Norway increases support to South Sudan’s National Archives

5G0A1880.JPGLars Petter Henie, Charge de’ Affairs of the Embassy of Norway exchanges the signed agreement with Ms. Mimi Bior, Programs Manager RVI.

The Royal Norwegian Embassy in Juba, and the Rift Valley Institute (RVI) have signed a grant agreement to support the digitization and preservation of South Sudan’s historical records.

Speaking during the signing ceremony, Lars Petter Henie, Charge de’ Affairs of the Norwegian Embassy said that Norway’s support to the National Archives is based on the longstanding relations and friendships, and reaffirmed Norway’s commitment to ensuring good governance, stability, and peace in South Sudan.

“We are pleased to continue this cooperation, which began in 2012, following our Crown Prince’s pledge of support to the National Archives on 9 July 2011 as an independence gift. We are now moving further with a big step towards the construction of the National Archives Building. This support will strengthen the effective functioning of the National Archives as an institution,” said Lars.

On his part, Youseff Onyalla, Director General of the National Archives thanked the Norwegian Government for the unceasing support to the National Archives.

“With this support, together with our partner—the Rift Valley Institute, we are going to ensure digitization of all the historical records, and preservation of the government records at our disposal,” said Mr. Onyalla.

South Sudan National Archives conserves historical information or records about South Sudanese identity and their struggles towards independence. About 60 % of the documents at the national archives have been digitalized through Norway’s support.

This support will enable RVI and the National Archives directorate of the Ministry of Culture, Museums and National Heritage to scan and preserve in an electronic format the remaining 40 percent of the archival materials including various fragile documents, manuscripts, historical maps, and other vital archival materials.

Following the establishment of the National Archives directorate, various interest groups including researchers, academia, and the Independent Boundary Commission (IBC) of IGAD, among others— have visited the National Archives to access documents to resolve borderline disputes, inform policy and various decision-makers in the country.
With the added contribution of NOK 1.96 million, Norway’s contributions now amount to over NOK 24 million since 2012.