Uganda Will Develop With or Without Loans, Museveni Tells World Bank

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni has hit back at the World Bank after it suspended funding because of the Anti-Homosexuality Act.

On Wednesday Museveni through his X account, said that Uganda doesn’t need pressure from anybody to know how to solve problems in its society.

“Ugandans will develop with or without loans. It is therefore unfortunate that the World Bank and other actors dare to want to coerce us into abandoning our faith, culture, principles and sovereignty, using money,” he said.

Uganda's President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni
Uganda’s President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni

Museveni nevertheless said Uganda was continuing discussions with the World Bank “so that they and we avoid this diversion if possible”

On Wednesday, World Bank said that the Anti-Homosexuality Act contradicts its values and undermines the bank’s inclusion efforts.

“Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act 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,” World Bank said in a statement.

“This law undermines those efforts. Inclusion and non-discrimination sit at the heart of our work around the world.” 

The World Bank said its goal is to protect sexual and gender minorities from discrimination and exclusion in projects they finance.

It said immediately the law was enacted, they deployed a team to Uganda to review their portfolio in the context of the new legislation.

The review determined additional measures are necessary to ensure projects are implemented in alignment with the bank’s environmental and social standards.

“These measures are currently under discussion with the authorities,” World Bank said.

“No new public financing to Uganda will be presented to our Board of Executive Directors until the efficacy of the additional measures has been tested.”

In May, Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni signed into law the anti-homosexuality bill, which prescribes tougher penalties for ”aggravated homosexuality”.

The new law, one of the harshest anti-LGBTQ laws in the world, makes homosexuality illegal with offenders set to face a 20-year jail sentence for promoting homosexuality.

The new law also stipulates that citizens are under an obligation to report homosexual activity only when a child is involved.

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