Following the successful first three years of working together, Paris Saint-Germain – one of the world’s top football clubs and sports brands – and Visit Rwanda, the tourism-focused arm of the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), have renewed their partnership through to 2025.
As announced on Wednesday, May 10, the agreement will see Visit Rwanda continue its partnership with the French club with the goal of showcasing Rwanda as a top tourism and investment destination on the African continent, developing cultural, and creative synergies, and promoting Rwandan coffee and tea.
Michaella Rugwizangoga, RDB’s Chief Tourism Officer, said: “There is more to the partnership between Visit Rwanda and Paris Saint-Germain than just promoting Rwanda as a destination. It aims to create synergies in culture, fashion, the arts, and football development, which is very important to us.
“Paris Saint-Germain provides us with an amazing platform to present the very best of Rwanda to millions of fans around the world. We are delighted to be able to continue our partnership and to do even more things together.”
Visit Rwanda works with local conservation, tourism, and development partners to generate tourism products that benefit inbound tourists, local communities, and wildlife ecosystems.
In just a few years, Rwanda has become a global tourism hotspot. It is home to the majestic mountain gorillas in the Volcanoes National Park and Big 5 in Akagera National Park. Though the Covid-19 pandemic hit travel hard, the country’s efforts to promote itself as a destination allowed it to regain the appeal it enjoyed in 2019 and to build on that momentum in 2023.
In 2022, Rwanda welcomed more than a million visitors from abroad and brought in almost half a billion dollars in tourism revenues, a figure it is looking to take up to $800 million by 2025.
The creative element of the partnership between Rwanda and the club was symbolised through a special evening of events during the Paris Saint-Germain-Olympique Lyonnais match on April 2. The “Rwanda Heritage Game” brought Rwandan artists Christopher Muneza and Weya Viatora to the SO/Bar for an outstanding pre-match performance attended by former PSG legend Luis Fernandez.
Cynthia Marcou, Sponsorship Director Paris Saint-Germain, said: “In working with Visit Rwanda, Paris Saint-Germain has taken sponsorship to the next level in terms of standards and synergy.
“Together we have developed extremely creative activations in which our players and ambassadors regularly take part. Such events enhance the image of Rwanda, a forward-looking country, and raise the profile of Rwandan tourism, allowing it to position itself as a global leader.”
Since 2019, the strong ties between Paris Saint-Germain and Visit Rwanda have been brought to life through some outstanding initiatives in a whole host of areas.
Team players such as Sergio Ramos, Keylor Navas, Julian Draxler and Thilo Kehrer and legendary former players of the calibre of Youri Djorkaeff, Rai, Ludovic Giuly and Juan Pablo Sorin have discovered for themselves the treasures that Rwanda has to offer visitors, thanks to the unforgettable trips they have made to the Land of a Thousand Hills.
Since the beginning of the partnership, Visit Rwanda has enjoyed a highly visible presence at the Pare des Princes on match days, with its logo also appearing on the men’s team’s training and warm-up kits. Rouge et Bleu fans have also been savouring the finest tea and coffee Rwanda has to offer, served exclusively at the stadium.
The PSG Academy Rwanda opened its doors in Huye in 2020, offering 100%-PSG training sessions to more than 100 children, some of them beneficiaries of the club’s Foundation.
In 2022, the academy won the PSG Academy World Cup in the boys’ U-13 category where Rwanda was taking part in the annual competition for the first time.
Paris Saint-Germain has won 29 trophies in the last 11 years and 47 since its foundation, making it the most successful in France.
In the last 10 years, PSG’s community of social media followers has grown from zero to more than 190 million and is now one of the largest in football.
A forward-thinking club, Paris Saint Germain added an eSports team to its men’s football, women’s football, handball, and judo teams in 2016. Committed to giving something back to the community, the club has significantly increased funding for its Foundation with the aim of developing far reaching programmes for disadvantaged young people.