Business & Finance

Ghana Will Lose $3B After Anti-Gay Bill Assent- Amin Adam

The country’s Finance Minister, Hon Amin Adam has outlined the financial implication of assenting the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill into law by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

He anticipates financial aids and budget support worth US$3.8 billion for the next five to six years from the World Bank will be withheld.

It said the US$300 million from the First Ghana Resilient Recovery Development Policy Operation; US$300 million from Second Ghana Resilient Recovery Development Policy Operation; US$250 million for the Ghana Financial Stability Fund; US$2.1 billion undisbursed amounts; US$900million for preparation of pipeline projects; US$600 million Budget support; and US$250 million for the Financial Stability Fund.

“The potential loss of these financial resources creates a financing gap in the 2024 budget that must be addressed either through a significant reduction in the expenditures or additional domestic revenue mobilization,” he stated, adding that it will in turn derail IMF-ECF Programme.

According to Hon Amin, any interruption in the IMF programme will take a toll on negotiations with the Official Creditor Committee (OCC) and Eurobond holders under Ghana’s debt restructuring programme.

“While there is no direct conditionality in the IMF-ECF Programme relating to the passage of the Bill, the principles of the current IMF-ECF Programme are built on predictable financing from Development Partners (Financing Assurances) including the World Bank funded Ghana Resilience Recovery Development Policy Operations. Hence the non-disbursement of the Budget Support from the World Bank will derail the IMF programme. This will in turn trigger a market reaction which will affect the stability of the exchange rate.”

In a press release on Monday, the Minister recommended that the President “defer assenting to the Bill” to make way for the fortification of local financial systems, strengthening African financial institutions as well as forging partnership with conservative countries.

He also called for a structured engagement with local conservative forces such as religious bodies and faith-based organizations about the economic implications of the passage of the bill.

Additionally, he called for a stronger coalition and a framework for supporting key development initiative that are likely to be affected if the bill is passed as well as effective engagement with conservative countries, including the Arab countries and China that would trigger resources to fill in the potential financing gaps to be created.

Bill Passage
Ghana’s Parliament on February 28, 2024 passed the Anti-LGBTQ bill after its initiation in 2021 by eight legislators.

The bill has been subjected to reviews and amendments in the past three years to enhance what some have said is inhuman punitive actions.

The bill among other things institutes three to five years of imprisonment for engaging in same-sex intercourse and imprisonment for anyone who produces, procures, or distributes material deemed to be promoting LGBT+ activities.

It also seeks to institute 6 months to 1-year imprisonment for a public show of amorous relations between people of the same sex; a ban on sponsoring LGBT+ groups; a ban on adoption and fostering for LGBT+ potential parents; prohibition of same-sex marriage; 6 months to 3 years imprisonment for anyone who harasses someone accused of being LGBT+ and others.

The international community has been reacting to the news with US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller tweeting, “The Ghanaian parliament’s passage of a bill criminalizing members of the LGBTQI+ community imperils the rights of all its people, its international reputation, and its economic development. Ghana’s laudable tradition of tolerance will be undermined if this bill becomes law.”

The US Ambassador to Ghana, H.E Virginia Palmer threatened the bill if passed into law would take a toll on the country’s economy.

Meanwhile the world bank has threatened, “World Bank Group reiterates its deep commitment to supporting Ghana in achieving its development goals while ensuring that in the implementation of World Bank projects no beneficiaries are impeded from sharing in any development benefits on the grounds of their age, gender, ethnicity, religion, physical, mental or other disability, social, civic or health status, sexual orientation, gender identity, indigenous heritage, or economic status.”

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