Norway has announced the closure of its embassy in Uganda next year as part of comprehensive reforms in its foreign services.
A statement released by the embassy on Friday said that several changes were underway in the country’s diplomatic presence abroad. “Concentrating and consolidating is expected to better serve Norwegian national interests, and to increase the effectiveness of Norway’s international engagement.”
“This means that Norway is scaling up its presence in some locations. The consequence is that painful drawdowns must be made in other places,” the embassy added.
According to the press release, Norway shut down five missions in July last year, and the one in Uganda will follow suit by the end of July 2024. “Closing of the embassy in Kampala is based solely on overall administrative assessments related to the need for reallocation of the foreign service’s resources,” read the statement.
Norway has maintained a presence in Uganda since 1994, with the embassy in Kampala also overseeing Rwanda and Burundi.
“Uganda is a long-standing partner to Norway, and the excellent bilateral relations are highly valued. Norway wishes to maintain the strong ties that exist between the two countries,” the embassy said, stressing that development cooperation would remain unaffected.
“A substantial portion of today’s aid is already administered by the Norwegian development agency, Norad. Future cooperation will be managed by Norad and another mission in the region, yet to be determined,” the embassy explained.
Norway supports a variety of projects in Uganda, spanning education, health, agriculture and assistance to refugees.