Norway, known for its longstanding commitment to international development cooperation, will uphold its existing partnerships and programs in Uganda through the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad). This reassurance follows the recent announcement of the closure of the Norwegian embassy in Uganda, scheduled for next July.
Ms. Anne Kristin Hermansen, the Norwegian ambassador to Uganda, emphasized that the embassy’s closure is part of a broader restructuring within Norway’s Foreign Service. However, development cooperation will continue to thrive under the guidance of Norad. Her statement was made during a courtesy visit to the Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development (MGLSD) headquarters in Kampala.
Norad, a directorate under the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, holds values of respect, integrity, and creativity as the guiding principles for its development assistance efforts.
Mr. Aggrey David Kibenge, the Permanent Secretary of MGLSD, underlined the significance of the collaboration between the governments of Uganda and Norway. He specifically highlighted the positive impact on the lives of women and girls in Uganda through joint initiatives, such as the program to end gender-based violence (GBV).
One notable achievement is the joint campaign against female genital mutilation (FGM) through the Joint Global Trust Fund, which has led to a substantial reduction in the prevalence of FGM in Uganda. Norway’s support through UN Women for women, peace, and security has also enabled Uganda to develop and implement its National Action Plan III.
The Gender Equality for Development (GEfD) Programme, a government-to-government initiative between Norway and Uganda, has played a pivotal role in advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment. This program promotes peer-to-peer learning and dialogue, facilitating numerous missions between the two countries, with a particular focus on the well-being of girls and women.
Ms. Angela Nakafeero, the Commissioner for Gender and Women Affairs at MGLSD, highlighted the importance of capacity building for gender mainstreaming, including training in gender statistics. These efforts empower government institutions to integrate gender considerations into their policies and programs. As a result, the productive collaboration under the GEfD Programme will lead to a 10-member Ugandan delegation embarking on a learning visit to Norway in 2024 to explore early childhood care and development practices.
The commitment of Norway to continue supporting Uganda through Norad demonstrates the enduring partnership between the two nations, even as the embassy prepares to close its doors. The focus remains on advancing gender equality, reducing violence against women, and bolstering women’s empowerment in Uganda.