University of Turku and UN Economic Commission for Africa to Collaborate in Advancing Education, Research and Innovations in Africa


The University of Turku and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa aim to promote the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 9 on creating a sustainable industry, innovations, and infrastructures. Rector of the University of Turku Jukka Kola, Minister for Education Li Andersson, and Mayor of Turku Minna Arve will participate in the opening seminar for the Finland-Africa Platform for Sustainable Development Goal 9 which will be held at the University of Turku on 26–27 August 2019. 

The collaboration between the University of Turku and the UN Economic Commission for Africa – the Finland-Africa Platform for Sustainable Development Goal 9 – will significantly increase Finland's role in achieving the UN's sustainable development goals, especially in innovations. Africa is seen as the continent of the future with a fast-growing economy. 

– Finland could have an increasing role in the ongoing changes in Africa, especially in the development of education, research, innovations and other key areas. Currently, the University of Turku is one of the most active Nordic universities in Africa. Finland is a small country but it can offer a strong knowledge base and potential for Africa, a great continent consisting of 54 countries. In order to act effectively, create an impact, and play a central role in supporting the achievement of the sustainable development goals in Africa, we need more synergies and a more coordinated strategy, as well as close collaboration with key partners within Finland and also in Africa, says Rector of the University of Turku Jukka Kola.

The goal of the collaboration and seminar is to strengthen the partnership and create synergy between institutions of education, research and innovation both in Finland and Africa. The aim is to increase Finland’s role, visibility and potential in advancing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 9.

At the seminar, the participants will discuss how the collaboration is realised and taken into consideration in Finland’s more extensive strategy on education, research and innovations in Africa. The seminar will be attended by members of the Economic Commission for Africa, representatives of UN’s organs and organisations in Finland, researchers from Finnish universities and universities of applied sciences, African alumni of Finnish universities, participants in projects that develop education and other competence in Africa, as well as organisations related to science, technology and funding.

Founded in 1958, the mission of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa is to advance the African countries’ economic and social development, regional integration, and international co-operation. The headquarters of the Commission is situated in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Time: 26–27 August 2019 (schedule in the programme)
Place: lecture hall XXI, Agora, University Hill, Vesilinnantie 5, Turku

More information:

Rector Jukka Kola, tel. +358 294 505050 ,

Dr. Pascal Doh, tel. +358 45 2375773,

ECA Media Inquiries: Sophia Denekew (


Created 21.08.2019 | Updated 23.08.2019