should be putting their hands in their own pockets refuse to, we should too.

We will continue to prioritise investments in saving lives and ensuring that children have access to a quality education through building sustainable education systems, while encouraging and supporting the government of Rwanda to grow its economy and further increase its own investment in helping people lift themselves out of poverty.

A DFID spokesperson said:

DFID does not give any money to Visit Rwanda or the Rwanda Development Board.

All UK aid to Rwanda is earmarked for specific programmes only, such as education and agriculture, and we track results to ensure value for money for UK taxpayers. We are helping Rwanda to stand on its own two feet, building education systems that they invest in themselves, and supporting increased trade and investment to grow the economy.

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  1. Comment by Davido Marshall posted on

    From Kigali Rwanda: It seems like Daily Mail has no news about how the bilateral aid is being done. Rwanda is a developing country and that is why it is investing more for as well gaining more and more.

    We praised this economic and advertising milestone that Rwanda has done. As Rwandan, i am proud of that, finally say Kudos to Rwanda Development Board and especially to our beloved Paul Kagame, the Visionary Leader ever! Viva Rwanda! Viva Paul Kagame, Viva People of Rwanda

  2. Comment by Abdulkarim Ali posted on

    Hello DFID,

    The MailOnline was spot on. Indirectly you are paying for the sponsorship. By picking the gaps left by the regime’s neglect of its responsibilities, you are endorsing the regime’s actions & choices.

    There is NO way you can untangle yourselves from this mess. I bet if it was an action by a British entity, not Rwanda regime, if yourselves would be condemning it. Windrush by Home Office has not taught departments like yours lessons. I think Rwandans deserve better from you. Rather than endorsing a kleptocratic and adventurous junta.

    Time will expose you.

  3. Comment by Etienne Mutabazi posted on

    Then where does this poor country get the money to sponsor Arsenal? How do we say for sure that aid DFID money was not diverted?

    • Replies to Etienne Mutabazi>

      Comment by D’Amour posted on

      You say Where? Rwanda earns more than 404 millions USD annually from tourism sector itself. if it takes the capital of 30 millions Euro that equal to 1/10 of annually income to invest that particular amount in 3 years is a problem? I don’t see what is wrong in that!! Poor mindset of people only, Jealous and negative thoughts only!

      They have to know that we are not cheap.For instance Netherlands, it gives us 27 millions USD per year (it is not even 1/10 of tourism sector annual income) .They think that if they stop that little money Rwandans can not live?

      If they want to bring Colonization systems in Rwanda tomorrow we will show them our value even though it is also an opportunity to learn lessons from all of these as Rwandans to continue working hard and streinghten self reliance approach we started.

    • Replies to Etienne Mutabazi>

      Comment by Eugen posted on

      Rwanda as a country is not poor, it has got lots of rich souls and hearts!

      Stop talking and focus development, first at the personal level....Imagine how proud of your country you could be if each of you guys could be thinking of something knew to do for yourselves or someone in your country!

  4. Comment by Feds posted on

    This is is your statement: “it is also helping Rwanda to generate more taxes to help end aid dependency.”

    The £30 millions given to Arsenal are not from taxes you help to generate?? I think you are one actually misleading the UK population!! Helping a Kagame, a brutal dictator in promoting self interest is no way helping Rwandans. Ordinary people are suffering from unclean water, malnutrition etc. I wish that a fraction of that money was spent on helping victims of landslides that have ravaged Rwanda recently. Day after day we are discovering that Mugabe was right to say UK only looks for its own interests and those who help to advance its cause.

  5. Comment by Aimable posted on

    So if DFID tracks results and is proud of these surely this department should be held responsible for everything that has gone wrong during Kagame's 24 year rule? everyday we hear the Rwandan parliament talk about how much mess the education and agriculture sectors are in, and how countless funds earmarked for public use are being misused.
    British MP's can risk jail and shame for not being able to justify a small expense and yet the DFID is here trying to defend Kagame's childish extravagance?

  6. Comment by Jean posted on

    The UK aids to the government of Rwanda cannot make any better for the people on ground however they are used to sustain dictatorship where a president himself can spend 30 days spendinding on luxery hotels elsewhere. So these aids are directed to the people as you may call it but back into the hands of government through taxes to sustain a one man rule. The issue would be to condumne the government for its evil doing to the people or otherwise stop any penny goes to Rwanda

  7. Comment by Justin posted on

    Such grandiose projects are typical of dictatorial regime because they need to impress the world. And it is about promoting the image of the "Great Leader" who identify themselves as the country. This is why you see President Kagame himself and not the CEO of Rwanda Development Board or Managing Director of the Tourist Board posing for a photo with a former Arsenal player or Arsenal owners. He has just spent a week in the US to promote a film on Rwanda where he features as a film star. He attended UEFA 2016 champions league final Real Madrid against Atletico Madrid in Milan on May 27, 2016 just to promote his image. On his trips the government charters the top range executive jet Gulfstream 550 from ruling party (RPF), business enterprise, Crystal Ventures ( President Kagame is the chair of the Party) , on commercial basis. According to Forbes, the hourly rate for chartering this aircraft is US$8,640 per hour. This deal is one way of helping his team favourite team. The rest is accidental. The deal includes "an exclusive hospitality box at the London club's Emirates Stadium, piles of match-day tickets" which will probably not be used. This is happening when hospitals lack electricity, when the last school inspection shows that children lack desks to sit on and study while standing etc.. if ever the deal is to make money I can bet that the revenues will serve to fund the President's lavish lifestyle. The aid should be conditional to better management of national resources.
    Rwanda indeed needs aid and we should thank the taxpayers who give this money. But donors should not let dictators like President Kagame shun their responsibility towards his people to save money to fund on expensive lifestyle or to hire hit squads even in the UK to eliminate critics or meet heavy expenses on public relations firms that cover up the atrocities committed by his regime.

    • Replies to Justin>

      Comment by Patrick Turatsinze posted on

      Hahah, let us talk numbers, the 2017-2018 National budget was only funded by aid on a 17% share.

      There is one way that Rwanda used to avoid (Aid/donations)’s dependence.

      Rwanda only accepts Aid that is according to structured programs for both vision 2020 and vision 2050 where donors present money and the government presents them available funding projects enclosed in those strategic visions.

      That avoids direct access to Rwanda’s economy, this helped Rwanda to survive the 2011-2013 Aid Ban from European countries, this time Rwandans through 2012’s National Dialogue where All Rwandans conven and hold their leaders accountable agreed to create the Sovereign Wealth Fund:Agaciro Development Fund that it self ashamed the Donors and they resumed their aid, however the fund has growen, so far it is lending even foreign Companies. With only 16% of 2018-2019 budget being Foreign Aid, Rwanda is set to achieve 100% self funding by 2024 Both primary and secondary school is Free, Students get free of charge loans for university studies! Today more universities are being built in Rwanda including international accredited like Carnage Mellon University from US setting it’s African Campus in Rwanda in partnership with the government!

  8. Comment by Peter posted on

    Rwanda uses foreign aids properly. Each aid coin is monitored on result based and accountable way DFID knows it well. Part (8%) of tourism revenues ($400 m a year) was invested to grow tourism revenue to more than double in 2024, what is the problem?. I will let them judge results "HE Paul Kagame.Be calm and visit Rwanda "Clare Akamanzi"

  9. Comment by Ronald posted on

    That's why self reliant of African states by His excellence Paul KAGAME need to be accelerated so that in the near future we stop being financially intimidated. These people are talking all these not because they don't know the reality but they think a country like Rwanda can't take its decision. This is also another form of colonization by the west. Tourism attraction for Rwanda's economy is a priority and people won't sit there and wait tourists when there is no advertisement strategies besides the fee for advertising in Arsenal was not generated by UK, Netherlands Aid, it came within the industry itself.

  10. Comment by SANDRA posted on

    You praising PAUL KAGAME but it is all about lies and lies. The tax payer is channelled towards kagame pockets. the despot is funding the airline rather than helping the poor. You are ashamed. How can our money we sent to Rwanda came to fund Arsenal? Rwanda has no money, all they have was stolen from Congo.

  11. Comment by Justin posted on

    It is shocking that the Rwandan government is sponsorship the Rwandan President favourite team, one of the richest team in Europe for a tune of $39.5 millions in a deal which includes an "exclusive hospitality box" at the London club's Emirates Stadium and piles of match-day tickets for the "Great Leader" and his cronies while the same Rwandan government is signing on April 18, 2018 with the World Bank a $23 million Additional Financing agreement to help reduce the stunting rates among children under age 5 in 13 of Rwanda’s highest-stunting districts. It is not a matter of who generated the money it is about the allocation of resources. How many among the fans will want to go to a country accused of: "arbitrary killings and politically motivated disappearances by security forces; torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment by security forces; harsh and life-threatening prison and detention center conditions; arbitrary arrest; security forces’ disregard for the rule of law; prolonged pretrial detention; infringement on citizens’ privacy rights and on freedoms of speech, assembly, and association; restrictions on and harassment of media and some local and international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs); restrictions on freedom to participate in the political process and the ability to change government through free and fair elections; harassment, arrest, and abuse of political opponents, human rights advocates, and individuals perceived to pose a threat to government control of social order; trafficking in persons; and restrictions on labor rights" ( US human rights report 2017).
    Thanks to this sponsorship. a lot of information has come out about the repressive nature of the regime.