Ulkoministeriö / Utrikesministeriet

MFA: Finland and United States announce deeper cooperation on digital empowerment in developing countries

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On 19 October, Administrator of the US Agency for International Development Samantha Power and Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari announced their dedication to robust collaboration on efforts to advance economic productivity, gender equality and human rights in developing countries through inclusive digitalisation.

At the end of a meeting today in Washington DC, Administrator Samantha Power and Minister Ville Skinnari signed a Statement of Intent to work together to provide policy advice and implementation support to governments, civil society, and the private sector in interested partner countries.

The objective of this cooperation is to accelerate inclusive digital transformation in line with the Sustainable Development Goals, whereby everyone can take advantage of all the benefits and opportunities of an open, secure, and inclusive digital ecosystem. 

“We have to put much more effort into making new technologies available to developing countries so that people and businesses can interact, learn and operate more openly and effectively. At the same time, we have to ensure that technology is a means of empowerment and does not affect people’s rights negatively. Finland is happy to put its experience and expertise to global use in partnership with our American colleagues”, Minister Skinnari says.

One of the essential instruments is financing for sustainable business projects. Finnish development financier, Finnfund, has already been making investments for some time in digital infrastructure and solutions in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Finnfund investments improve affordable access to data and digital services in rural areas as well.

“Personally, I am very excited about this new level of partnership we are entering into with USAID, and I commend Administrator Power for her commitment to digital empowerment of especially women in developing countries”, says Skinnari.

Statement of Intent (pdf, 115, 47 Kt)

Inquiries:

Kirsi Airio, Special Adviser, tel. +358 50 574 1729. The email addresses of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs are in the format firstname.lastname@formin.fi.

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