Norway closes embassy because of corruption in Zambia

The Norwegian government has closed its Embassy in Zambia saying it is pointless to keep funding the country when it has no commitment to improving its own resources.
According to the Post Newspapers, Norwegian Ambassador to Zambia Arve Ofstad said his country has opted to open embassies in countries with ” higher interests”.
He said at a function to commemorate the Nordic countries open day at the Swedish and Finnish Joint embassy that Norway felt it was important to bé more active in other countries than Zambia.
” There has been a debate there’s a feeling that Zambia did not do enough itself in order to mobilise its own resources with taxing, not only in mining industry but also other rich people and then you have so many opportunities to increase your tax yourselves and if you do not do that yourselves why should we fund your activities,” Ambassador Ofstad said.
He said ” secondly there was a feeling that although there was high growth of the economy in the last 20 years, with stagnation only last year, you didn’t see sufficiently active policies and redistribution of resources and making that sure everybody gained from it. So why should we continue to fund you when even the resources that you collect yourselves are unequally distributed?”
The Norwegian Ambassador further said the other reason the country was closing the embassy was the dismal anti corruption fight in Zambia.
He said the anti corruption fight has been going very much up and down and the Norwegians felt that when a country doesn’t make enough use of its own resources, it is not doing well in terms of public resources management, its distributional policies and having no option but to leave.
On business this is what Ambassador Ofstad said: “There are some Norwegian companies present here we hope there will be more. May be we will come back when there is more business here. As of today there isn’t we found that it was more necessary to keep our embassies elsewhere. Sorry, but that’s reality”.
Norway has also closed its embassy in Zimbabwe.

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