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NewsAnti-LGBTQ Bill has no role in contracts Ghana signed with World Bank,...


Anti-LGBTQ Bill has no role in contracts Ghana signed with World Bank, IMF – John Gatsi tells Finance Ministry

Dean of the School of Business at the University of Cape Coast (UCC), John Gatsi, has stated that Ghana’s relationship with most international organizations is contractual.

He believes that this contractual nature allows the Finance Ministry to assert Ghana’s norms and laws when dealing with these organizations.

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This comes in response to concerns raised by the Ministry of Finance regarding the approval of the recently passed Anti-LGBTQ bill and its potential impact on the country’s financial support from international organizations like the World Bank and IMF.

The Ministry of Finance released a statement on March 4 urging President Akufo-Addo not to sign the Anti-LGBTQ+ Bill into law. The statement expressed concerns that the expected US$300 million financing from the First Ghana Resilient Recovery Development Policy Operation (Budget Support), awaiting Parliamentary approval, might not be disbursed if the bill is signed into law.

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It also noted that ongoing negotiations on the Second Ghana Resilient Recovery Development Policy Operation (Budget Support), totaling US$300 million, could be suspended.

However, Professor Gatsi, speaking on JoyNews’ AM Show, argued that the Finance Ministry should focus on the terms of the loan agreements with these international bodies, leveraging Ghana’s contractual relationship to address concerns over the bill.

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“Why are we dealing with the World Bank? We are dealing with the World Bank based on a contract. It is as simple as that. If their interest is to the effect that they do not like certain issues regarding LGBTQ, those things can be discussed.

“I keep saying that the protection of the interests of this group of people is very important, but that does not mean that the structure that is put in place to keep the value system of Ghanaians should not be respected.”

Professor John Gatsi, the Dean of the School of Business at the University of Cape Coast (UCC), has highlighted that international conventions prohibit the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) from using LGBTQ rights and advocacy as grounds to deny loans to countries in need.

He emphasized that countries that meet the threshold requirements for receiving funding from the World Bank should be given the funding, irrespective of their stance on LGBTQ issues.

According to Professor Gatsi, this underscores the importance of adhering to contractual agreements and international conventions in financial dealings with these organizations.

“I think that there should be a forum to discuss these things in a humane manner, not forcefully or using them as weapons against nations. That is the point I am making”.

On February 28, 2024, Parliament passed a bill criminalizing LGBTQ activity in Ghana and prohibiting its promotion, advocacy, and funding.

According to the legislation, individuals convicted of such acts could face imprisonment ranging from 6 months to 3 years, while those promoting or sponsoring such activities could be sentenced to 3 to 5 years in prison.

The bill’s approval has elicited criticism from several quarters, including Virginia Evelyn Palmer, the United States Ambassador to Ghana.

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