Home » Ghana Risks $3.8bn Loss Over Anti-LGBTQ+ Law, Finance Ministry Warns

Ghana Risks $3.8bn Loss Over Anti-LGBTQ+ Law, Finance Ministry Warns

Urgent Presidential Intervention Sought to Avert Economic Backlash

by Oluwatosin Racheal Alabi

The Finance Ministry of Ghana is sounding alarm bells over the severe economic repercussions that could befall the nation should President Akufo-Addo proceed with ratifying the controversial Anti-LGBTQ+ bill into law. This legislative move, which has stirred considerable debate within and beyond Ghana’s borders, now faces scrutiny for its potential to significantly disrupt the country’s financial stability and development efforts.

In a detailed assessment, the Finance Ministry forecasts a grim future where Ghana stands to forfeit a staggering $3.8 billion in crucial World Bank financing. This projection is not merely a distant possibility but a looming reality that could unfold over the next six years, beginning with an immediate threat in 2024 alone, where Ghana could lose up to $850 million. This anticipated financial shortfall comprises $600 million in budget support and an additional $250 million intended for the Financial Stability Fund, vital resources aimed at buttressing the country’s fiscal health and foreign exchange reserves.

The Ministry’s report delineates several key areas of concern, pinpointing the expected and ongoing financial engagements with the World Bank that are at risk. Among these are a pending $300 million financing from the First Ghana Resilient Recovery Development Policy Operation, negotiations for a second budget support operation of equal amount, and a critical $250 million support for the Ghana Financial Stability Fund. Furthermore, the potential suspension of disbursements totaling $2.1 billion for ongoing projects, alongside the halting of preparations for new projects valued at $900 million, underscores the broad spectrum of development initiatives that could be stalled or derailed.

This dire financial forecast arrives amid warnings from international observers, including the United States, about the adverse effects the Anti-LGBTQ+ legislation could have on Ghana’s economy. Human rights groups within Ghana have also voiced their opposition, threatening to challenge the bill in the Supreme Court if it receives presidential assent.

In response to these multifaceted challenges, the Finance Ministry is advocating for a cautious approach, urging President Akufo-Addo to delay the enactment of the bill. The Ministry suggests that engaging in dialogue with various stakeholders, including faith-based organizations and conservative countries like Arab nations and China, could be a strategic move to mitigate the potential financial void the legislation may create. This approach aims to explore alternative funding avenues to compensate for the expected shortfall from international donors.

The passage of the Anti-LGBTQ+ bill, hailed by some as a victory for Ghanaian moral values, has equally been criticized for its potential to infringe upon human rights and stifle economic growth. Critics argue that beyond the moral debate, the bill presents a constitutional dilemma, challenging Ghana’s commitment to inclusivity and international human rights standards.

As Ghana stands at this crossroads, the Finance Ministry’s report serves as a crucial reminder of the intricate ties between governance, human rights, and economic development. The decision on whether to proceed with the Anti-LGBTQ+ bill carries implications that transcend the immediate political landscape, touching on Ghana’s global reputation, its financial stability, and its broader developmental aspirations. The call for a balanced and thoughtful consideration of the bill’s ramifications highlights the complex interplay between upholding national values and ensuring economic resilience in an interconnected world.

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