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We are watching recent developments in Ghana closely – IMF on anti-LGBTQ bill

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has declined to comment on the anti-LGBTQI+ bill passed by Parliament in Ghana because it has not yet been signed into law by President Akufo-Addo.

The IMF stated that it has not yet undertaken an economic and financial assessment of the law’s potential impact on the country.

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This response was provided by the Bretton Woods institution in Washington DC, USA, in reply to questions from JOYBUSINESS on March 4, 2024.

“Our internal policies prohibit discrimination based on personal characteristics, including but not limited to gender, gender expression, or sexual orientation. Like institutions, diverse and inclusive economies flourish”, the IMF said in an email.

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“We are watching recent developments in Ghana closely”, the Fund added.

This comes at a time when President Akufo-Addo has reaffirmed Ghana’s dedication to upholding human rights, despite the recent passage of the Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, also known as the Anti-LGBTQ+ Bill.

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Speaking at a diplomatic event, he stressed that Ghana maintains its reputation for respecting human rights and following the rule of law.

The President clarified that the Bill is currently being challenged in the Supreme Court, and until a verdict is reached, his government will not enforce any provisions of the private Member’s bill.

Prior to this, The Ministry of Finance advised President Akufo-Addo against signing the recently passed Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill also known as the anti-LGBTQ bill.

In a statement dated March 4, the Ministry noted that the bill, when passed into law, poses negative impacts on the country’s financial support from international organizations.

According to the Ministry the expected $300 million financing from the First Ghana Resilient Recovery Development Policy Operation as Budget Support which is currently pending Parliamentary approval might not be disbursed by the World Bank if the bill is approved by Parliament.

Other financial support from the World Bank Ghana risks losing include, Second Ghana Resilient Recovery Development Policy Operation amounting to US$300 million, $250 million to support the Ghana Financial Stability Fund, Disbursement of undisbursed amounts totaling US$2.1 billion for on-going projects, Preparation of pipeline projects and declaration of effectiveness for two projects totaling worth US$900million.

In total, Ghana is likely to lose US$3.8 billion in World Bank Financing over the next five to six years.

With regards to the International Monetary Fund External Credit Facility worth $3 billion, the Ministry noted that there is no direct conditionality over its passage, however, the non-disbursement of the Budget Support from the World Bank will derail the IMF programme.

The Ministry also warned that a derailed IMF programme will have dire consequences on the debt restructuring exercise with the Official Creditor Committee (OCC) and Eurobond holders, as well as Ghana’s long term debt sustainability.

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