Dakar, 9 June 2022 (TDI): Finland opened a new embassy in Senegal as part of its long-term foreign policy plan. Anu Saxén is appointed to serve as the Finnish Ambassador to Senegal.

In March 2022, the Finnish government launched the Africa Strategy. A move aimed to create more robust political and financial alliances with African countries.

It is relevant to highlight that Finland’s main intention under the plan is not fostering Africa’s development but creating new and better diplomatic ties. 

For decades, Finland has not had a diplomatic mission in French-speaking West Africa. The decision to disembark in the area was taken after careful consideration.

The region contains fast-growing economies, Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire being the most important ones. Besides, Finland has had the desire for some time to nourish its connections with African Nations.

Additionally, Senegal is a diplomatic hub in the region, hence hosting numerous embassies as well as international organizations. As a key partner for the European Union, for Finland, sending a diplomatic mission seems like a strategic and very intelligent move.

Main Duties of the Mission

Initially, the diplomatic mission will focus on boosting Finnish businesses and commerce in Senegal. Then, it will target migration issues and function as a watchdog for the region.

Aside from that, the Embassy will also take special attention to international security and ongoing conflicts in neighboring countries. Furthermore, the establishment of this Embassy will also strengthen bilateral relations and promote potential cooperation partnerships.

Finland possesses expertise in numerous fields such as education, artificial intelligence, and economic development. Senegal and other West African countries can benefit from possible collaboration enterprises led by Finland. 

In conclusion, this one-of-a-kind mission in West Africa will serve as a learning period. Lessons learned as well as experiences could pave the way to potentially opening other embassies in the region. 

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