Finland’s Africa strategy

In 2020, Finland will draw up an Africa strategy with the goal of developing Finland’s ties with African countries. The strategy is shared by the entire central government and its preparations are lead by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

The change that has occurred, not just in African countries but globally, is the underlying factor for drafting this strategy. As their economies develop and populations grow, the role African countries have in world politics and economics is also becoming more prominent. Having political relationships with African countries is increasingly important to Finland. Thanks to their growing markets, many African countries are now potential trading partners for Finland.

Finland’s relations with Sub-Saharan countries are based on successful development cooperation, upon which more comprehensive cooperation can be built. Finland already has strong diplomatic and commercial relationships with North African countries, but there is potential for more.

The aim of the Africa strategy is to diversify Finland’s relations and to develop the ambitions and coherence of Finland’s Africa policy. Special attention will be paid to the expansion and deepening of Finland’s ties with African countries, the African Union and with other regional organisations on the continent. 

The strategy aims to identify shared interests and to strengthen connections in different sectors between Finland and Africa. Points of departure include Finland’s own interests and competencies, Agenda 2030 as well as the “Africa We Want” Agenda 2063 of the African Union.  Finland’s strategy also takes into consideration the policies of the European Union’s recent Strategy with Africa.

The goal is a concise strategy that:

  • sets realistic but ambitious goals for Finland’s Africa policy
  • outlines, on the basis of shared interests between Finland and African countries, a limited number of focus points for Finland’s Africa policy and defines concrete actions for achieving them.
  • puts specific emphasis on strengthening political and economic relationships and
  • expands relationships from development cooperation into other forms of cooperation, while maintaining development cooperation as a part of the whole