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The Delegation represents the European Union in all matters, informing on all activities of the Union and keeping its headquarters in Brussels abreast of significant local developments. It works closely with the EU Member States in Zimbabwe, and in particular, the country representing the EU Presidency. It also co-operates and co-ordinates activities with representatives of non-EU Member States and multilateral organisations.
One of the Delegation's main activities is to ensure the effective implementation of EU development assistance to Zimbabwe. Most programmes are financed under the European Development Fund (EDF), the main instrument for providing EU assistance to countries in Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP), under the Cotonou Agreement.
Ambassador Timo Olkkonen
The European Union's new Head of Delegation, Ambassador Timo Olkkonen, presented his credentials on 18 October 2018.
I am honoured and excited to start my tour of duty as the European Union’s Head of Delegation to the Republic of Zimbabwe. 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.