Team Finland in South Africa
Collaboration between Finland and South Africa
Finland published its Africa Strategy(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window) in March 2021. The document covers the strategic priorities of Finland's Africa policy. It provides the direction for Finland to develop and deepen its relations with African countries, the African Union (AU) and regional organizations during the next few years. The strategy emphasizes the importance of strengthening mutually beneficial political and economic relations.
Team Finland in South Africa
The Team Finland network in South Africa is comprised of the trade team at the Embassy of Finland in Pretoria and Business Finland in Johannesburg. The objectives of the Team Finland network are to increase trade between Finland and South Africa and to attract new Finnish companies to the South African market and investments from South Africa to Finland. We primarily focus on sectors in connection with the digital economy – ICT, Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity, FinTech, Education and Skills Development – as well as Green Economy and Agriculture.
We are able to facilitate contacts with local authorities and arranging prestige services. Participating in trade delegations brings you visibility and access to local companies, authorities and to the media. The Embassy or the Ambassador's residence may be used for networking or promotional activities.
We assists Finnish companies in establishing successful business partnerships. This includes identifying opportunities and leads, networking, market insights and feedback on market entry strategies. We also support innovation collaborations and research and development between Finnish and South African companies and universities.
We work closely with Finnish companies in order to promote Finland’s country image in South Africa.
Business Finland’s Mega Opportunities
The objective of the Mega Opportunities (Link to another website.) (Opens New Window)work is to induce go-to-market opportunities for ecosystemic joint offerings in sectors where Finland has exceptional value to offer to public and private partners globally. The joint offerings merge public sector experience and expertise with individual value propositions to form an end-to-end offering.
We encourage all Finnish companies interested in South Africa, Botswana, Mauritius or Lesotho, and those already operating in these markets, to contact either the Embassy or Business Finland office in Johannesburg. We will gladly help to boost your business and Finnish exports!
Contact persons for Team Finland in South Africa
Embassy of Finland, Pretoria
Ambassador Anne Lammila, Team Finland Country Manager
Ms Marjaana Hyppönen, Deputy Head of Mission
Ms Tuija Pulkkinen, Trade and Investment Counsellor, Team Finland Country Coordinator
Ms Iina Soiri, Education and Science Counsellor, Team Finland Knowledge Expert
Mr Marko Saarinen, Development Policy Counsellor (Green Economy)
Ms Jenni Kiilholma, Agriculture Counsellor
Mr Rui Nozes, Commercial Advisor
Ms Masego Polo, Team Finland Assistant
Business Finland, Johannesburg
Mr Tagara Hove, Senior Advisor, Mega Opportunities
Mr Camilo Ramada, Senior Advisor
+27-11- 881 5530 & 5449
Digital Economy and the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR)
Finland has globally renowned expertise in innovative technologies, including connectivity, Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, data science, IoT and cybersecurity. In South Africa, Finland offers automation expertise and technology for sectors such as mining, health, energy and infrastructure. Finland also supports initiatives such as the Nokia powered Forge Academy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (more on the press release(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window)). The goal of the Academy is to bridge the digital skills gap, reinvent future technology skills development and support innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem in South Africa.
Finland is a global forerunner in the transition to a Circular Economy. Finland offers innovative technology and expertise in areas such as Waste-to-Energy, Bioenergy, automated waste collection systems, automated recycling machinery, water management, wastewater treatment and water reuse solutions.
Finland is launching, in cooperation with the African Development Bank and the Nordic Development Fund, a new technical assistance and financial support facility for Circular Economy development in Africa. The facility will support the work of African Circular Economy Alliance, where South Africa is a founding member, as well as stimulate private sector efforts in transitioning to Circular Economy.
The Embassy of Finland is proud to announce three new financing partnerships (2021-2024) in South Africa to support innovative circular economy startups. WomHub works with female entrepreneurs in innovation and job creation in circular economy; ICLEI Africa and LaunchLab of the University of Stellenbosch accelerate circular economy innovation related to food, climate and health; Fetola works with SMEs to accelerate their growth and development in circular economy.
More information on the Embassy’s support to circular economy hubs.
Education and skills development
Finland’s expertise in early childhood education, primary, secondary and tertiary education is globally renowned. In South Africa, Finnish educational companies are offering the latest pedagogy and programs for professional skills development. This includes skills development in technology, education delivery, forestry and environment, health, communications, as well as teacher and leadership training. There is particular interest towards digitalization and new learning practices, teacher education and how to connect studies better to the demands of the changing working life.
The work of the Team Finland network in South Africa is complemented by a Team Finland Knowledge Expert (Link to another website.) (Opens New Window)(TFK) who is based at the Embassy of Finland in Pretoria. The TFK -expert works intensely with the Education Finland(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window) cluster program that brings together Finnish education knowhow.
More information regarding the Team Finland Knowledge network(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window) and collaboration in science and research.
Agriculture and forestry
The Team Finland network in South Africa facilitates export of Finnish food products, as well as innovation in the whole of agricultural value chain, including solutions for water and agricultural technologies. When it comes to agricultural outputs and food, the trade balance between our countries is strongly leaning to the benefit of South Africa. Finns love especially the South African wines and fruit, but South African consumers would surely appreciate the Finnish flavours as well. The main export products from Finland in the sector are grains, mainly oats, and feed ingredients.
The Embassy’s Agricultural Counsellor and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland strongly support the engagements with South African authorities to enable market access for animal-based foods, which in turn will open markets to larger variety of products.
The Team Finland network continues to explore new opportunities in the agricultural sector in general, in line with industry organisations in Finland, which have identified opportunities in the food system in its entirety in the African continent.
In the forestry sector, new market opportunities are developing through skills training, forestry management and the involvement of South African forestry stakeholders with Finnish companies.
More information on research collaboration in the fields of agriculture, water and forestry research.