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Minister Tavio to visit Ethiopia and Kenya to discuss regional issues and promote trade

Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Publication date 7.6.2024 12.19 | Published in English on 7.6.2024 at 12.23
Press release

Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Ville Tavio will visit Ethiopia and Kenya on 10–14 June.

The purpose of Minister Tavio’s visit is to meet political leaders of the countries, promote trade and investments, and learn about the results of Finland’s long-term development cooperation. Regional issues in the Horn of Africa, including the region’s serious humanitarian situation, are also on the agenda.

Development cooperation results on the agenda in Ethiopia

Minister Tavio will meet in Ethiopia with Minister of Foreign Affairs Taye Atske Selassie and the top management of the ministries responsible for education, agriculture and water issues. Topics on the agenda include relations between Finland and Ethiopia, Finland’s development cooperation in Ethiopia and trade and economic relations.

“The relations between Finland and Ethiopia are based on long-term development cooperation. The water supply points built in Ethiopia with Finland’s support have made clean drinking water accessible to around 5.4 million people. In the education sector, Finland has supported teacher training and improvements in the quality of teaching. In particular, Finland has supported the opportunities of children with disabilities to attend school. This is a useful basis for promoting political, economic and trade cooperation,” Minister Tavio says.

Minister Tavio will also meet the top leadership of the African Union and representatives of Finnish and local civil society organisations and businesses operating in Ethiopia.

Increasing trade cooperation with Kenya

In Kenya, Minister Tavio will meet Kenya’s Prime Cabinet Secretary and Cabinet Secretary for Foreign and Diaspora Affairs, Musalia Mudavadi and the top management of the ministries responsible for health, water and the environment. Discussions with Minister Mudavad will focus on the bilateral relations between the two countries, existing cooperation and mutual commercial interests.

“Finland and Kenya have good bilateral relations and cooperation in several sectors. Finland has supported Kenya in its efforts to achieve peace and stability, improve the position of women and young people and accelerate inclusive and sustainable economic growth. Going forward, we will focus on strengthening political dialogue and increasing trade cooperation,” Minister Tavio says.

During his visit, Minister Tavio will participate in the launch of a new financing agreement of TradeMark Africa, an organisation supported by Finland. TradeMark Africa aims to increase Africa’s trade by removing barriers to trade, by improving the competitiveness of African businesses and by laying foundations for economic growth. The Minister will also visit investment partners of the Finnish development financier Finnfund.

“Kenya is the economic hub of East Africa and a gateway to the markets of other African countries. The country has an educated workforce and an expanding middle class. Kenya offers opportunities for Finnish businesses and investors,” the Minister says.

Minister Tavio will also visit development cooperation projects funded by Finland. Finland’s bilateral development cooperation with Kenya has supported women’s opportunities for participation in public decision-making and peace processes and helped to reduce gender-based violence. Furthermore, Finland has supported the technical and vocational education and training of young people to increase their chances of finding decent jobs that secure an adequate income.

A business delegation will accompany Minister Tavio to Kenya.


  • Tuomas Tähti, Special Adviser to the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development, tel. +358 295 350 199
  • Janna Rantanen, Special Adviser to the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development, tel. +358 295 351 054
  • Maria Kurikkala, Desk Officer (Ethiopia), Unit for the Horn of Africa and Eastern Africa, tel. +358 295 350 337
  • Maria Halava-Napoles, Kenya Team Leader, Unit for the Horn of Africa and Eastern Africa, tel. +358 295 350 859
  • The email addresses of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs are in the format [email protected].