The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has subtly expressed its concerns following the passage of the anti-LGBTQ+ Bill by Ghana’s Parliament. On February 28, 2024, Parliament approved the bill that criminalizes LGBTQ+ activities, as well as their promotion, advocacy, and funding.

Those found guilty could face a jail term ranging from 6 months to 3 years, while those promoting and sponsoring the act could face a jail term between 3 to 5 years. The Bill’s passage has attracted criticism from various stakeholders, including the United States Ambassador to Ghana, Virginia Evelyn Palmer.

However, the IMF, in a statement, highlighted that its internal policies forbid discrimination and that it is closely monitoring the situation in Ghana. 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.

In a statement released by the IMF and shared with Bloomberg, it was stated, “Diversity and inclusion are values that the IMF embraces. 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.”

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is yet to assent to the Bill. On January 23, the Bank of Ghana (BOG) confirmed the receipt of US$600 million as the second tranche of Ghana’s bailout package with the IMF.

The funds, intended for budget support and stabilization of the local currency, were officially credited to the Central Bank’s account. So far, Ghana has received a total of US$ 1.2 billion out of the $3 billion approved under the three-year extended credit facility in May of the previous year.

According to the IMF, Ghana has shown good performance under the programme, with reforms yielding positive results and signs of economic stabilization becoming evident. All other things being equal, Ghana’s next IMF programme review is scheduled to take place in a few months for the third tranche of approximately US$ 360 million.

By: Leticia Osei

Benjamin Mensah

By Benjamin Mensah

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