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Norway To Close Embassy In Uganda

The Norwegian Government has announced plans to close its Embassy in Kampala, Uganda, as well as the Consulate General in Guangzhou, China, in 2024.

In a press release posted on the Norway Foreign Affairs Ministry website, the European nation indicated that the Norwegian Embassy in Kampala, which has been serving Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi, will shift its activities to Kenya, and the new station will be required to increase the number of diplomatic staff. Plans are underway to establish solutions to safeguard Norway’s diplomatic representation in these countries once the Embassy in Kampala is closed.

‘In a rapidly changing world, it is essential for us to have diplomats in places where they can monitor global issues that have implications for Norway and promote Norwegian positions. At the same time, we must continually assess where it is best to maintain a presence in order to safeguard Norwegian interests optimally with the resources we have,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt.

The Norwegian Government defended the decision to close its Embassy in Uganda, saying the decision is part of a larger process in which the organisation of the foreign service is being assessed and adapted to best safeguard Norwegian foreign and development policy priorities where Norway will have fewer, but more robust foreign service missions.

In the revised plan, more diplomatic staff will be posted to the Norwegian Embassies in Accra, Addis Ababa, Dar es Salaam, Kinshasa and Nairobi in order to strengthen the nation’s efforts in what they perceive as priority areas such as food security, business development and regional security in Africa, while the Embassy in Beirut will be given a new diplomatic position dedicated to working with aid to Syria.
‘The decision to close a foreign service mission obviously has an impact on our employees. We will take steps to ensure that the needs and rights of all staff members affected by the closures are adequately safeguarded. But we have a responsibility to use our resources as effectively as possible. There is now a need to increase staffing at multiple missions, and unfortunately that means that we have to close down missions in other places,’ said Huitfeldt.

The Norwegian Government however noted that its departure from Uganda won’t affect its aid to Uganda, citing that in 2022, Uganda received NOK 382 million (Shs131.397Bn) from Norway and the funding went to; civil society, education, energy, refugees and women’s rights.

“The closure of the Embassy in Kampala does not mean that Norwegian aid to the country will be discontinued, or that there will be less focus on the rights of women and minorities. The decision has been taken based on an assessment of the Foreign Service’s overall resources. Norway will continue to invest significantly in development cooperation with Uganda through its civil society partners and multilateral organisations. We will also maintain our engagement in promoting human rights in the country, particularly the rights of women and minorities,’ said Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim.

Norway currently has 96 diplomatic and consular missions including 78 embassies, 8 consulates general, 9 delegations and 1 representative office.

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