Twinning activities extended to new countries: Finland’s success in winning tenders continues, with Zambia as new beneficiary

Twinning activities extended to new countries: Finland’s success in winning tenders continues, with Zambia as new beneficiary

Early this year, Twinning activities were extended to seven new countries under the three-year pilot of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Partnerships (DG INTPA). The results of the calls for proposals for the first two pilot projects have already been published, and Finland is very proud to have been awarded both projects. Finland will now help Zambia enhance anti-corruption measures and audits of central government finances. Winning these two tenders is a fine complement to Finland’s recent successes in Twinning projects.

Kafue-joki Sambiassa
Recent extension of Twinning activities opens new opportunities for cooperation. Finland’s Twinning cooperation in Zambia is due to begin in summer 2021. In the picture: River Kafue. Photo: Pirjo Suomela-Chowdhury

Extending Twinning beyond its traditional cooperation areas is a milestone that comes with numerous new opportunities. For the European Union, Twinning is an important instrument for supporting further development of public administration and legislation in its neighbouring areas, in the target countries of the EU’s enlargement and neighbourhood policy. Under the DG INTPA pilot, projects will be implemented not only in Zambia but also in Senegal, Madagascar, Namibia, Kyrgyzstan, Indonesia and the Dominican Republic. Assistance will be provided in various sectors, the themes spanning from development of the court system to areas such as renewable energy, promotion of digital transformation and strengthening public services to meet the requirements of international trade.

“It is excellent news that Finland is now actively involved in the new openings made under Twinning. Having already established our position in development work in the neighbouring areas of the EU, we now get the chance to export our expertise further afield. Finland is the only EU Member State to participate in both Zambian projects. Twinning is a very tangible way for Finland to be globally influential,” says Matti Anttonen, Permanent State Secretary at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

Zambia, a new opening for HAUS

The project related to anti-corruption action is designed to primarily strengthen the operating conditions of the Zambian Anti-Corruption Commission. It is set to promote the administration and technical capacity of the Commission and to improve cooperation with other agencies involved in anti-corruption activities. The focus will be on updating current legal framework enhancing criminal investigation and prosecution practices, and communicating about anti-corruption activities.

The Finnish and German consortium is led by HAUS Finnish Institute of Public Management Ltd, with participation of the German Foundation for International Legal Cooperation (IRZ).

The other Twinning project of Finland aims to strengthen the capacity of Zambian authorities to manage public funds efficiently and accountably. Finland shall cooperate with Croatia and Austria, which is the lead EU Member State of the consortium, and the beneficiary is the Office of the Auditor General in Zambia (OAG). The concrete objectives are related to updating the Office’s mandate, better monitoring of the use of public funds and strengthening the Office’s administrative services and the wellbeing of its employees. In this consortium, too, Finnish expertise in public administration is exported to Zambia under the leadership and coordination of HAUS Finnish Institute of Public Management Ltd.

“HAUS has already long been involved in Twinning activities, cooperating with many partner countries. We have often been the first Finnish Twinning partner in new target countries. We learnt about Finland’s success in the anti-corruption project on the same day that the Finnish Government released Finland’s Africa Strategy. We are particularly happy and proud of these achievements, for many reasons. Winning these Zambia projects also marks the 50th anniversary of HAUS in a nice way,” says Heidi Lempinen, Director at HAUS International.

Both projects will span over three years, and they are due to start in the coming summer.

Twinning supports Finland’s Africa Strategy

EU Member States compete for Twinning projects by submitting tenders, and implementing parties will subsequently be selected by partner countries. Founded on collegiality and the sharing of best practices, Twinning brings together public officials working on the same issues in EU Member States and partner countries.

Although the coronavirus pandemic has prevented travel and forced the projects to resume their work remotely, cooperation between individuals remains at the core of the activities.

Twinning also provides an excellent tool for supporting the implementation of Finland’s recent Africa Strategy.

“Finland and Zambia share a long experience in joint projects. Over the years, stronger governance has been one of the lead themes in Finland’s development aid, and we now welcome the chance to engage in such cooperation under EU funding. By winning these Twinning projects, Finland continues its strong presence in the development of Zambian public administration over the next few years,” notes Finland’s Ambassador to Lusaka Pirjo Suomela-Chowdhury.


Eerikki Vainio, Specialist, the Twinning Team of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs


Zambia now becomes the 30th Twinning partner for Finland, which has already participated in more than two hundred Twinning projects. Enabling Finland to export its public administration expertise under EU funding, Twinning also supports the networking of Finnish public officials with their counterparts in partner countries and in other EU Member States.
Twinning activities have been implemented since 1998. Originally created to support the EU’s enlargement process, the programme has since been extended to countries covered by the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). In 2021–2024, the Twinning programme will be tested outside the EU’s immediate neighbourhood in a pilot launched by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Partnerships (DG INTPA). Global Europe, the new Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument, will allow partners to implement Twinning activities on a global scale even after the DG INTPA’s pilot.
In Finland, Twinning activities are coordinated by the Twinning team at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.