By Wallace Mawire
The European Union in Zimbabwe has a new Ambassador, Mr Timo Olkkonen who presented his
credentials to H.E. President Emmerson Mnangagwa this morning 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.