A fortune bag for Rwandan sport
With sport currently a priority in Rwanda, under the tutelage of the Ministry of Sports, amid the uncertainties of the Covid-19 pandemic, 2021 has been quite difficult for the new ministry. East Africa takes a closer look at the main issues and events that marked the year.
Inaugural BAL games
The country has made strides on the continental and global stages by successfully hosting the inaugural Basketball Africa League (BAL) in May at the Kigali Arena. The inaugural season brought together 12 club teams from 12 countries (Angola, Algeria, Cameroon, Nigeria, Egypt, Morocco, Mali, Senegal, Tunisia, Madagascar, Mozambique and Rwanda) in 26 matches.
Egypt’s Zamalek team beat Tunisians United States of Monastir 76-63 to claim the trophy.
The partnership between the International Basketball Federation (Fiba) and the National Basketball Association (NBA) of the United States, BAL, which is built on the basis of club competitions by the Fiba regional office in Africa, has marked the first NBA collaboration outside of North America.
As part of his Covid-19 response to support Rwanda, French President Emmanuel Macron visited Kigali and met with President Paul Kagame on May 27 to sign a grant of 1.5 million euros (1, 7 billion Rwandan francs).
Dr Uzziel Ndagijimana, Minister of Economy and Economic Planning of Rwanda, and Mr Rémy Rioux, Director General of the French Development Agency signed the grant to support the launch and implementation of a sports policy school operated by the Rwandan Ministries of Education and Sports, as well as the launch of ISONGA, a national program of excellence.
Ferwafa has a new boss
In June, the Rwandan Football Association Federation (Ferwafa) elected Olivier Mugabo Nizeyimana as its new president.
Nizeyimana, former president of Mukura Victory Sports Club in Huye district, and businessman owner of Volcano Rwanda Ltd, a local transport company, and Hyundai Rwanda won the title with 52 out of 59 votes to clear Louis Rurangirwa in order obtain a four-year term. .
Ferwafa led this at an extraordinary general assembly to elect a new executive committee following the resignation of the brigadier. General Jean Damascène Sekamana, former boss of the federation in April.
Many football fans have long blamed Ferwafa’s management for the poor performance of the national football team at top level championships.
Suspended from the African Nations Volleyball Championship
The national women’s volleyball team has been suspended from the 2021 African Nations Volleyball Championship tournament after Nigeria filed a lawsuit challenging the nationality of four Rwandan players in September.
As a result, Rwanda, which was the host of the tournament, were indefinitely suspended from the competition, their previous matches were deleted and the federation was canceled.
Following this, Jean de Dieu Bagirishya, the second vice-president of the Rwandan Volleyball Federation in charge of operations, was arrested by the Rwandan Bureau of Investigation for having falsified the said documents.
While the Ministry of Sports took over the organization of the tournament, the matches started and the finals were held on September 19. Cameroon became champions after beating Kenya.
Renewal of the agreement with Arsenal FC
In its efforts to boost tourism through the Visit Rwanda campaign, the country renewed its Arsenal Football Club-Visit Rwanda deal in August, as part of a deal estimated at $ 100 million until 2025.
The original three-year deal expired in May.
Although the survey conducted by the Rwanda Development Board indicated how the likelihood of tourists visiting Rwanda as a result of its initial partnership with the European team increased from 35% in 2019 to 41% in 2020.
Next to this is Paris Saint Germaine (PSG), a French football team that is committed to the same cause of promoting Rwandan tourism.
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