On Friday, FIFA President Gianni Infantino inaugurated the FIFA East Africa Regional Development Office ceremony, which was attended by the region’s top football officials.
The Global Football Association called the new office a “significant impetus” for the long-term development of football in East Africa.
Infantino said the office will facilitate the development of football, noting that FIFA worked with various countries around the world to improve the sport.
“I would like to thank President Paul Kagame and the Rwandan Government for facilitating the opening of this office, as it will enable us at FIFA level to be able to help all regional level organizations in the development of football,” the FIFA President said.
“Infrastructure, competitions, development and training, these are FIFA’s priorities, and this office is responsible for implementing the FIFA Forward program in the region.”
The decision to set up FIFA regional development offices around the world was made in 2017 to better serve member organizations and be closer to their needs.
There are plans to have four offices in Africa, the remaining three are located in Dakar, Senegal, Johannesburg, South Africa and Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo.
The Rwandan chief of staff, for his part, welcomed FIFA’s decision to choose Kigali as one of the venues to host FIFA’s regional development office.
“The Rwandan Football Association is grateful for the establishment of this office in the region, demonstrating the extent of FIFA’s commitment to football development in Africa, and we are deeply grateful that Kigali has been chosen as FIFA’s regional home for the Development Office,” said FERWAFA Director Jean-Damascene Sekamana.
Infantino later met with Rwandan President Paul Kagame, whom he was also keen to improve the game.
“It was a pleasure to meet Mr Kagame again. He is a truly dedicated football fan who is committed to promoting sport and football as a symbol of peace and a means to promote important social values, especially among young people in the community, ”the FIFA President said.
“From FIFA’s perspective, we are also grateful for the Rwandan government’s support for FERWAFA and local football. It will help build a solid foundation for the success of Rwandan football.”
Earlier today, President Kagame met with FIFA President Gianni Infantino. pic.twitter.com/jU1wnXKcCy
– The Presidency Rwanda (@UrugwiroVillage) February 19, 2021