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Ghanian finance ministry appeals to President Nana Akufo-Addo to reconsider signing anti-LGBTQ+ bill .

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louis Buyisiwe

Mar 5, 2024

Anti-LGBTQ+ law in Ghana could backfire

In the midst of an economic turning point, Ghana faces a critical decision: safeguard its financial recovery or enact controversial anti-LGBT+ legislation. The choice could redefine its international standing and economic stability
Finance minister Atta ofori argues President Nana Akufo about LGBTQ+

Ghana's financial future hangs in the balance as the finance ministry appeals to President Nana Akufo-Addo, urging a reconsideration of the controversial anti-LGBT+ bill recently approved by parliament. The potential loss of substantial World Bank funding, estimated at $3.8 billion over the next five to six years, casts a long shadow over the nation's economic recovery efforts. This plea comes in the wake of Ghana's acceptance of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout last year, aimed at mitigating an acute economic crisis.

The legislation in question, which proposes punitive measures including imprisonment for individuals identifying as LGBT+ or those promoting LGBT+ activities, has sparked a significant backlash from international donors and human rights advocates alike. The finance ministry's leaked advisory to the president suggests deferring the bill's enactment pending a Supreme Court verdict on its constitutional validity.

Amid ongoing discussions with various stakeholders, including key ministries and international donors, President Akufo-Addo faces a critical decision with profound implications for Ghana's economic landscape. The urgency of the situation is underscored by the immediate risk to nearly $850 million in support for the current year alone, jeopardizing the nation's financial stability, foreign reserves, and exchange rate equilibrium.

Global reactions have been swift, with entities like the World Bank and the IMF highlighting the importance of diversity and inclusion in their operational ethos. The international community, including countries such as the US and UK, has voiced strong opposition to the bill, reminiscent of recent measures in Uganda that prompted the World Bank to suspend new loans.

As Ghana teeters on the brink of a significant financial setback, the unfolding developments around the Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values bill demand close scrutiny. The nation's commitment to human rights and economic prosperity remains at the forefront of this pivotal moment in its legislative history.

Also refer to our previous Xtrafrica article about LGBTQ+ in Ghana.

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