Sunderland have joined forces with Africa's largest independent oil company, Tullow Oil, to launch a pioneering social and business development scheme.
The Invest in Africa initiative, which was unveiled in Accra, Ghana today, will seek to stimulate and sustain long-term economic growth across the continent and in-turn, develop the skills of the workforce, boost domestic job markets and help to build and develop local capacity.
Niall Quinn, who travelled to Ghana in his role as the club's director of international development, said: "We are genuinely excited about this ground-breaking opportunity to bring Sunderland into new territories.
"The global appeal of the Premier League is something that we can harness as a powerful tool for change through our innovative partnership with Invest in Africa.
"Africa's passion for football is both heart-warming and inspirational and as a football club with community, people and international aspirations firmly at its core, there is a natural synergy between us and this wonderful continent.
"We look forward to growing and developing the partnership in the coming months."