Professionals with African roots offer significant know-how for Finnish companies


In late October, companies, research organisations and the African academic community residing in Finland convened in Turku for the 2nd annual African Academic Night. The event is organised by Diana ry (Diaspora Academic Network for Africa) and had over 100 participants this year. Presentations included both updates on latest research as well as challenges on different African markets, to name a few. Fantastic dance and music performances were also on the agenda. Ms. Sarah Anyang Agbor, former Commissioner of the African Union, gave a particularly inspiring speech on strong interhuman connections and the force that this can present. 

Together, the over 50 African countries constitute a massive growing market, and the Finnish private sector could greatly benefit from enhanced cooperation with the African academic community in Finland. Expertise relating to specific thematical areas or sectors, insight in specific markets and cultures, as well as connections to relevant market specific entities is valuable information for the private sector and their internationalisation efforts.

In addition to African Academic Night, Think Africa Week is another important annual event for anyone interested in engaging with African diaspora in Finland. Think Africa Week is organised in Helsinki starting 25 November and registration can be done here.

Finnpartnership is participating in the opening ceremony of Think Africa Week as well as in the AfricaConnect – Building Africa focused solutions event 30 November.

Finnpartnership aims to be a link between Finnish companies and the diaspora from developing markets in Finland. In connection to this year’s African Academic Night, Finnpartnership organised a Learning Café where Finnish companies could showcase their solutions and network with the other participants representing several different African markets.

The number of entrepreneurs with an African background is on the rise in Finland, and many of them are also interested in expanding their operations to some African market. An ever-growing number of these entrepreneurs also receive Finnpartnership grant funding for their projects. 

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