The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey has commissioned Ghana’s rented Diplomatic Mission in Oslo, Norway to serve some three thousand (3,000) Ghanaians who are domiciled in that country.
The commissioning ceremony of the five-year lease rented facility was held on Monday the 24th of February 2020, on the sidelines of President Akufo-Addo’s official State visit to Norway.
The plan to open a Diplomatic Mission in Norway was first announced by the Minister for Foreign Affairs in September 2018 after President Akufo-Addo and the Prime Minister of Norway, Erna Solberg, held bilateral talks in New York on the sidelines of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, USA.
By December the same year, the Minority spokesperson on foreign affairs Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, alleged on the floor of Parliament that government had bought a property in Norway at an inflated price of $12 million dollars, to be used as an embassy but the Speaker of Parliament Prof. Mike Oquaye rejected his evidence and ruled that they were unreliable.
The Foreign Affairs Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway in a heated exchange with Mr. Okudzeto Ablakwa outside the floor of Parliament argued that an offer for the purchase of the building was made but it had not been accepted.
In an interaction with journalists in Oslo after the commissioning of the embassy, the Foreign Affairs Minister noted that the entire purchase arrangement was aborted by government and instead the State has opted to rent a building to use as the premises for the Ghana Mission in Norway.
She further noted that a building has, however, been purchased by Ghana which will serve as the official residence of the nation’s Ambassador to Norway.
The ultra-modern facility is on the 5th floor of a seven-storey building and it has a unit for the Ambassadors office, consular section, offices for the head of the chancery, offices for the economic and political officers, a reception and waiting area for persons coming for consular services.
The facility also has a conference room for meetings and other public engagements.
Source: Ghana/Starrfm.com.gh/103.5FM/Wilberforce Asare