Home Headlines IMF Watching Ghana Closely After LGBTQ Bill Passage

IMF Watching Ghana Closely After LGBTQ Bill Passage


The International Monetary Fund said it’s monitoring events in Ghana after lawmakers passed a bill seeking up to three years in jail for people identifying as an LGBTQ person.

“Diversity and inclusion are values that the IMF embraces,” the Washington-based lender said in a statement. “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.”

Lawmakers passed the legislation on Wednesday. Supported by the ruling party and the opposition, the law also criminalizes financing LGBTQ groups and legalizes discrimination. President Nana Akufo-Addo, who is due to step down after elections on Dec. 7, must sign the bill before it becomes law.

“We are watching recent developments in Ghana closely,” the fund said. “We cannot comment on a bill that has not yet been signed into law and whose economic and financial implications we have yet to assess.”

Ghana’s financial position depends critically on IMF support. The nation sought a bailout after defaulting on its debt, which it’s now in the process of restructuring, and relies on the fund for access to vital foreign exchange.

The IMF agreed on Jan. 19 to disburse a second tranche of $600 million to Ghana under the country’s three-year emergency program. The World Bank has also earmarked $900 million in development-policy financing to help the economy recover.

Ghana’s dollar bonds were among the worst performers on Friday in a Bloomberg index that monitors emerging-market sovereign hard-currency debt.

All 14 of Ghana’s dollar notes in the gauge fell, with those due in 2034 the most affected. The price of the securities retreated 0.3 cent on the dollar to 43.08 cents at 8:10 a.m. in London, the lowest since Jan. 12.

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