Re-imagining African—Nordic relations in a changing global order

Re imagining African.PNG
Utenrikspolitikk  Utviklingspolitikk  Økonomisk vekst  Internasjonal økonomi  AU  Internasjonale organisasjoner  Afrika  Norden
Written by

Jesutimilehin O. Akamo


Happi Cynthia


Jordan Mc Lean

Konrad Adenauer Foundation Lærd

Faith Mabera


Arina Muresan


Tigist Kebede Feyissa

Emel Parlar Dal


Tor Sellström


Elling Tjønneland


Moussa Soumahoro


Liisa Laakso


Isaac Bheki Khambule


Tseday Tilahun


Elizabeth Sidiropolous


Mathilde Tomine Eriksdatter Giske

Tidligere ansatt

Elisabeth L. Rosvold

Tidligere ansatt

Craig Moffat

Seniorforsker, NUPI


This study asks how the special relationship between countries in Africa and the Nordic region may be affected by a changing global order, that the African-Nordic cooperation can continue to evolve and remain relevant for both regions.

The meeting in Helsinki on 14 June 2022 is the 20th meeting of the forum of African–Nordic Foreign Ministers. The forum was established in 2000 between five Nordic countries and ten African countries. It was intended to emphasize the political importance of Africa and to demonstrate that Africa–Nordic relations went beyond development cooperation. The forum meets alternately and rotates among African and Nordic countries and African hosts have included Benin, Botswana, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa and Tanzania. The number of African countries expanded over time and now numbers around 25.

The annual meeting is an opportunity to consolidate the special relationship between African and Nordic countries and creates a space where political issues of mutual concern can be discussed. As such, it has helped to broaden the African–Nordic relations beyond development cooperation and towards a more politically-oriented and interest-based strategic partnership. Beyond the annual foreign ministers meeting, the other aspect the report looks into is what the sum-total of African-Nordic bilateral relations in the areas of trade, development, peace and security and multilateral cooperation reveals about the status of the overall relationship.

Africa pursues strategic partnerships that helps it to develop and strengthen the continent’s economic potential, political identity, and its role on the global stage. In this study we pay particular attention to Africa’s relationship with China, Europe, India, Russia and Turkey. One of the dominant features of Africa’s international relations has been its non-alignment. African countries have been careful to seek partnerships with many different states and regions, without being pulled into any one alliance that may prevent it from also gaining support for its development from others. Therefore, in its strategic partnerships, African countries seeks engagements that will help it to grow its economies.