The climate was ecstatic in Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena on Sunday, as the Bundesliga champions triumphed against FC Augsburg in a 3-1 win which saw England’s Harry Kane score twice on his home debut.
But it is not only Kane who made the headlines on Sunday. It also marked the day the German footballing giants announced a five-year football development and tourism promotion partnership with Rwanda, confirming earlier reports of the country signing up with a third European club after Arsenal and French side Paris Saint Germain (PSG).
The partnership which was unveiled during FC Bayern’s first home game of the season will see the club work specifically with Rwanda’s Ministry of Sports to set up a football academy to strengthen the development of football in the country.
In addition, the club will display Visit Rwanda branding on matchday LED boards at the club’s 75,000-seater Allianz Arena and different activities will be organised to promote tourism and investment opportunities in Rwanda.
The partnership was announced before the home crowd, with the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sports, Zephanie Niyonkuru, Rwanda Development Board (RDB), Chief Tourism Officer, Michaella Rugwinzangoga and Rwanda’s Ambassador to Germany, Cesar Igor, representing the interests of the Rwandan Government.
In Kigali, President Paul Kagame received a signed jersey and ball to mark the beginning of the partnership expect to market Rwanda further in Europe as a destination for tourism and investment.
He was the first person to speak about the signing earlier in March this year when he hinted that Rwanda would consider entering a new partnership with another European club because the initial two shirt sponsorship deals with Arsenal and PSG had paid off but did not specify which club, league or country.
“It surpasses by far what we invested in this partnership ourselves. We invested something in the partnership and getting more, by a big factor,” President Kagame said during a press conference on March 1.
“We are having another one coming up with another famous football team. When you see us going after one after another we know what we are pursuing, and that’s not to lose money,” President Kagame said when asked whether Rwanda was getting dividends from sponsorship deals with Arsenal and PSG.
In a video released Monday following the announcement, Aurore Mimosa Munyangaju reiterated the key element of the partnership between the Government of Rwanda and Bayern Munich, which is sports development, such as coach training and establishing a football academy.
“We’re thrilled to partner with FC Bayern to support the development of youth football for boys and girls in Rwanda. We look forward to setting up the FC Bayern Academy where their expert coaches will share knowledge of the game with local coaches and players,”
“The potential is there for Rwandans to excel in football and this partnership provides a great platform for Rwanda to strive for excellence in sports. We are really happy to welcome Bayern Munich in Rwanda,” Munyangaju said.
“I am very pleased with this collaboration agreed upon until the summer of 2028. FC Bayern can become active on the African continent and gather important experiences. The new platinum partnership is aligned with long-term goals,” said Jan-Christian Dreesen, Chief Executive Officer FC Bayern.
“We will promote ‘Visit Rwanda’ and help Rwanda grow in sports with projects for youth football. These are challenging and responsible tasks. Africa is a continent of opportunities. For FC Bayern, this is the next important step in internationalization,” he added.
Andreas Jung, Executive Board Member Marketing FC Bayern, added that the partnership will be an exciting one and will benefit both sides in different ways.
“It’s a very special moment for us. We are very proud that we can start our very first academy here in Rwanda. I think it’s very important to cooperate with you here and we try to give our very best for these academies, for the kids,” he said, adding that they will bring coaches who have a lot of experience to Rwanda under this arrangement.
Jung pointed out that they also bring a lot of their top players to Rwanda, terming it as a big chance for them to spread their wings and establish more academies in Rwanda and on the continent.
“I am looking forward to this new, very exciting collaboration,” he said, adding that through the partnership the six-time European champions will market Rwanda as a tourism destination.
On her part, Clare Akamanzi, CEO of the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) said the signing of the partnership is another important milestone for Visit Rwanda, with the brand now going global.
“Today we signed an agreement with FC Bayern Munich to promote sports development in Rwanda, but also tourism investment promotion among others. We’re really excited for Visit Rwanda because this is becoming an even increasingly more recognized brand globally,”
“We think that this partnership is going to take us to another new level. We are particularly proud of this partnership, because it takes us to the German market. We all know that FC Bayern Munich is among the top clubs in Europe but also the best performance club in Germany,” Akamanzi said, adding that Rwanda will benefit greatly and the brand will grow bigger and better.
FC Bayern Munich is the largest sports club in the world and one of the most successful soccer clubs in Europe. Founded on February 27, 1900, FC Bayern now has around 300,000 members and over 150 million followers on social networks.
With 33 German championships, the club is the German record champion, with 20 successes in the DFB Cup German record cup winner. Internationally, FC Bayern has won the Champions League 6 times, as well as the FIFA Club World Cup and the World Cup 2 times each, among others.
The club’s women’s soccer team and basketball team are also among the top teams nationally and internationally. Over the decades, FC Bayern has succeeded in combining sporting and economic success. The club is now represented internationally with its own offices in New York City, Shanghai and Bangkok.
The club headquarters and training grounds are located on Säbener Strasse in Munich. The club also operates its own youth training center. FC Bayern plays its home games in the club’s own Allianz Arena (75,000 spectators).