World Bank

World Bank De-Banks Uganda for Anti-Gay Law

1 September 2023

2.9 MINS

The World Bank will halt new lending to Uganda as payback for a new anti-gay law. Isn’t this just a new form of woke imperialism?

A few weeks ago, most of us hadn’t even heard of ‘de-banking’ — until Brexit architect Nigel Farage felt the petty wrath of Coutts & Co.

Cancel culture moves quickly because now an entire nation is being de-banked.

That’s right: as reported by Reuters, “The World Bank said on Tuesday it would halt new lending to the Ugandan government after concluding that its anti-LGBTQ law, which has been condemned by many countries and the United Nations, contradicts the bank’s values.”

Historically, the global lender has contributed some $5.4 billion in funding to Uganda. Reuters reports that many of the nation’s health and education projects could be affected by the decision.

The World Bank said in a statement that the Anti-Homosexuality Act, passed in May this year by Christian-majority Uganda, “fundamentally contradicts the World Bank Group’s values”.

“We believe our vision to eradicate poverty on a liveable planet can only succeed if it includes everyone irrespective of race, gender, or sexuality,” the bank said.

Everyone, that is, except Christian Ugandans.

A New Imperialism

For all that might be said about Uganda’s decision to punish homosexual activity, it was passed 348 votes to 1 (with 208 absent) by a sovereign state that gained its independence from Western powers over half a century ago.

The World Bank’s decision signals that colonialism is back in fashion in Africa — at least if European financiers get their way. Indeed, after breaking free of British imperialism in the 1960s, Uganda now finds itself in the grips of Woke imperialism, with the nation’s ability to access capital now held hostage to a rainbow agenda.

No doubt Uganda introduced its new law in part due to the obvious damage sexual deviance is unleashing in Western societies.

Per woke etiquette, the World Bank’s decision is evidently about seeming good rather than doing good: the bank still lends to other countries where homosexuals face even harsher penalties.

“There are many Middle East countries who do not tolerate homosexuals; they actually hang and execute homosexuals,” Uganda’s state minister for foreign affairs Okello Oryem said in response to the decision. “So why pick on Uganda?”

Oryem accused World Bank President Ajay Banga of hypocrisy for reacting to recent news headlines and giving in to “pressure by the usual imperialists”, rather than leading with impartiality.

This isn’t the first time an African nation has had to defend itself against insurgent Woke imperialists in the modern era.

Woke Strings Attached

In 2020, I wrote about film-maker and social activist Obianuju Ekeocha’s efforts to expose what Pope Francis has called “ideological colonisation”:

She accused the United Nations and certain Western nations of what she calls “humanitarian blackmail” for tying Covid relief funds to abortion access in her own continent of Africa. Compared with more pressing needs like food and basic healthcare, “donors seem to be much more concerned with furthering the territories of the abortion movement,” Ekeocha observes.

She explains that the UN’s ‘Covid Relief Funds’ come with “conditions and clauses that either directly or indirectly open the door to the international abortion organisations, as Western donors are demanding… more access to sexual and reproductive health and rights [abortion]”.

Uganda: A Champion of Refugees

The World Bank’s vendetta against Uganda is especially heartless considering the nation’s generous refugee policy. Uganda hosts the largest number of refugees in Africa, with a progressive refugee policy that permits refugees to access health care services.

According to the Norwegian Refugee Council, 3.9% of Uganda’s population is comprised of refugees, making Uganda the tenth most generous nation in the world towards displaced people over the last decade:

Uganda has received almost 1.9 million refugees over the last ten years and is one of the largest recipients of refugees in the world. In recent years, Uganda has provided protection to many refugees from DR Congo and South Sudan, as well as people from Burundi, Somalia, Rwanda and several other countries. Uganda is a pioneer in integrating refugees and giving them full rights.

With ten times the percentage of refugees compared to many Western nations, surely Uganda deserves a little more love from the World Bank?

In truth, there is little that sets Woke imperialists apart from their colonialist forebears. What they can no longer colonise with guns and tanks they now seek to control with ideology and financial threats.

But Uganda isn’t having it. And for that, at least, it is a nation that deserves our respect.

Originally published at Mercator. Image via Unsplash.

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One Comment

  1. Rae Bewsher 2 September 2023 at 5:17 pm - Reply

    I hope Uganda stick to their guns so to speak! How contemptible is the collective “west” via the World Bank for their contribution to societal demise via woke ideologies.

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