We are keeping a close eye on Ghana – IMF on passage of anti-LGBTQ+ Bill

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is closely monitoring developments in Ghana following the approval of the Proper Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill by Parliament. Commonly referred to as the Anti-LGBTQ Bill, this legislation aims to criminalize LGBTQ+ activities, as well as their promotion, advocacy, and financial support.

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Criticism of the Bill has already arisen from various stakeholders and civil society organizations, including the United States Ambassador to Ghana, Virginia Evelyn Palmer. However, in a statement conveyed to Bloomberg, the IMF emphasized that its internal policies strongly oppose discrimination based on personal attributes such as gender, gender expression, or sexual orientation. The IMF stressed its commitment to diversity and inclusion as core values.

Recognizing the significance of the situation, the IMF affirmed its intention to closely monitor events in Ghana. The organization stated that it would refrain from commenting on the bill until it is enacted into law and its economic and financial repercussions are thoroughly evaluated.

Should the bill become law, the IMF indicated it would then assess the economic and financial consequences of Ghana’s decision. Ghana has been seeking financial assistance from the IMF amid an economic downturn, with the first and second tranches already deposited into the Bank of Ghana’s account. However, the passage of the bill has cast uncertainty on Ghana’s ability to secure the third tranche.

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Following reports of Ghana’s anti-LGBTQ legislation, the country’s dollar bonds experienced a decline, ranking as the second-worst performers in a Bloomberg index monitoring emerging-market sovereign hard-currency debt on Thursday. All 14 of Ghana’s dollar bonds in the index saw a decrease in value, with the bonds maturing in 2034 experiencing the most significant impact, falling to 43.34 cents on the dollar, marking their lowest level since January 12.

Meanwhile, pressure is mounting on President Akufo-Addo to sign the bill into law.

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