- Kagame has found himself on the receiving end after spending a staggering $40 million in sponsoring EPL side Arsenal
- Rwanda signed a sponsorship and tourism promotion deal with Arsenal earlier in the week to establish a commercial bond with the club
- The deal has received accolades and criticism in equal measure
President Paul Kagame of Rwanda has been put on the spot by British media after signing a sponsorship deal with English Premier League giants Arsenal.
The deal, estimated to be worth KSh4 billion ( $39.5m) will bare the 'Visit Rwanda' logo, and will appear on all Arsenal kits next season.
The tourism sponsorship deal has since received accolades from most Rwandans, with the citizens lauding the country's daring marketing strategy.
However, the contract has, in equal measure been faulted by different quarters in the UK, with a section of the British media and lawmakers questioning its viability.
Tory MP Andrew Bridgen is quoted to have described the deal as an 'own goal for foreign aid', questioning how a country that receives so much aid can afford such a heavy investment.
''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," Mail Online quoted the lawmaker.
''If this isn't a perfect own goal for foreign aid, I don't know what is. It serves to expose the complete idiocy this system is based on,'' he added.
Rwanda is one of the many African countries where the UK focuses its aid efforts, with reports indicating that the tiny East African nation receives about KSh8 billion as foreign aid annually.
Rwanda has since shut off critics of the deal, with chief executive office of Rwanda Development Board, Clare Akamanzi calling the fault-finders ‘either ill-intentioned on ill-informed’.
‘‘Anyone who criticizes our deal with Arsenal on account of Rwanda being poor or an aid recipient, either wishes for Rwanda to be perpetually so, or doesn’t understand that in any business, marketing costs are a key component of a company’s expenditures,’‘ Africa News quoted her.
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In a statement posted on the football team's official website on Wednesday, May 23, the Gunners welcomed their official tourism partner.
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