Uganda’s anti-gay law an own goal

In Summary

• The US has cut off AGOA to Uganda and the World Bank has cut off lending

•Uganda has complained that Western countries are not respecting Africa culture

Uganda has complained that its removal from the AGOA is a deliberate attempt to undermine African economic development.

This week the United States removed four African countries from AGOA – Uganda, Central African Republic, Niger and Gabon. The African Growth and Opportunities Act was passed in 2000 to allow selected African countries duty-free access for their products to the USA. The other countries were struck off for bad governance but Uganda was removed from AGOA because it passed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in May.

It is a cardinal principle of guerrilla warfare that you don’t fight battles that you can’t win. President Museveni must have known that there would be a severe international backlash to this repressive legislation. There is no point in now complaining that Western nations are not being sympathetic to African cultural values.

The Anti-Homosexuality Act was also unnecessary. Homosexuality was already criminal under the colonial-era Penal Code. The ambiguous new legislation only introduced new punishments and offences including capital punishment for ‘aggravated’ homosexuality.

The Anti-Homosexuality Act has achieved nothing except Uganda losing its duty-free access to the American market. It was an own goal.

Quote of the day:The people must defend themselves, but they must not sacrifice themselves.

Salvador Allende The Marxist politician became President of Chile on November 4, 1970 

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