Unit for the Horn of Africa and Eastern Africa

The Unit for the Horn of Africa and Eastern Africa handles Finland's relations with the countries, regional organisations and other bodies operating in the region. The Unit is also responsible for matters that concern the Africa policy of Finland and the European Union in general and across the continent.

The Unit is responsible for the following issues:

  • prepares and coordinates Finland's political, trade political, commercial and development policy objectives, policies and positions, which concern Finland's relations with the countries, inter-regional organisations and other bodies and processes in the region;
  • defines the objectives of development cooperation, prepares and presents programmes and projects and handles them in the Ministry's internal coordination system, as well as takes care of their management and supervision;
  • handles matters relating to state and ministerial visits to and from the region, maintains contacts with the countries of the region through, for example, bilateral consultations, export promotion, and participation in multi-stakeholder negotiations and donor consultations that concern development cooperation;
  • prepares Finland's positions and represents Finland in EU working groups and committees dealing with matters concerning the region; develops the network of Finnish missions in the region and steers their work, among other things, by organising regional meetings, assessing the heads of missions' annual plans of action and holding annual consultations with them, and assessing the missions’ annual plans;
  • coordinates matters concerning the region with other departments of the Ministry, especially the Political Department, the Department for External Economic Relations, and the Department for Development Policy, including, as required, with other state administration bodies;
  • handles general questions relating to the Africa policy conducted by Finland and the European Union and to the formulation of related CFSP positions;
  • deals with horizontal questions concerning the continent, such as peace and security, migration, climate issues, radicalisation, general development questions;
  • regional organisations: African Union (AU), East African Community (EAC), Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).


  • ALI-20@gov.fi

Post address

Unit for the Horn of Africa and Eastern Africa
PO Box 176

Visiting address

Laivastokatu 22


Jukka Pajarinen
  • +358 295 350 848

Horn of Africa Team

Elina Saaristo-Diatta
Team Leader
Horn of Africa
  • +358 295 350 323
Minna Hares
Programme Officer
  • +358 295 350 540
Maria Kurikkala
Desk Officer
Horn of Africa
  • +358 295 350 337
Sara Leon Karlsson
Programme Officer
  • +358 295 350 297

Kenya Team

Maria Halava-Napoles
Team Leader
Kenya, Uganda, Seychelles
  • +358 295 350 859
Anu Penttinen
Programme Officer
  • +358 295 351 706

Tanzania Team

Markus Heydemann
Team Leader
Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the East African Community (EAC)
  • +358 295 350 672
Elina Leväniemi
Programme Officer
  • +358 295 351 856

Africa Policy Team

Kaarina Airas
Team Leader
Africa policy
  • +358 295 350 401
Tuula Svinhufvud
Senior Adviser
  • +358 295 350 462
Eero Väisänen
Desk Officer
  • +358 50 412 5240
Maria Kurikkala
  • +358 295 350 337

E-mail addresses are in the form: forename.surname@gov.fi. Scandinavian characters are replaced by: ä=a, ö=o, å=a.