Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has said that his country will develop, with or without World Bank loans.
The president’s defiance follows a decision by the World Bank to stop making fresh loans to Uganda due to the nation’s contentious anti-LGBTQI+.
The Washington, DC-based lender announced that it would halt project financing while it reviewed the steps it took to safeguard sexual and gender minorities from prejudice and exclusion in its initiatives. “Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act fundamentally contradicts the World Bank’s values,” the lender said in a statement.
As a result of the anti-homosexuality legislation, the U.S. placed travel restrictions on Ugandan officials in June 2023. President Museveni, who described homosexuality as a psychological condition, dismissed criticism from other countries, saying that the law was “necessary” to prevent members of the LGBTQI+ community from trying to “recruit” people.
Uganda’s legislation provides for a mandatory death sentence for a person convicted of “aggravated homosexuality”.
President Museveni has insisted that Uganda will do with, or without, the support of the World Bank.