Fingo together with Finnish Society for Development Research, University of Helsinki and the Finnish Development Policy Committee organised a policy dialogue about sustainable development in Africa and EU’s and Finland’s Africa strategies.

Africa’s prominence as the main development partner of Finland and the European Union is becoming ever more evident. Within the past five months, both the Government of Finland and the new President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, have announced that they will start drafting respective new Africa strategies. Priorities of Finland’s national strategy will be education, reseach, business, security and development.

Is there a shared vision between the EU, Finland and Africa on development financing? Where is the geographic and sectoral added value of Finland’s and EU’s development financing in Africa? How can we ensure that the financing strengthens democratic principles and respects human rights? Where private sector financing can and should be leveraged? What is the role of civil society organizations in this puzzle? How to effectively bridge development research and the new policy initiatives?

The event started with opening words of Johanna Sumuvuori, State Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland and Paul Okumu, Secretary General of the Africa Platform. Conversation continued with panel discussion about sustainable development and partnership in Africa. Panelists were Saara-Sofia Sirén, Member of Parliament and Vice-Chair of the Development Policy Committee, Gutu Wayessa, University lecturer, Development Studies, University of Helsinki, Leena Vastapuu, Visiting researcher, Tampere Peace Research Institute, Jannika Ranta, Senior Adviser, Confederation of Finnish Industries and Katja Ahlfors, Director, Unit for Development Policy, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.

“We need real figues not assumptions on migration. 80 % of global migration happens inside Africa, reminds researcher Leena Vastapuu at the panel discussion.

You can watch the full discussion about sustainable development, Africa, EU and Finland on the stream at University of Helsinki’s Unitube.

 

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