The first Norwegian honorary consulate was officially opened Friday morning in a ceremony held at Ebenezer House, in Kacyiru.
Ambassador Bjorg S. Leite, the Kampala-based Norwegian envoy to Rwanda, said that her country will now be able to extend and further deepen relations with Rwanda through the new office.
She introduced Steinar Sundvoll, head of the Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA), an international humanitarian organization, as her country’s first ever honorary consul to Rwanda.
“We are very happy – this will deepen relations with Rwanda and, we will be able to know better the development constraints in Rwanda,” Ambassador Leite told reporters.
“My government is very pleased with recent efforts by President (Paul) Kagame and President (Joseph) Kabila to improve relations – and we are very supportive of that.”
Ambassador Eugene Munyakayanza, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MINAFFET), represented government and noted that the opening of Norwegian Consulate was a “good step in strengthening bilateral relations between our two countries.”
He paid tribute to Norway’s “commitment to the development of democratic values in the world” and noted that the Nordic country has “enormously identified herself with political and economic independence of African countries as a true partner.”
“It is with this in mind that I invite the Kingdom of Norway to establish a more vibrant bilateral cooperation with Rwanda.”
Munyakayanza also commended the work of two Norwegian NGOs operating in the country – the Norwegian Church Aid and NPA.
“These two are playing a role in the socio-economic development of this country. The two have been and continue to contribute in some key areas, including the health sector, the judiciary and fighting violence against women.”
Sundvoll is also NPA head as well as new honorary consul said he felt “very proud and much honoured.”
Key on his agenda, he says, is promoting business relations, and possibly seeing how Norway can assist Rwanda in the development of export products.