David Luiz, along with his family, are expected to arrive in Rwanda today [Thursday] as part of Arsenal’s Visit Rwanda sponsorship to help promote tourism to the region.

Visit Rwanda

The partnership that was struck in 2018 for three years, which recently won an award, has seen a number of Arsenal legends travel to the country to take part in various efforts to raise the profile of the country.

This latest visit sees Luiz hit the country for a two-day break while the rest of the footballing world is enduring an international snoozefest.

“I have heard wonderful things about the breath-taking beauty of Rwanda and its people, and I can’t wait to experience the country and all it has to offer,” Luiz said in a statement.

“Football has the amazing power to bring communities together and drive social change, and the Arsenal shirt has a unique ability to reach fans all over the world.

Lauren in Rwanda via igihe.com

“I am very proud to represent Arsenal to help tell a global audience of Rwanda’s modernisation into a luxury tourism destination, its amazing culture and its enthusiasm for football development.”

He will also take time to visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial were he will learn more about the 1994 genocide that took place against the Tutsi which still hangs heavy over Rwanda’s global reputation.

Clare Akamanzi, the Chief Executive Officer of the Rwanda Development Board, who penned the agreement with Arsenal, added: “We are happy to welcome David to revel in the vibrancy and beauty of our country. Rwanda is a country pulsing with energy, creativity and innovation.

Male mountain Gorillas, members of the Agashya family, are pictured in the Sabyinyo Mountains of Rwanda on December 27, 2014. Rwanda, well known for mountain gorillas an endangered species found only in the border areas between Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and hosted more than a million visitors between 2006-13, generating from the national parks alone $75m (£44m) in tourism revenue in that time; 85% of this is from trekkers who come to see some of the country's 500 gorillas. AFP PHOTO/Ivan LIEMAN
Male mountain Gorillas, members of the Agashya family, are pictured in the Sabyinyo Mountains of Rwanda on December 27, 2014. Rwanda, well known for mountain gorillas an endangered species found only in the border areas between Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and hosted more than a million visitors between 2006-13, generating from the national parks alone $75m (£44m) in tourism revenue in that time; 85% of this is from trekkers who come to see some of the country’s 500 gorillas. AFP PHOTO/Ivan LIEMAN

“We have so much to discover, whether it is trekking the endangered mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park, lounging along the Lake Kivu beaches or going on safari in Akagera National Park. We welcome the entire Arsenal global family to visit Rwanda and discover why we call our country remarkable.”

Arsenal are obligated under the terms of the deal to send first team players from the men’s and women’s team to Rwanda while also providing coaches for clinics to help develop the game among children of all genders. They have also sent former stars to the traditional gorilla naming ceremony.

Rwandan children perform in baby gorilla costumes for approximately 20,000 Rwandan villagers, government officials and tourists as part of Rwanda's 7th Annual Kwita Izina (baby naming) Ceremony for the country's rare mountain gorillas on June 18, 2011 in Kigali. Living in parks straddling Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda, the rare mountain gorillas have become the center piece of Rwanda's growing tourism industry as their population has risen to 780 in recent years from just 250 in the 1980's.
Rwandan children perform in baby gorilla costumes for approximately 20,000 Rwandan villagers, government officials and tourists as part of Rwanda’s 7th Annual Kwita Izina (baby naming) Ceremony for the country’s rare mountain gorillas on June 18, 2011 in Kigali. Living in parks straddling Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda, the rare mountain gorillas have become the center piece of Rwanda’s growing tourism industry as their population has risen to 780 in recent years from just 250 in the 1980’s.

Rwanda reportedly saw an 8% increase in tourism in 2018 with 1.7 million people visiting the country.

While there was initial uproar over the deal, which struck me as quite hypocritical, dissent has largely fallen silent in 2019.