The European Union in Zimbabwe has a new Ambassador: Mr Timo Olkkonen presented his credentials to H.E. President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday at State House.
Speaking after the occasion, Ambassador Olkkonen said: “I am honoured and excited to start my tour of duty as the European Union’s Head of Delegation to the Republic of Zimbabwe today. Zimbabwe stands at a crucial juncture and I am looking forward for the country to take back its rightful place in the region, in Africa and in the world. The EU has provided significant support to Zimbabwe since independence and will continue to do so as we develop our political, economic and trade relations. The EU stands ready to assist and accompany Zimbabwe as the country moves forward to implement much needed political and economic reforms.”
Ambassador Olkkonen is no stranger to this region: from 2014 to 2018, he served as Ambassador of Finland to Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi, based in Lusaka; and from 2001 to 2005 he held the position of Second Secretary at the Finnish Embassy in Kenya.
After an initial engagement with the Ministry of Education in Finland, he joined the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1999 and has represented the country at multilateral organisations and the European Union, mostly working on development policy matters.
Ambassador Olkkonen is in Zimbabwe with his wife and three children. He holds a Master of Arts in General History from the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, and boasts an impressive repertoire of languages: beyond Finnish, he speaks English, Swedish, German, French, Hungarian and basic Kiswahili.