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Sunderland has strengthened its ties to Africa by announcing a partnership that makes Tanzania the official destination partner of the English Premier League club.

Sunderland has strengthened its ties to Africa by announcing a partnership that makes Tanzania the official destination partner of the English Premier League club.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Sunderland said that the “groundbreaking” partnership would aim to use the global reach of the Premier League to promote the Central East African country as a tourist destination. Sunderland has already developed close links with Tanzania through providing technical and practical support to the development of a football academy project, the first of its kind in the country.

Managing director of the Tanzanian Tourism Board, Dr Aloyce Nzuki, said: “We recognise the power of the Barclays Premier League in terms of global reach and aim to utilise this passion to showcase Tanzania and what we have to offer. Our largest proportion of visitors are generated from the UK and we look forward to working with Sunderland AFC to grow this over the coming years.”

Sunderland linked up with Invest in Africa in January 2012, affording a springboard to the not-for-profit initiative to promote Africa as a leading investment destination and actively challenge misconceptions about investing in the continent. Further developing its links with the continent, the club recently announced the BFS Group as its new principal partner from the start of the 2013-14 season. BFS Group is the main UK operation of Bidvest Group, which is headquartered in South Africa. Sunderland also became the first club in the world to form a partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation last season.

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