Helsinki, 14 June 2022 (TDI): South Africa’s Minister of International relations and Cooperation, Naledi Pandor is in Helsinki, Finland for the African-Nordic Meeting.

She was invited by the Finnish Minister, Pekka Haavisto to take part in the African-Nordic Foreign Ministers’ meeting from 13th June 2022 to 15th June 2022.

The African-Nordic Meeting takes place annually to hold informal and open-minded discussions between the Nordic countries and Africa.

However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there hasn’t been any meeting since the last one in 2019. Nordic countries include Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden.

It will consist of all Foreign Ministers of all Nordic countries and twenty-five African Foreign Ministers.

The focus of this year is the promotion of peace and security, sustainable societies, the rule of law, youth and women, and enhancing African-Nordic multilateral cooperation.

Minister Pandor will also have working visits to Sweden and Norway. The purpose of the visits is to enhance bilateral engagements with the Foreign Ministers.

African-Nordic Countries Meeting

The first meeting of the African-Nordic countries took place in 2001. It was organized by Anna Linde, the Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden.

Haavisto said, “I am happy that my Nordic and African counterparts can now finally be physically present here in Helsinki.

The informal meeting provides a valuable opportunity for the exchange of views on many themes and strengthens both our bilateral and multilateral cooperation. This is what we need especially in the current global situation.”

Roots of Nordic-Africa Solidarity

The Nordic-Africa solidarity traces back to the Old Nordic missionary presence in southern Africa. The Nordic missionaries advocated for resistance to colonial rule.

The church groups’ ties promoted direct contact between African Liberation Movements and Nordic officials. They also helped to shape an activist foreign policy group in support of oppressed people.

In addition, they organized campaigns against minority-ruled countries. Nordic anti-apartheid movements also funded the legal defense of imprisoned African Political activists.

Moreover, the Nordic education system advocated for “solidarity with the oppressed.”

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