IMF wades into Ghana’s anti-gay bill 

Story: News Desk 

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says it is monitoring events in Ghana following the passage of the Proper Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill by Parliament.

Popularly known as the Anti-LGBTQ bill, the legislation seeks to criminalize LGBTQ+ activities, as well as their promotion, advocacy, and funding.

Already, the bill’s passage has attracted criticism from various stakeholders and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) including the United States Ambassador to Ghana, Virginia Evelyn Palmer.

But in a statement issued by the IMF and copied to Bloomberg, the global lender said its internal policies frown on discrimination based on personal characteristics, including gender, gender expression, or sexual orientation.

The IMF noted that, “diversity and inclusion are values that the IMF embraces.”

Acknowledging the importance of the situation, the IMF said it will closely observe events in Ghana. 

The Fund said it will also refrain from commenting on the bill until it is signed into law and its economic and financial implications are thoroughly assessed.

The IMF however pointed that should that happen, it will then assess the economic and financial implications of the decision by Ghana to pass the bill into law.

Ghana has been seeking a bailout from the IMF following an economic downturn. The first and second tranches have hit the Bank of Ghana’s account. However, with the passage of the Bill, Ghana’s prospects of securing the third tranche have become uncertain.

Following the news 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 notes in the gauge saw a drop in value, with the bonds maturing in 2034 experiencing the most significant impact, plummeting to 43.34 cents on the dollar, marking their lowest level since January 12.

Meanwhile, pressure mounts on President Akufo-Addo to assent to the bill.

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