Finland’s Africa strategy should harness Africa’s youth dividend for positive change

Some of the most pressing needs in African countries coincide with areas where Finland stands out as a global leader. Finland should continue prioritising these areas in its Africa strategy.

Some of the most pressing needs in African countries coincide with areas where Finland stands out as a global leader. Finland should continue prioritising these areas in its Africa strategy.
Picture by Tuukka Rantala

Finland's Africa strategy

FCA has published a document with recommendations for Finland’s Africa strategy. Download the document by clicking here.

Africa is one of the world’s fastest-growing markets, despite facing many challenges across the continent. Political ties of African countries, security issues and the effects of global phenomena, like climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic, have an increasing influence on the entire world.

This is why an increasing number of actors build partnerships with African countries. Last year, the US launched a new Africa strategy. Russia held its first Africa summit, and China has meticulously strengthened its ties with the continent. This year, the EU has worked on its own partnership strategy.

How should Finland position itself to play a part in Africa’s future?

FCA has released a document with recommendations for Finland’s Africa strategy. It emphasises that Africa is a continent of youth. They form the continent’s future and affect the entire world.

FCA argues that Finland can achieve its goal of having an impact beyond its size if its Africa strategy manages to harness the continent’s youth dividend for positive change and development.

While national populations in other parts of the world are ageing, most African countries have majority youth populations. Currently, 60% of Africa’s population is under the age of 25. These young women and men bring great potential for the African future. By 2050, there will be 2 billion Africans, and one-third of the world’s youth will be in sub-Saharan Africa.

Some of the most pressing needs in African countries coincide with areas where Finland stands out as a global leader, such as quality education, linking learning to earning, sustainable livelihoods and promoting peace, security, gender equality and good governance.

A mutually beneficial partnership is an opportunity for both Africa and Finland.

Learn more about the path forward from FCA’s recommendations to Finland’s Africa strategy. Download the document by clicking here.