Tanzania hopes for tourism boost as Sunderland extends Africa links

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A NEW partnership which sees a club team up with a country has its goal set on a tourism boost.

Sunderland AFC has strengthened its links with Africa in a deal which sees Tanzania become the official destination partner of the side.

The club, which has already forged a relationship with Invest in Africa and welcomed South African-based Bidvest as this season’s sponsor, say tourism is a key factor in the growth of Tanzania.

It hopes its place in the Barclays Premier League will help promote it as a destination.

The league is watched in 200-plus countries, with an audience of 4.7billion, making it the most watched sporting league in the world.

It follows on from its work to develop an academy in the country, which will see youngsters benefit from football, education and other projects.

Club chief executive Margaret Byrne said: “The club is delighted to further strengthen our links with Tanzania with this exciting new partnership.  

“We are very much looking forward to working with the people of Tanzania to promote their beautiful country to a wider audience and to also support the development of its football infrastructure.”

The Black Cats have become one of the most recognised English clubs in Africa.

The BFS Group, the main UK operator of Bidvest, is its principal partner for this season, and Sunderland became the first club to form a partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation last season.