‘You must be unintelligent’ Rwandan CEOs astonishing attack on BBC host in Foreign Aid row

By DARREN HUNT

THE CEO of the Rwanda Development Board clashed with BBC host John Humphrys in a furious debate after it was claimed the African country would spend £30million on a sponsorship deal with Arsenal FC.

Clare Akamanzi, a Rwandan lawyer and head of the Rwanda Development Board, dismissed the £30million figure, but would not reveal how much the country was due to pay the London football club in order to have “Visit Rwanda” displayed on players’ sleeves and pitch-side advertising screens.

The UK paid £64million in aid to Rwanda in 2017/2018, according to Department for International Development (DfID) documents.

John Humphrys clashed with Ms Akamanzi, after the Rwandan lawyer claimed the BBC host was “unintelligent” and “biased”.

Mr Humphrys said: “It is obviously a very large amount of money and it seems a very bizarre thing to do to boost the tourism to Rwanda by putting adverts on shirts of Arsenal players. It seems positively eccentric.”

Ms Akamanzi replied: “I think it is a question of the mindset that we have here in Rwanda. We have a goal to double tourism from $404million to $800million.

“How is that going to happen if we are not active about how we market ourselves to the world.

“Secondly the money that we are using to advertise tourism so that it can grow is money that has been directly generated from tourism.

“Arsenal are watched 35million times every time they are playing, why would it not be a good idea?”

The BBC host claimed there had been a huge amount of criticism about the deal, and added that “the reason you are making inroads to poverty” was due to Rwanda receiving money from the UK and other countries in the form of Foreign Aid.

Ms Akamanzi said: “I think that aid has been very important for Rwanda’s economic journey. But I think to call 17 percent of the budget as huge is a lack of understanding as we have gone from an 80 percent dependency on aid to 17 percent.

“The reason we have been able to cut down on the dependency of aid from about 80 percent, 15-years ago to 17 percent today is precisely because we have grown tourism among other sectors.

Mr Humphrys then brought up the way the Rwandan leader presents himself to the world, causing fury from the CEO.

Ms Akamanzi said: “Clearly from the questions you have, you are one, very biased.

“I think you are either ill-informed or unintelligent because Rwanda by the World Economic Forum is the ninth most efficient Government in the world.

“If the Government is efficient it is because the leader of the country is driving the country in the right direction.”

Source: https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/966368/Rwanda-news-BBC-Arsenal-sponsorship-deal-Foreign-aid-row