Harish Agnani Becomes the Newly Designated Honorary Consular General of Norway to Sierra Leone

By Amin Kef (Ranger)

It has gone down the annals of the history of Sierra Leone that on the 21st March, 2023, during a short but a very well organized and impressive programme held at the Choithrams & Sons Head Office on Rawdon Street in Freetown, a prominent Indian national, who has so far resided in the country for thirty-four (34) years, in the personality of the ever smiling Harish Agnani, was officially appointed as Honorary Consul General of the Kingdom of Norway to Sierra Leone.

Representing the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Professor David Francis, was the  Director General and Ambassador At Large, Dr Victoria Sulamani , who was accompanied by the Chief of Protocol, Lamina Vamboi, the Foreign Affairs Director of Europe , Henry Nyandemoh and other support staffs, Kumba Fomba, Darlyn Lucy Brima and James Boye-Caulker. Others present included family members, well wishers and the Press.

In his welcome statement, Harish Agnani, informed all present that the purpose of converging at the aforementioned venue was to officially open the office of the newly appointed Honorary Consul General of the Kingdom of Norway to Sierra Leone.
He said he is honored by the appointment and privileged to welcome all to join Her Excellency Madam Ingrid Mollestad, Ambassador of The Kingdom of Norway to Sierra Leone and Her Excellency Ambassador Dr. Victoria M. Sulaimani, Director General – Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation to do the official opening.

Harish Agnani assured all that during his tenure, in his capacity as Honorary Consul General he will endeavor to ensure that he performs his duties diligently and efficiently.
Harish Agnani extended thanks to his boss, Mr. Kan Azad, for his support and guidance since his arrival in Sierra Leone 34 years ago, his wife Niharika, sons, Nikhil & Naman and his colleagues for being with him by his side and for all the support they have been providing to perform him duties.
He once more thanked all further extending a very warm welcome to all those in attendance.

Before officially appointing Harish Agnani as Honorary Consul General of the Kingdom of Norway to Sierra Leone, the Ambassador of Norway, who permanently resides in Ghana overlooking Sierra Leone, Her Excellency, Ingrid Mollestad, in her warm statement intimated that the Kingdom of Norway has continuously had consular presence in Freetown since 1906.

She further disclosed that Norway is a trading and shipping nation which decided to establish a Consulate here for the purpose of serving the many Norwegian ships and sailors passing by for trade on the coast.

The Ambassador also revealed how the importance of having a globally widespread network of consulates to serve their merchant fleet was one of the main reasons Norway got its independence in1905.

She mentioned that there are three Norwegian war graves for sailors from the Norwegian merchant fleet at the King Tom Cemetery here in Freetown which according to her speaks volumes of the importance of establishing ties with Sierra Leone.
Ambassador Ingrid Mollestad noted that, however, times have changed saying there are not so many Norwegian ships and sailors to serve in the same way as in the old days.

She, however, informed how in a globalized travel world with migration, there are now many families in Sierra Leone with bonds to Norway and vice versa adding that many children are born in Sierra Leone with a Norwegian parent, thereby giving them right to of course Norwegian citizenship and consular services.

The Ambassador underscored how they are immensely grateful for having found Harish Agnani, to be the new Honorary Consul General for Norway here in Freetown.

She maintained that Harish Agnani has already shown great skills and capacities, making them highly convinced that he has been a good choice disclosing how he is not the first Indian to represent Norway in that capacity.

The Ambassador stated that as Harish Agnani has already received his Exequatur from the Honorable Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Professor David John Francis, it is with great pleasure that she hereby hands over to him the Official Diploma of his appointment as Honorary Consul General for the Kingdom of Norway from the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Her Excellency, Anniken Huitfeldt.

Ambassador Ingrid Mollestad then declared Harish Agnani as the Honorary Consulate General for the Kingdom of Norway in Freetown as officially re-opened.

The Director General and Ambassador at Large in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr Victoria Sulamani, in her statement before she officially cut the ribbon signifying the opening of the Consulate of Norway stated that it is indeed a unique period in relations between the Republic of Sierra Leone and the Kingdom of Norway in the re-opening of a Honorary Consulate for Norway in Sierra Leone.

According to her, such presents another opportunity for the two countries to broaden, deepen and strengthen the existing brotherly relations that characterize the two nations and its peoples.

She conveyed, through the Norwegian Ambassador present, to the Government and People of the Kingdom of Norway, an appreciation of the Government and people of Sierra Leon for such a step in view of sustaining trade and economic relations by establishing a Consulate.

“We hope that more gains would be made and our two peoples will maximize this opportunity to expand relations in all spheres,” the DG and Ambassador At Large expressed optimism.

She maintained that the country is also expecting to receive more Norwegians in Sierra Leone to enjoy what Sierra Leone has to offer in the tourism potentials of the country, and to take advantage of the opportunities for investment in the private sector.

“Sierra Leone and Norway share the same knowledge of the importance of the shore and value of fish and maritime activities,” she informed adding how it is against that backdrop that Sierra Leone values the importance of the partnership further assuring that the Ministry will work with the Consulate.

The highpoint of the event was the cutting of the ribbon by the Director General signifying the official opening of the Honorary Consulate for Norway in Sierra Leone.

A reception was held at the Lagoonda Complex Centre at Aberdeen in the West End of Freetown which was graced by the crème-de-la-crème of society in honour of the appointment of Harish Agnani during which event congratulatory messages and gifts were showered on the new Honorary Consulate General for the Kingdom of Norway.


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