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Europe and Africa promote green, digital and sustainable development

Ministry for Foreign Affairs
30.10.2020 13.11
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What could Finland do to support the goals of the EU’s Africa policy? What opportunities do the Africa–EU Partnership and its instruments offer to Finnish actors? What kind of expertise is needed in the implementation of the Africa–EU Partnership? A discussion event will be held on Thursday 5 November on links between the EU Strategy with Africa and the Africa strategy for Finland as well as on the opportunities offered to Finland through the Africa–EU Partnership. EU Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen, Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto and Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari will attend the virtual event in Helsinki.

​​An Africa strategy for Finland is under preparation

The Africa strategy for Finland aims to develop and diversify Finland's relations with African countries and African regional organisations. The preparation of the joint government strategy is ongoing under the leadership of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The strategy will also include a discussion on the relations between the European Union and Africa from Finland’s perspective.

EU Strategy with Africa

In March, the European Union published a Joint Communication by the European Commission and the High Representative of the Union, which was complemented by the Council conclusions in June. The EU aims at a more strategic, comprehensive and equal relationship with African countries and the African Union. The Strategy will focus on strengthening the partnership with Africa in five priority sectors:

  • Green transition
  • Digital transformation
  • Sustainable growth and jobs
  • Peace and good governance
  • Migration and mobility.

A central objective is to gear the EU's investments towards strengthening the green transition, digitalisation and sustainable development in Africa. The EU’s financial instruments have already been used to mobilise considerable investments for Africa.  These include investments in transport, clean energy, agriculture and the development of the private sector. The European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD) aims to grant up to EUR 60 billion in guarantee operations to stimulate sustainable investments mainly in Africa in 2021–2027. The funding will be channelled through the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI), which is currently under discussion. The EFSD offers opportunities also for Finnish actors.

Developing partnership between sister continents

Finland participates in the strengthening of the relationship between the EU and Africa and defends transition towards a partnership that is more effectively based on political dialogue, trade and reciprocity. The policies set out in the EU Strategy and Council conclusions will be taken into account in the preparation of the Africa strategy for Finland, which is to complement the guidelines made at EU level. Finland supports the goal of strengthening the EU's unity and visibility in African countries, boosted through the EU's Team Europe approach, which brings together different actors.  Finland's Africa strategy also aims to increase Finnish actors’ participation and the use of Finnish expertise in the implementation of the Africa–EU Partnership.

You are warmly invited to hear Finland’s views of what kind of Africa policy the EU should pursue

The discussion on links between the EU Strategy for Africa and the Africa strategy for Finland as well as on the opportunities offered to Finland through the Africa–EU Partnership will be held on Thursday 5 November at 17.15–18.15. It will be attended by EU Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen, Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto and Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari.  The event will be hosted by Elina Ravantti, Director General of Communications at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

Sign in for the event by 3 November. People who have registered for the event will receive a link to the event on Wednesday 4 November. A chat platform will be open for questions during the event.

If you are not able to attend the event, a recording of the event will be later available for viewing on our website.

Follow the discussion on the Africa strategy on social media using the hashtag #africastrategy.

More information about EU Strategy with Africa:

EU paves the way for a stronger, more ambitious partnership with Africa (European Commission)

​​​​​​​European Council conclusions on Africa 30 June 2020

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