Ambassador Riitta Swan's greetings

Ambassador Riitta Swan's greetings

Ambassador Riitta Swan sends her regards from Tanzania. She shares experiences from the past year and how the current Covid-19 pandemic has affected our daily work at the Embassy of Finland.

Ambassador Riitta Swan

Pleasant Tanzanian spring and Finnish autumn!

We have been living Covid-19 times now for a year and a half. This time has affected our personal lives as well as our work at the Embassy.

At the Embassy, we have during this time worked in many different ways, sometimes in remote work only, sometimes in partly remote work, and sometimes alternating between remote and in-person work in two groups. We have avoided mass gatherings and meetings, and not travelled abroad or inside the country. The necessary in-person meetings have been outside in our garden and otherwise after some working days, our ears have been ringing after so many online meetings.

I have the pleasure to tell you that our whole Embassy staff has been vaccinated and we are on the way to the normal. It does not however mean that the danger has disappeared. We still keep on being careful; we take care of our hand hygiene and continue being mindful of secure social distances.

As said, we are on the way to getting back to our normal work routines. We receive visa applications from customers that fulfil our present criteria and we have started to have residence permit interviews. We have begun to travel in Tanzania while still carefully considering necessity of each visit. For our work, it is vital to meet people in person and have discussions face to face.

Covid-19 has had influences to some of our development cooperation programs by slowing down the implementation. On the other hand, we have been able to support the efforts to fight against Covid-19 situation through cooperation with UNFPA and UNICEF. Together with our partners, we have been able to react to the changes happening in the society and to give support in prevention of the negative effects of the pandemic in a rapid way.

My sincere hope is that Tanzanian people will see the value of the Covid-19 vaccination and use the opportunity offered to them. It is our common advantage.

We see good progress in Tanzanian society. We hope that the pace will be fast and that we can support in the process. My wish is that Tanzanian’s way towards more economically prosperous, democratic, and equal society will continue.

Riitta Swan