Relationship building for business in Dar es Salaam

Finland Tanzania business 1 Florence MugarulaTanzania youth alliance director Peter Masika (right), Finnish minister for foreign trade Alexander Stubb (centre) and minister for international development Heidi Hautala during their visit to Kibasila Secondary School in Dar es Salaam. (Image source: Florence Mugarula)A three-day visit of a delegation from Finland to Tanzania has laid down a foundation for enhanced business ties between the two countries

The arrival of the two Finnish ministers - minister for European affairs and foreign trade Alexander Stubb and minister for international development Heidi Hautala - has marked the beginning of a new era between the two countries, based on reciprocal demand and trade for Finnish and Tanzanian goods and services. The visit has opened doors for a mature level of dialogue and co-operation between Finnish and Tanzanian traders. The bilateral relationship is now moving on from providing aid and grants to trade co-operation and business relationships.

Ahead of the visit, in May 2013, Finnish Ambassador to Tanzania H E Sinnika Antila told this writer that as European economy shows slower signs of growth, and emerging economies like Tanzania continue to expand, many Finnish companies are looking at Africa’s market potentials, especially in the area of knowledge economy like ICT, cleantech and e-learning - as well as in energy and minerals. 

The relationship between the Tanzanian and Finnish governments dates back to the 1960s. For more than 50 years, the two countries have been working together in various areas such as education, economy and other social issues.

Finnish and Tanzanian alumni network

A Finnish-Tanzanian alumni network was also launched during the visit of the Finnish delegation to Tanzania. At an evening reception, which took place at the Ambassador’s residence, the two ministers witnessed the launch of the alumni network, which comprises Tanzanians who have been educated in Finland from the 1970s to the present day. The Tanzania minister for education and vocation trainings, Dr Shukuru Kawambwa was among those who attended the launch event.

“We are glad our country has a good relationship with Finland. It is through this relationship we have managed to acquire quality education, which helps us to participate in pushing for development programmes in our country,” said one of the alumni adding that most of those who gained an education in Finland were working in various sectors in Tanzania.

“Some of us are lecturers, architectures and engineers. We are who we are because we are among people who received education in Finland,” she said.

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