Rwanda's football governing body (FERWAFA) in partnership with the Ministry of Sport has started a nationwide talent detection for children aged between 12-16 years who aspire to become future football players.
The programme will reach various zones across the country to give football prospects a platform to further showcase and develop their talent.
At least 308 football academies and centres have so far registered for the inaugural edition that was officially started Monday, September 11, in the City of Kigali's three districts namely Nyarugenge, Kicukiro and Gasabo as well as Bugesera and Gicumbi districts in Eastern and Northern Provinces respectively.
The programme on Tuesday, September 12, shifted to the Musanze, Burera, Gakenke and Rulindo of Northern Province and it will continue in four other projected zones.
Children who will be identified and selected to join the programme will be given an opportunity to continue extensive training clinics by professional coaches so as to improve their talent through various programs like 'FC Bayern Youth Cup' which will be organized by German Bundesliga giants FC Bayern Munich in cooperation with the government of Rwanda.
The best performing young players who will be selected from the ongoing nationwide talent detection will be integrated into a permanent 'Residential Football Academy' to prepare them into future players who will be representing the country in different levels of competitions.
For instance, the best football prospects discovered through the programme will join the national team that will represent the country in the upcoming CECAFA U15 championship due to take place in Uganda in November.
"This programme was designed not only to help football prospects to extensively develop their talent at a young age but to also produce good players for youth national teams and the senior team in the future," FERWAFA Media Officer Olivier Maurice Mutuyimana told Times Sport.
"This is one of the measures that the government has taken to ensure development of sports in Rwanda," he added.
How will the programme involve FC Bayern Munich?
Rwanda on August 27, officially become a platinum partner of German top football club, FC Bayern Munich, solidifying its position as the club's official Tourism Partner for East, Central and Southern Africa until 2028.
Rwanda's commitment to sports development is evident in partnerships like the PSG Academy in Huye, which has yielded exceptional results, including the recent U-11 and U-13 PSG club world cup victories through professional training. The partnership with FC Bayern Munich, which focuses on training clinics and coaches across the country, continues this trajectory.
Although the ongoing nationwide talent detection is an exclusive initiative of Rwanda FA in partnership with the Ministry of Sports, Mutuyimana said, "the Bayern Munich's project in Rwanda will begin with children selected from this programme. The selected young players will also have a chance to benefit from the first ever 'FC Bayern Munich Youth Cup' in Rwanda."