Finland has opened a consulate in Arusha, an important stop for Finns who come not only to visit the many national parks in northern Tanzania but also to explore a region where their parents or grandparents once lived. At the opening ceremony of the new consulate the Finnish ambassador to Tanzania also underlined the importance of Arusha as the headquarters of the East African Community as another reason for having a consular representative in the city.
The newly appointed honorary consul Barbro Finskas-Mushendwa first arrived in Tanzania as a missionary in 1973, working in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT) in Arusha. After her return home she married a Tanzanian architect, Joshua Mushendwa, then studying in Denmark. When they went back to live in Tanzania in the early 1980s she continued her missionary work and later started a tourist agency, which specialises in providing help for disabled tourists.
The ELCT has strong ties in the Arusha region dating back to colonial times when Tanganyika, as it was then called, formed part of German East Africa.