Norwegian Embassy in Kampala and Consulate General in Guangzhou to Close as Part of Foreign Service Reforms
The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently announced the closure of the Norwegian Embassy in Kampala, Uganda, and the Consulate General in Guangzhou, China. This decision is part of Norway’s ongoing structural reforms within the Foreign Service. As part of these reforms, some diplomatic missions are being closed, while staffing in other missions will be increased to better serve the national interests of Norway and enhance the overall effectiveness of the country’s international engagement.
Norwegian Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt emphasized that the closure of the embassy in Kampala and the consulate general in Guangzhou is primarily driven by administrative assessments related to the reallocation of foreign service resources. The ministry aims to redirect diplomatic positions from these missions to other Norwegian diplomatic and consular missions to enhance their effectiveness in safeguarding the country’s foreign and development policy priorities.
Huitfeldt stated that in a rapidly changing global landscape, it is essential to have diplomats located where they can closely monitor international issues that have implications for Norway. Simultaneously, it is crucial to assess the optimal locations for maintaining a diplomatic presence to safeguard Norwegian interests effectively.
The restructuring will result in fewer but more robust foreign service missions. Norwegian embassies in Accra, Addis Ababa, Dar es Salaam, Kinshasa, and Nairobi will receive additional diplomatic staff. This strengthened presence aims to focus on priority areas such as food security, business development, and regional security across Africa.
Additionally, the Norwegian Embassy in Beirut will establish a new diplomatic position dedicated to working with aid efforts for Syria. The embassy in Beirut will also continue to represent Norwegian interests in Lebanon.
It is worth noting that the Norwegian Embassy in Kampala is responsible for representing Norway in Rwanda and Burundi. Norway aims to maintain its strong relations with Uganda, emphasizing that development cooperation will continue. Most of today’s aid to Uganda is already administered by the Norwegian development agency, Norad. Future cooperation will be managed by Norad and another mission in the region, which is yet to be determined. Support through Norwegian and international non-governmental organizations, the United Nations, and other multilateral channels will also continue as part of ongoing humanitarian and developmental efforts.
Norway has a long-standing partnership with Uganda and provides significant aid to the country. In 2022, Uganda received approximately Shs132.3 billion for various projects, with a focus on areas such as civil society, education, energy, refugees, and women’s rights.