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Finland Seeks to Boost Foothold in East African Bloc

Finland has committed to support regional integration championed by the East African Community’s (EAC).

The Ambassador of Finland to Tanzania and also EAC, Riitta Swan, said there’s a growing interest and knowledge about the EAC.

She said Finland views the Community as an “important partner” especially in efforts aimed at ensuring peace and security in the region

Swan, who was presenting her credentials to EAC Secretary General Liberat Mfumukeko, expressed her country’s interest towards supporting integration agenda particularly in areas such as climate change, trade facilitation and gender issues.

The EAC is home to 177 million citizens, of which over 22% is urban population.

With a land area of 2.5 million square kilometres and a combined Gross Domestic Product of US$ 193 billion (EAC Statistics for 2019), its realisation bears great strategic and geopolitical significance and prospects for the community.

Speaking at the function, Amb. Swan said her appointment was out of her government’s commitment to deepen its cooperation with the EAC, noting the significance of regional integration not only for East Africans, but as an important source of growth for the continent as well.

Kenya exports tea to Finland.

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Mfumukeko hailed the existing cordial relations between the EAC and Finland.

He welcomed the continued support from Finland saying it had enabled the Community to achieve its ambitious agenda.

Amb Mfumukeko also shared the progress made by the Community in promoting integration through the four pillars as set out in the EAC Treaty, namely the: Customs Union, Common Market, Monetary Union and Political Federation, adding that the achievements attained so far were due to political goodwill among the EAC Heads of State.

Present at the accreditation ceremony were the EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Planning and Infrastructure Eng. Steven Mlote and other senior officials.

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