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Rwanda: Tourism money paid for Arsenal ad, not foreign aid

Daily Mail UK’s headline “Shirt of shame: Britain dishes out £62million in foreign aid to Rwandan dictator who splurges £30million on sponsorship for his beloved Arsenal FC,” has been in the spotlight.

On May 27, the online journal published an article describing Rwanda as an impoverished African country which has received hundreds of millions of pounds in aid from British taxpayers. It added that Rwanda is paying £30 million to sponsor Arsenal – one of the world’s richest football clubs; money the government received from aid.

Rwanda has defended its Arsenal sponsorship deal, which will see players sport ‘Visit Rwanda’ on their shirt sleeves, saying that it used tourism revenue to pay for the deal, not aid payments, BBC reports.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4, Clare Akamanzi, chief executive of the Rwanda Development Board, said the three-year deal was funded by “money that we directly generated from tourism”.

She gave an example of how much the country makes through selling permits to see gorillas: “We sell 96 gorilla permits a day, each gorilla permit costs $1,500 (£1,300), that means we make more than $50 million a year.”

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