General News of 2014-03-23

Africa must use economic boycotts to fight Western gay propaganda - Ocquaye

Ghanaian politician, Mike Ocquaye, has suggested Africa uses economic boycotts to resist, what in his view, are threats and subtle attempts by the West to foist homosexuality on the Continent.

His radical proposal follows the World Bank’s recent withholding of a $90 million loan from Uganda after that country passed antigay laws which prescribe harsh prison terms for homosexuals as well as people who fail to report homosexual activity.

The World Bank is financing $1.56 billion worth of projects in Uganda. Foreign aid from mainly Western countries and Bretton Woods Institutions account for 13 percent of Uganda’s gross domestic product.

Besides the World Bank, Denmark and Norway have also either withheld or re-directed aid away from Uganda's $90 billion economy, according to Bloomberg. Denmark will withhold $9 million investments in private projects while Norway will withhold $8 million in development aid. The U.K. will also reportedly redirect $163 million in aid through alternative routes instead of passing it through the government.

Billionaire Richard Branson, in an interview with CNN a day after Museveni accented to the anti-gay law advocated a business boycott of Uganda. “I don’t want to spend money in Uganda. I would rather spend money in countries that treat their people decently,” Branson said.

UK Premier David Cameron as well as American President Barack Obama are both on record to have threatened to withhold aid to African countries that pass anti-gay laws. The Ghanaian history professor however said at a recent antigay forum in Accra that: “The Western threat cannot fly.”

“They should think again. The balance of trade between African nations and Western nations shows that they have huge surpluses in their favour. Western Banks, telephone companies, oil companies, cocoa-buying companies benefit tremendously from us,” he observed.

In his opinion, Africa can avoid trading with the West and develop stronger ties with Asia. “China is also beckoning. Japan is available. Other countries who are ready to respect our humanity should be found and we should find these as soon as possible.”

He suggested that: “ECOWAS and AU should meet urgently to take a common stand on the matter. If the Western nations require us all to boycott them, then they have caused it. Africa can take a number of economic steps which will hurt the West and can hurt the West….I think African leaders must stand up to the rights and the respect that Africa also deserve.”