Working on the strategy
Internal preparative work between the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and other central government representatives was launched at the beginning of 2020. In spring and summer 2020, preparations were continued in working groups, which focused on specific themes. A broad stakeholder consultation was conducted in autumn 2020. The Strategy was ready in March 2021.
Four central themes of the Africa Strategy:
- peace and security
- trade and economy
- climate, environment and natural resources
- education and expertise
Examples of cross-sectoral themes that were addressed in the preparative phase included youth, women's position, migration issues, and Finland’s rules-based foreign policy (human rights, democracy, rule of law and equality).
Developing the strategy together
As a whole, the process was inclusive and interactive. In autumn 2020, representatives of civil society, youth, and business, science and research communities were invited for stakeholder events to present their views of the strategy themes.
The draft strategy was also discussed at meetings with African colleagues, at events in Finnish missions in Africa, and at meetings with African countries’ missions in Finland, as well as with the African diaspora in Finland.
A broad steering group, chaired by State Secretary Johanna Sumuvuori, was responsible for the preparative phase. Members of the steering group include representatives from all ministries.