‘We can’t comment on a bill not yet signed into law’ – IMF on Ghana’s anti-LGBTQI bill

Spread the love

The International Monetary Fund has said it cannot make any remarks about Ghana’s anti-LGBTQI bill that was recently approved by Parliament but yet to be signed into law.

“We cannot comment on a bill that has not yet been signed into law and whose economic and financial implications we have yet to assess”, the Bretton Wood Insitution said in an email to Joy Business

It noted, however: “Our internal policies prohibit discrimination based on personal characteristics, including but not limited to gender, gender expression, or sexual orientation”, adding: “Like institutions, diverse and inclusive economies flourish”.

“We are watching recent developments in Ghana closely”, it indicated.

Meanwhile, Ghana’s Ministry of Finance has warned that the country stands to lose some $3.8 billion in financial support from the World Bank if President Nana Akufo-Addo assents to the recently passed anti-LGBTQI bill.

The country’s legislature approved the bill on Human Sexual Rights and Family Values, widely known as the anti-LGBTQ bill, criminalising LGBT activities and prohibiting their promotion, advocacy, and funding.

Under the bill, individuals engaged in such activities face a jail term ranging from six months to three years, while promoters and sponsors could be sentenced to three to five years.

In a statement, the Ministry of Finance expressed fears Ghana would lose the following financial support if President Nana Akufo-Addo assents to the bill:

i. The expected US$300 million financing from the First Ghana Resilient Recovery Development Policy (Operation Budget Support) which is currently pending Parliamentary approval might not be disbursed by the Bank when it is approved by Parliament.;

ii. On-going negotiations on the Second Ghana Resilient Recovery Development Policy Operation (Budget Support) amounting to US$300 million may be suspended:

iii. On-going negotiations for US$250 million to support the Ghana Financial Stability Fund may be suspended;

iv. Disbursement of undisbursed amounts totalling US$2.1 billion for ongoing projects will be suspended; and

v. Preparation of pipeline projects and declaration of effectiveness for two projects totalling US$900 million may be suspended. Full details of the World Bank portfolio are attached as Appendix 1 & 2.

The ministry said: “In total, Ghana is likely to lose US$3.8 billion in World Bank Financing over the next five to six years. For 2024 Ghana will lose US$600 million in Budget support and US$250 million for the Financial Stability Fund. This will negatively impact Ghana’s foreign exchange reserves and exchange rate stability as these inflows are expected to shore up the country’s reserve position”.

Already, the US Ambassador to Ghana had warned of dire economic consequences if the bill is assented to.

Ms Virginia Evelyn Palmer wrote on social media: “I am saddened because some of the smartest, most creative, most decent people I know are LGBT. The bill Parliament passed takes away not only their basic human rights but those of all Ghanaians because it undermines their constitutional rights to freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of the press”.

“It will be bad for public order and public health. If enacted, it will also hurt Ghana’s international reputation and Ghana’s economy.”

She said: “Lots of ethnic communities make Ghana strong, stable, and attractive for investments. I hope it stays that way with regard to the LGBTQ community. Theyshould be managed to be made the colour of the money green or red if it’s Ghanaian, but if there is discrimination, then that will send a signal not to [only] LGBTQ investors and exporters but to other American companies that Ghana is less welcoming than I am telling people that it is now.”

Source: Classfmonline.com

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.