Norwegian Ambassador Meets the Coast

The Norwegian Ambassador, Mr. Victor Rønneberg, visited Kwale and Mombasa Counties from 11 to 12 August 2016. Mr. Rønneberg was impressed by the energy and commitment shown by both authorities and civil society in both Counties to ensuring improved living conditions for their citizens.

The Ambassador went first to Kwale where he had the pleasure to meet with the Governor, H. E. Salim Mvurya, to learn about the County’s priorities within agriculture, tourism, sports and cultural activities for youth. Mr. Rønneberg then met with civil society representatives. He visited Babla Diani Secondary School, where he was presented to the Peace Club, an extracurricular activity to promote peace and cohesion among young people at the Coast.

Muslims for Human Rights (MUHURI) introduced the Ambassador to their local partners who engage on the County budget review process, public services like water and street lighting, and public litigation related to land rights.

Impressed by the extent of public participation in Kwale County's development affairs, Mr. Rønneberg went to Mombasa. There he met with the leadership of the Mombasa Youth Assembly, a group of around 700 youth representatives that promote the interests of young people and raise awareness around citizen’s rights and the electoral process.

The next day the Ambassador met with Mombasa County Commissioner Mohamed Maalim. Mr. Maalim presented a clear message of collaboration with the County Government as well as with civil society. His Office aims at coordinating with all stakeholders to improve security at the Coast, and Mr. Maalim stressed that this work will be based on the rule of law. The Deputy Commissioner followed the Ambassador to a meeting with the Governor of Mombasa, H. E. Hassan Joho. The Governor emphasized the progress of County services within early child care and infrastructure. Crucially, Mr. Joho stressed Mombasa’s efforts to establish trust and dialogue between the political leadership, security agencies and local communities. The aim is to counter violent extremism, create space and activities for youth, and ensure dignity for all.

To achieve this goal, the County of Mombasa collaborates with civil society, in which HAKI Africa is a main partner. Ambassador Rønneberg had the honour of being chief guest at the launch of HAKI Africa’s Youth Engagement and Empowerment Project. The theme of the day was Amani Mashinani – from Radicalization to Development. Following the speeches, the Governor displayed his sporty qualities in a football match between the County team and HAKI Africa’s team. It ended very amicably – in a draw!

Finally, Ambassador Rønneberg had an opportunity to meet a representative of the Kenya Port Authority, related to Norway's interests in maritime affairs.

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