The Government of Uganda is engaging in negotiations with the World Bank to address funding issues with which arose due to the anti-homosexuality act.
The World Bank recently imposed suspensions on funding to Uganda after the legislation made a law that addressed homosexuality this year.
The State Minister for Finance, Henry Musasizi, has confirmed that negotiations and reassured Ugandans they are progressing positively.
“We are actively negotiating with the World Bank and have made substantial progress. They have set specific benchmarks for us, requested information, and sought assurances regarding certain concerns, all of which we are diligently addressing,” Musasizi stated.
“We have consistently provided the necessary information and resolved the issues raised, and we are optimistic that we will reach a mutually beneficial agreement with the World Bank. There is no need to be concerned about the World Bank’s decision,” Musasizi added.
Last week, the Bank of Uganda reported to Parliament that the Ugandan shilling remained relatively stable until the World Bank’s announcement of the suspension of new loans following the enactment of the Anti-Homosexuality Act.
“Following the World Bank’s decision not to fund new loans in Uganda due to the Anti-Homosexuality Act, we observed a depreciation in the exchange rate, with the shilling dropping from approximately 3650 to nearly 3750 in just two days,” noted Michael Atingi-Ego, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Uganda.
He further elaborated that the exchange rate has since remained at this level, causing pressure and uncertainty surrounding the currency, attributed to the passage of the Anti-Homosexuality Act.
In August of this year, the World Bank Group announced a pause in public financing to Uganda in response to the country’s adoption of the Anti-Homosexuality law, which criminalizes homosexual activities in Uganda.
The World Bank emphasized that Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act contradicts the organization’s core values, leading to the suspension of new public financing until additional measures can be assessed.
“We believe our vision to eradicate poverty on a livable planet can only succeed if it includes everyone irrespective of race, gender, or sexuality. This law undermines those efforts. Inclusion and non-discrimination sit at the heart of our work around the world,” the lender stated in its official announcement.
The World Bank reviewed its portfolio in Uganda following the enactment of the law. It determined that additional measures are necessary to ensure projects align with its environmental and social standards.
The World Bank’s decision aims to safeguard sexual and gender minority groups from the discriminatory effects of the law, which has garnered criticism from human rights groups and Western nations.
“Our goal is to protect sexual and gender minorities from discrimination and exclusion in the projects we finance. These measures are currently under discussion with the authorities,” the World Bank affirmed, adding that third-party monitoring and grievance redress mechanisms will be enhanced to address concerns as needed.
It is important to note that the World Bank faced pressure from the U.S. Congress to halt new loans for Uganda until the country repealed the anti-homosexuality legislation. Additionally, U.S. President Joe Biden had cautioned that Uganda could face economic sanctions over the anti-gay law.