Norway has announced the closure of its embassy in Uganda, as well as its Consulate General in Guangzhou, China. The decision comes as part of a broader restructuring of Norway’s Foreign Service, aimed at optimizing the allocation of resources and enhancing the efficiency of the country’s international engagement.
The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has emphasized that these closures are driven by administrative assessments and the need to reallocate resources to better serve Norwegian national interests. This decision follows the closure of five Norwegian missions in various parts of the world earlier this year, indicating a strategic shift in Norway’s diplomatic footprint.
Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Anniken Huitfeldt, highlighted the importance of adapting to a rapidly changing global landscape. She stressed the need to place diplomats in locations where they can effectively monitor global issues with implications for Norway and promote the country’s positions.
As a result of this restructuring, Norway intends to have fewer but more robust foreign service missions. Diplomatic staff will be redirected to Norwegian Embassies in Accra, Addis Ababa, Dar es Salaam, Kinshasa, and Nairobi, with a focus on priority areas such as food security, business development, and regional security in Africa..
The closure of the Norwegian Embassy in Kampala raises questions about its diplomatic representation in Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi, which the embassy currently covers. However, Norway has reassured that its strong bilateral relations with Uganda will persist, with development cooperation continuing.
Norwegian aid, which in 2022 amounted to approximately Shs132.3 billion, covering vital sectors like civil society, education, energy, refugees, and women’s rights, will be managed by the Norwegian development agency, Norad, and another mission in the region, yet to be determined. Support through Norwegian and international NGOs, as well as the UN and other multilateral channels, will also continue.