Visit Rwanda’s sponsorship of Arsenal FC

Today, The Sun has reported on the sponsorship of Arsenal FC by Visit Rwanda.

The piece implies that aid money is being used for the sponsorship deal. This is not correct. DFID does not give any money to Visit Rwanda or the Rwanda Development Board.

The piece also says that "Rwanda relies on aid for nearly half of its budget". This is incorrect. Global financial aid is currently 16% of Rwanda’s budget. This has fallen from around 60%  ten years ago as Rwanda has grown its economy, tackled extreme poverty and become less dependent on aid.

UK aid to Rwanda has been decreasing for several years, as we have been supporting Rwanda to stand on its own two feet, provide for its own people and invest in its own economy and resources.

All UK aid to Rwanda is earmarked for specific programmes only, such as education and agriculture, and we track results to ensure our programmes are delivering lifechanging results for Rwanda’s poorest people while encouraging Rwanda to take more responsibility for providing its own essential services.

The piece also says there is little evidence of development results in Rwanda. Official statistics show that Rwanda is making good progress tackling poverty. Rwanda has lifted almost two million people out of poverty since 2005 and the economy has grown at an average of 8% per year since 2000. Rwanda has made more progress against the Human Development Index (an official indicator of life expectancy, education and income) than any other country in the world.

The money for this deal has come from revenue that Rwanda has generated from its existing tourism industry, which is a significant source of income for the country. Tourism is already Rwanda’s highest earner of foreign exchange, ahead of tea, coffee and minerals combined.


  1. Comment by Jackson posted on

    very true and correct, Thanks DFID for those clarifications

  2. Comment by NSHIMIYIMANA JEAN PIERRE posted on

    Thanks to DFID to clarify the truth on the deal that Rwanda did and Because we expect to get more from the deal its an investment we did not a leisure as much of people especially those who are contrary with the Government and they are sitting outside the country they don't even know the indicators of development we are achieving, they are not aware of how Rwandans are reaching development through different government policies. we will keep working and they will keep talking we don't care.

    What I can advice them is to let us have Rwanda we wish to have and contribute to the whole world because we started exporting our experience, they can see now we are leading African Union.

  3. Comment by margaret morton posted on

    Where do the 'official figures' come from? Rwanda itself... or do any of the overpaid civil servants in DFID visit Rwanda, first class travel of course.

  4. Comment by HENRY RWAMUGEMA posted on

    All said ! Thank you for candid response on this matter.

    Rwanda as a country cannot wait other countries to dictate what to in its economic growth programs.

    Investing in Tourism will double income of the country and I don't see why we should not invest more money on it ?


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