Monday, June 24, 2024
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Ghana’s recent parliamentary approval of a stringent bill targeting LGBTQ+ individuals has triggered apprehension within the government regarding potential economic repercussions, as the country grapples with the risk of losing crucial international aid necessary for its economic recovery.

The bill, which awaits President Nana Akufo-Addo’s decision, proposes harsher penalties for gay sex and introduces new offenses against the LGBTQ+ community. Despite the unanimous approval by lawmakers, concerns have been raised about the bill’s adverse impact on the rights and well-being of LGBTQ+ individuals, potentially exacerbating discrimination and marginalization in Ghana.

Of particular concern is the Finance Ministry’s warning that the bill’s enactment could jeopardize nearly $4 billion in World Bank financing, with potential ramifications for Ghana’s $3 billion loan package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Similar legislation in Uganda resulted in the World Bank suspending new lending to the Ugandan government due to conflicting values.

Economic analysts have echoed these concerns, highlighting the potential setback to Ghana’s economic recovery efforts. Isaac Kofi Agyei, an economic analyst at SBM Intelligence, emphasized the risk of reverting to pre-IMF bailout levels if the bill’s economic implications materialize, underscoring the delicate balance between social policy and economic stability.

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