The Rwanda football federation, FERWAFA, on Thursday, May 25, signed a two-year partnership agreement with a local NGO, Eco-Arts Initiative, aimed at identifying and promoting young football talents through its brand, Sustainable Environmental Conservation and Tourism (SECOTO). This Thursday FERWAFA represented by SG @KarangwaJules signed a partnership agreement with @EcoArts6 with the aim to identify and promote young football talents through @SECOTO10 as we jointly mobilize for environment protection and conservation of the nature. pic.twitter.com/CYsPCcl0cG — Rwanda FA (@FERWAFA) May 26, 2023 The deal is worth $4.5 million. The SECOTO brand of Eco Arts Initiatives aims to raise the voice of young people in conservation and assisting the new talented generation in sports, arts, culture, and entertainment. ALSO READ: Time for Rwanda to develop youth football is now The inaugural tournament, an annual event, will bring together young people aged 15 to 23 years old from 211 FIFA member countries and will directly engage more than 2,110,000 youths. The youths will first compete in their countries. Their local football federations and environmental organizations will identify the first team that will represent each country during the SECOTO World Cup. ALSO READ: Ferwafa to organise U-17 football tournament In Rwanda, the competition will be attended by 32 teams, one from each district, and two others representing Virunga and Akagera National Parks. Every participating team will receive $10,000 to assist it in promoting environmental protection in their communities and preparing for the matches. The winner of the tournament, which is slated for July and August 2023, will receive $50,000 and get to represent the country in the SECOTO World Cup. The winning team will travel to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to attend the SECOTO World Cup’s official opening ceremony in November 2023. The runner-up will receive $35,000, and the third team will receive $20,000. Patience Shumbusho, the Chief Executive Officer of Eco Arts Initiative, explained that the budget to finance the project will come from partners including the UN, the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Sports, sponsors and other environmental organizations. Players who participate in all FERWAFA competitions are not allowed to compete in SECOTO. ALSO READ: Meet 14-year-old Niyomufasha, a fast-rising football referee Shumbusho pointed out that the organization usually works with secondary schools in Rwanda, but this time the project will be presented globally. “We considered ways to protect the environment through sports, particularly football as the most followed sport, which is why we developed the SECOTO project. It will operate in 211 countries that are members of the United Nations and FIFA,” he said during the press conference. “Later we will engage in other sports such as Volleyball and Netball for women.” The FERWAFA Secretary General, Jules Karangwa, said that the event is helpful in terms of aiding the federation in promoting youth football.