Finland’s support to Sub-Saharan Africa is varied
Finland aims to have an impact on cross-border phenomena through regional development cooperation. In East Africa, Finland supports the promotion of regional trade, regional integration, and mediation. In addition, Finland focuses on advancing technology, innovation and the circular economy and on supporting mitigation and adaptation to climate change.
Climate and meteorology cooperation in East Africa
The Finnish Meteorological Institute’s regional project FINKERAT aims to increase East African societies’ preparedness for extreme weather events and to improve air quality monitoring in Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania. The project will increase the capacity of meteorological institutes in Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania to provide more efficient and timely weather forecasts, early warning services and air quality services for the benefit of communities, administrative institutions, the economy and political decision-makers.
The project uses technology by Vaisala. It develops community-based early warning systems and proactive approaches together with the Finnish Red Cross and the Red Cross Societies in Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania.
Improved weather and climate services and early warning systems may indirectly benefit up to 130 million people. Finland funds the project with EUR 2.5 million in 2022–2025.
Renewable energy and jobs
Finland launched an Energy and Environment Partnership Trust Fund, EEP Africa(Link to another website.), in 2010. It has been managed by the Nordic Development Fund (NDF)(Link to another website.) since 2018. Finland channels support through EEP Africa to early-stage companies to help them bring into the market new kinds of solutions that improve energy efficiency and increase the use of renewable energy. EEP Africa aims to increase the resilience of local communities, diversify the means of earning income and create decent jobs.
EEP Africa has helped women adopt a stronger role in renewable energy generation, made energy available to 5.7 million people, created 11,600 new jobs and reduced emissions.
The internationally renowned EEP Africa operates in fifteen African countries. In addition to Finland and the NDF, the funding partners include Austria, Switzerland, Iceland and Denmark. EEP Africa is also a partner in a EU Team Europe Initiative that aims to increase the use of green energy in Africa. Finland funds EEP Africa with EUR 9.5 million in 2023–2025.
Circular economy and business activities
The African Circular Economy Facility (ACEF)(Link to another website.) is a multi-donor grants trust fund that was founded by Finland and the Nordic Development Fund (NDF). It operates from 2022 to 2025 and is hosted by the African Development Bank(Link to another website.). The ACEF aims to promote the principles of the circular economy by developing regulation in the field and by supporting circular economy projects of small and medium-sized enterprises.
The ACEF strengthens Finland’s position as a circular economy leader and promotes the business opportunities of Finnish companies in Africa. Finland funds the ACEF with EUR 2 million.
The Finnish project African Digital and Green Transition (ADGT)(Link to another website.) helps Finland and Finnish organisations participate in the programming of the pan-European Digital for Development (D4D) Hub(Link to another website.). The aim is to promote digital cooperation between the EU and the African Union and advance the implementation of the Global Gateway(Link to another website.) strategy set up in 2022.
The project sets out to narrow digital gaps, advance a human rights-based approach, make better use of digital innovation and promote inclusive and green development. Hopefully it will also make it easier for Finnish companies to operate in African partner countries. Finland funds the project with EUR 1.3 million in 2023–2024.
Data governance and green investment
Finland is supporting human-centred data economy and information society development in Africa through the programme Data Governance in Sub-Saharan Africa(Link to another website.). The aim is to strengthen the regulation of data protection, increase cross-border telecommunications and promote green and safe investments in information infrastructure.
The programme financiers include Finland, Belgium, France, Germany, Estonia and the European Commission. The programme funding totals approximately EUR 60 million. Finland’s share is EUR 3 million.
Other ongoing regional projects where Finland’s funding exceeds one EUR million:
- Increasing internal and regional trade within Africa, promoting economic integration and improving trade conditions. The project is implemented by TradeMark Africa(Link to another website.), which is a non-profit company focusing on trade-facilitating development. Finland funds the TMA with EUR 10.5 million in 2021–2023.
- Promoting regional peace and development through the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)(Link to another website.). Finland funds the project with EUR 1.5 million in 2022–2025.
- Supporting the African Union’s mediation capacities. The project is implemented by CMI – Martti Ahtisaari Peace Foundation(Link to another website.) together with the African Union(Link to another website.). The aim is to strengthen the African Union’s capacity to prevent and resolve conflicts in effective and well-timed ways that take minorities into account. Finland funds the project with EUR 4 million in 2023–2026.