150 years of friendship – #FinNam150

Finland and Namibia have exceptionally good and long relations. Namibia is the only country in Africa with whom Finland has such a special bond. In 2020, we will celebrate the friendship that has lasted for 150 years.

Photos: Tim Brunauer, Embassy of Finland in Windhoek, FELM,  Seppo Kalliokoski, Matti Porre / Office of the President of the Republic of Finland, Hannu Pulkkinen, Martti Rautanen Collection, Marjo Timonen / Parliament of Finland and Rauli Virtanen

The anniversary year was kicked off in December 2019. The whole staff of the Embassy of Finland in Windhoek travelled to Ondangwa to host a memorable event, also honoring the 102nd anniversary of Finland’s independence.

“We Finns set a high value on the unique history we have with Namibia and on the numerous friendships, which we have built with Namibians during the decades. Our countries and peoples are truly close to each other,” Ambassador Pirkko-Liisa Kyöstilä said while opening the celebrations.

Photo: Tanja Bause

H.E. Dr. Nangolo Mbumba, Vice-President of the Republic of Namibia, was the guest of honor together with Madame Mbumba. H.E. Dr. Sam Nujoma, Founding President and Father of the Namibian Nation, was also present. In addition, several ministers and deputy ministers as well traditional leaders arrived to celebrate the long-lasting friendship of our two countries.

Photo: Tanja Bause

At the event, Ambassador Kyöstilä launched a book titled “Intertwined Histories – 150 years of Finnish-Namibian Relations”. The collection of essays is published by the University of Turku and edited by Dr. Marjo Kaartinen, Dr. Leila Koivunen and Dr. Napandulwe Shiweda.

Photo: Embassy of Finland in Windhoek

We also organised a media tour for Namibian journalists. The tour included an introduction to the history of the Finnish-Namibian friendship. The participants, namely Eagle FM, Informanté, Namibian Broadcasting Corporation, New Era, One Africa TV and Republikein visited the Nakambale museum, Onandjokwe hospital as well as Fusion Grid pilot project. The pilot is funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and has brought electricity to several households in the area.

During 2020, the Embassy will host several other events to honor the long-lasting friendship. We will tell more about these on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo: Martti Rautanen Collection

Cooperation since 1870

Finland and Namibia have an extraordinarily long and close partnership. It began in July 1870 after a long and tedious journey, when the first Finnish missionaries arrived at their new missionary field in Owambo in what is now northern Namibia. This marked the beginning of an intricate relationship between Finns and Aawambo. The relations of these two people, one from the very far North, the other from the far South, formed into a remarkable and unique bond, which has not always been unproblematic but has always been intense. This has especially been the case in past decades, leading to the long-sought independence of Namibia in 1990. Read more from “Intertwined Histories – 150 years of Finnish-Namibian Relations”

Photo: Embassy of Finland in Windhoek 

Visual image of #FinNam150

The celebratory logo symbolises the colors of Finnish and Namibian flags. You may download it for non-commercial use from here or here.