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Ministry of Finance Risk Losing $3.8B, Urges President Akufo-Addo to Defer Assenting to Anti-Gay Bill

In response to the passage, the Ministry of Finance in a statement has said the bill indeed has many implications for Ghana's economic situation - from the 2024 budget financing, impact on the World Bank-funded programmes, to the IMF programme, where the country is seeking a 3 billion financial support.

The Ministry of Finance has recommended that President Nana Akufo-Addo defer signing the anti-LGBTQ bill until legal concerns raised by rights groups are addressed by the courts.

Ghana’s Parliament last week passed legislation to criminalise LGBTQ+ practices and advocacy, despite concerns and criticism from civil society groups about the bill. The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) for instance said it would align with any party heading to the Supreme Court, or even spearhead the initiative, should President Akufo-Addo give his approval to the bill.

In response to the passage, the Ministry of Finance in a statement has said the bill indeed has many implications for Ghana’s economic situation – from the 2024 budget financing, impact on the World Bank-funded programmes, to the IMF programme, where the country is seeking a 3 billion financial support.

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Ghana could possibly lose US$3.8 billion in World Bank Financing over the next five to six years, the Ministry said. For 2024 alone, the country could lose US$600 million in Budget support and US$250 million or the Financial Stability Fund, the Ministry added; warning that the impact will hurt Ghana negatively on its foreign exchange reserves and exchange rate stability ” as these inflows are expected to shore the country’s
reserve position.”

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“The potential loss of these financial resources creates a financing gap in the 2024 budget that must be addressed either through a significant reduction in the expenditures or additional domestic revenue mobilisation. Failing this, Government’s ability to achieve the targets in the 2024 Budget will be undermined and the IMF-ECF Programme will be derailed,” the statement said further.

But aside from urging the president to put on hold the signing of the bill, the Ministry proposed the Presidency engages conservative countries like the Arab countries and China, to help fill potential financing gaps that may arise.

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“At the Presidency level, we recommend a structured engagement with local conservative forces such as religious bodies and faith-based organizations to communicate the economic implications of the passage of the “Anti LGBTQ” Bill and to build a stronger coalition and a framework for supporting key development initiatives that are likely to be affected,” the statement said further.

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