Finland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Underlines the Cultural Connection with African States

Foreign Minister of Finland, Timo Soini, underlines a cultural and political dialogue with African states, especially among youth

March 11th, 2019
Martta Tenhu, News from Berlin
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Africa’s geopolitical position is changing and Europe is no longer its only partner. Competition for partnerships with and investment opportunities in Africa is currently hard. China and Russia are increasing their influence.

Therefore Foreign Minister of Finland, Timo Soini, emphasizes, that Africa should be considered an opportunity and an equal partner. This means that Europe should conduct active political dialogue, outline the common interests, and establish concrete objectives. Furthermore, active, cultural diplomacy policies could develop further economic relations and help to better manage migration.

Soini argues that according to Finland’s own history it has an advantage in relation to the colonial powers and could be seen as an example for many countries. Finland's own history proves that a small and poor country can advance to the vanguard of international development, Soini says.

However, Soini stresses that Finland cannot respond to all challenges. Soini concludes three themes: Firstly, conflict prevention and mediation with a special focus on the role of youth and women. Secondly, Finland should invest on the development of education more than before and, thirdly, focus on boosting the introduction of climate-friendly technology.

"More diversified cooperation does not mean that the significance of development cooperation will diminish but that the cooperation would include, for example, the promotion of the international rules-based order. This is essential now that many great powers are undermining the system. Furthermore, we should consistently continue developing the commercial and economic relations with the emerging economies in Africa," Soini says.


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