The question many Africans often ask is whether the newly elected President of the United States of America, Joe Biden will bring back the Obama era conditional LGBTQIA aid policy as promised during his campaign as a candidate is of concern to many people, especially Africans.
During a conversation with Alphonso David, President of the largest National LGBTQ organization in America, Candidate Biden, now President made certain comments whilst promising support for the community.
He disclosed how LGBTQ agenda was weaponized and used as a condition for aid by the Obama administration, of which he was vice President. During the interview, Biden disclosed his intentions to adopt such in his administration if elected.
According to him, they spoke against laws that they considered as anti-LGBTQ and threatened to withhold aids(which they actually did) to countries that depend on support from the United States in a bid to get them normalized gay lifestyle. The Obama administration reportedly spent at least $41 million to promote same-sex agenda globally and out of this amount, about $6.6 million was spent on sub-Saharan Africa alone.
African countries that resisted this culturally sensitive demand from the United States government were severely punished. A typical example was the case of Uganda and The Gambia. When the LGBTQ campaign became intense and was mounting pressure on the African leadership, some including that of Uganda passed anti-gay laws that criminalized the practice to protect their cultural values and way of life as a society.
This attracted a sanction from the Obama-led administration ranging from the barring of some Ugandan officials from traveling to the United States, the cutting off or redirection of financial support to the Ugandan police and health agencies among many others. Uganda was not the only victim of this radical policy. However, according to the New York Times, Obama’s attempt to forcefully push the issue caused more harm than good as Africans viewed the move as cultural imperialism thus resisted.
One thing we cannot leave out is the uniqueness of culture; Africa as a continent has its own systems, cultural values and practices. Africans practice polygamy for instance which majority of the West frowns heavily on and declared illegal.
However, Africans do not demonize anyone for not accepting polygamy. It is sad that western liberals or LGBTQ activists would intentionally associate African views on the issue as homophobic. The African world respects the views of other societies and had never called those who rejected polygamy ‘Polyphobic’. In 2019, the Senegalese President addressed the misleading ‘homophobic’ accusation when visited by the Canadian president. “It has nothing to do with homophobic, it is our way of life. Is not like LGBTQ individuals are being ostracized in Senegal”.
LGBTQ practices remain illegal and a social taboo in most African countries. However, society does not go around hunting individuals practicing it. The social fabric has its peaceful ways of addressing it without resulting in electrocution or other harmful ways as it’s done in other societies.
IGNORING THE REALITIES OF AFRICAN SOCIETIES
One of the critical concerns of the promotion of sex change in Africa is the issue of potential public health crises. African health systems already have many efficiency issues and are not ready to add more problems. In 2019, US center for disease control reported that an estimated 44% of black/African American transgender women are living with HIV https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/group/gender/transgender/index.html. Trans individuals are three times more in risk of contracting the virus than any other group. There is no doubt that Western countries are in a good position to manage this public health but can African countries cope?
On his first visit to Ghana, a popular US LGBTQ advocate, Deray Mckinson was disappointed that the country does not have a LGBTQ PrEP center as they do in the US. This further confirms the assertion that many of these Western Liberals do not really understand the needs of Africa but blindly push their own agenda. African countries are already battling with their health system and child mortality is still very high in some countries.
As it stands right now, African countries do not have the issues of youngsters who are vying to change their sex as it is in the western world. A liberal may argue that the reason African youths are not coming out in millions is because they’re being oppressed by society but those holding such views lack understanding of African social structure. The African world has its way of handling social issues without ostracizing or alienating community members who adopt an unconventional lifestyle.
In many African societies, suicide rate is very low as the tribe provide a great sense of belongingness despite condemnation of wayward behaviors. In comparison to western societies, the rate of LGBTQIA+ related suicide cases is very high albeit protection laws. In the West, many LGBTQIA youths commit suicide because they felt society alienate them and in worst scenarios, trans individuals had their lives taken. Maybe the world should learn from Africans when it comes to social issues.
THE PARADOX OF LIBERALS LQBTQ POLICY IN AFRICA
It beats logic that liberal politicians would often preach about empathy, love and the protection of human rights but the same politician will sanction a country due to differences in moral values. For instance, Obama placed sanctions on African countries with unfavorable LGBTQ laws under the pretext of human rights, even though 95% citizens of those countries oppose the normalization of same-sex lifestyles. The fact that sanction itself causes loss of lives through malnutrition, civil unrest, deteriorating health sectors which lead to high child mortality rate is a mass human right abuse.
There was and is still a massive campaign for Africa to ban female circumcision at all ages citing health-related issues and infringement of child right. The promotion of sex change which involves the mutilation of some or whole body part with tendency to cause life-long health conditions will defeat the purpose for the campaign against female circumcision.
There is no doubt that same-sex or sex-change views is very unpopular among Africans; however, western politicians would still pressure African leaders to dictate on the people and pass laws that go against the will of the people. In a recent interview with Good Luck America Show, President Obama was asked about the far-left ‘Defund the Police’ slogan and this is what he had to said: “But, you know, you lost a big audience the minute you say it, which makes it a lot less likely that you’re actually going to get the changes you want done”. According to Obama, pushing for unpopular views wouldn’t get you the changes you want but why pressure African leaders to force unpopular views onto the people?
The reality is that many African countries depend on the USA for support, much as the USA depends on raw materials and resources from Africa for industrial purposes; Now that Biden is President, will he adopt these same tactics of conditional aid as promised, draw another huge budget to push such agenda in Africa against our laws, morality, and culture? What will be the way forward for African countries who oppose such policies? Another set of sanctions? How prepared are African countries and regional bodies to deal with such diplomatic warfare?