The Ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway to South Africa, Her Excellency, Astrid Emilie Helle, presented her letters of credence to the SADC Executive Secretary, Dr Stergomena L. Tax on the 31st January, 2019, in Gaborone, Botswana. The Royal Norwegian Embassy represents Norway in six Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries, namely; Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe, and SADC.
Dr Tax congratulated her for her new appointment, and reassured her commitment to continued cordial working relations between SADC and the Kingdom of Norway in promoting regional integration.
Dr Tax further noted that the Norwegian Government has provided support to the SADC region in a number of areas for a number of years, mostly through technical cooperation by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD). Key amongst them included; technical support to the Energy Sector, such as Power Sector Programme, Southern African Power Pool, support to restructuring of SADC Institutions, support to the implementation of the SADC HIV&AIDS Business Plan and support to SADC in mediation capacity enhancement, especially the Establishment of a Network of African Women Mediators.
The SADC Executive Secretary also informed the new Ambassador of the implementation period of the revised RISDP 2015-2020 which is coming to an end, and that SADC is currently working towards the development of a Post-2020 strategy to keep the momentum for regional integration. To that end, she encouraged the Norwegian Government to also continue to support SADC.
For her part, H. E Helle acknowledged that the Norwegian Government and SADC have common values and interests in the region. She also reiterated the commitment by the Norwegian Government to continue to support SADC in its endeavour, and her willingness to enhance cooperation in areas of mutual interests.
H. E Helle was accompanied by Consul for Royal Norwegian Consulate Office in Gaborone, Botswana. Mr Per Erik Bergh.