Meet Svein Jørgen, the new intern at the Norwegian Embassy in Lilongwe

Svein Jørgen from Kristiansand is the newest addition to the Norwegian Embassy in Lilongwe, starting mid-January 2017. He looks forward to learn about Norwegian foreign policy and co-operation with Malawi – and to taste the country’s staple food, nsima!

Svein Jørgen Sønning holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Administration from the Norwegian Business School (NHH).  He also studied Economics at the University of Bergen for a year. There he studied subjects related to development, international trade and economic growth. Svein Jørgen is considering pursuing a career in international relations, potentially in the Foreign Service, after he has completed his master’s degree.

There are many reasons why Svein Jørgen is looking forward to the internship at the embassy in Lilongwe. He highlights both the work of the embassy, and getting to know the people of Malawi as intriguing. He is especially eager to learn more about the cooperation on education and health, which are prioritized areas and make up a large part of the embassy’s development portfolio. Svein Jørgen is also interested in the embassy’s partnerships with local organisations and with the Government of Malawi, which together aim to promote sustainable development in the country in line with the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs).

He believes education and good health are ways out of poverty. Despite encouraging results on certain health indicators, Malawi still has a way to go before overcoming major challenges in the education and health sectors. He is eager to learn about the relations between education, economic growth and development, among other things.

That said, he thinks it will be challenging to live in a country where the majority of the population struggles with poverty, which is a completely different reality than Norway.

In addition to looking forward to get involved in the work of the embassy, Svein Jørgen also looks forward to get to know Malawi and the people. He has heard that Malawi is “the warm heart of Africa”, and he first got to know the country through participating in the NHH fundraising for the Schools for Africa-project.  Svein Jørgen is also curious to get to know the beautiful nature Malawi has to offer – both the mountains and Lake Malawi.  He also looks forward to get to know the positive people and culture of Malawi.