Anti-LGBTQ+ Legislation Caution: Ghana Finance Ministry Appeals to President


Anti-LGBTQ+ Legislation Caution:

Ghana’s Ministry of Finance is strongly advising President Nana Akufo-Addo against endorsing a contentious anti-LGBT bill recently approved by the parliament. The ministry expresses concern that the nation might forfeit a substantial $3.8 billion in World Bank funding over the next five to six years if the bill becomes law. The legislation proposes a three-year jail term for self-identifying as LGBT+ and a five-year sentence for promoting LGBT+ activities.

This advisory comes at a critical time as Ghana grapples with a severe economic crisis, having received a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) just last year. The fear is that any reduction in financial support from the World Bank and other donors could impede the ongoing economic recovery efforts.

In an unusual development, the finance ministry’s warning was leaked to various media outlets, including the BBC. The ministry recommends that President Akufo-Addo refrains from signing the bill until the Supreme Court assesses its alignment with the constitution. Human rights groups had initiated legal challenges even before the parliament passed the bill, but the Supreme Court’s deliberation is anticipated to take some time.

President Akufo-Addo has a seven-day window to decide whether to sign the bill into law once it reaches his desk. If he opts not to sign, he then has an additional 14 days to provide reasons for his decision. Despite the parliament passing the Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values bill last Thursday, it has not been formally submitted to the president for his approval.

Reports suggest that President Akufo-Addo is currently engaged in discussions with key ministries and donors to evaluate the potential repercussions of the legislation. The United States, United Kingdom, and various human rights organizations have already criticized the bill, which received support from both of Ghana’s major political parties.

In a parallel situation, the World Bank halted new loans to Uganda last year in response to the introduction of anti-LGBT legislation, which was even more stringent than the bill passed in Ghana. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has stated that it is closely monitoring developments in Ghana, emphasizing that “diversity and inclusion are values that the IMF embraces.” This year alone, Ghana could face a loss of around $850 million in support, exacerbating the challenges faced by an already struggling economy, diminishing foreign reserves, and impacting exchange rate stability, according to officials.


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