Why can’t Africa be left alone in establishing and implementing their own policies without the interference of the Western world? Most often, when decisions are made in an African country contrary to Western policies, they end up cautioning the African country to desist from such practices and issue threats like “we will cut relations if you do not concur”. This constant interference has been the source of turmoil in most countries that do otherwise.
Presently, some African countries are facing immense pressure from the West, specifically America, to respect the rights of homosexuals in Africa. Currently, presidents of the Western world have asked African leaders to allow gay rights in their countries or else they would not provide aid. Are we Africans not tired of their threats of losing their aid if we do not comply? I ask myself why some African leaders have burst out in doing the unknown (which is, not giving a damn about what the western world will do if they refuse gay rights in their country). Are these leaders taking a firm ground because homosexuality is a practice that is frowned upon by most cultures? Or because it has been noted as a punishable offense in most constitutions? Or is it an awakening call for the African leaders to prevent the west from influencing their countries in their decision making?
Answering these question may make us biased in one way or another but our prime focus is the issue of homophobic attacks in some African countries and the bills that have been passed on homosexuals. This thought struck me recently: the issue of curbing homosexuality was not much of a big deal in Africa until the West indicated that African leaders should allow the practice of homosexuality in their countries. Is it that the leaders don’t want their citizens to see them as so fragile in yielding to the Western world’s request? This has resulted in a lot of brutal attacks in countries where homosexuality is explicitly stated to be illegal, like in Nigeria. These people who are accused of being gay and lynched go through these based on mere assumptions and accusations. Even if found guilty, does it mean people can take the law into their hands by killing homosexuals.
The fact that I dress or walk a certain way make me a homosexual? If I share the same apartment with a friend of the same-sex, does that also make me gay? How do you decide that someone is gay if they have not been caught in the act? African laws must address these issues and make provisions so that people do not take the laws into their own hands.
Finally, the Western world especially the United States should understand that “Africa’s destiny is in its own hands”. Obama should pin his ass in Washington and stop disturbing Africa about how we should make our laws. The same way the USA like the guns and can decide to bomb Iraq that is the same way Uganda or Nigeria likes prosecuting homosexuals. Africa must be allowed to make their laws. However, to my fellow African counties if you decide to make it legal or illegal it should not be based on personal views but on what is good for your country.
Blog post By:
Ebenezer Emmanuel Ghunney & Edmund Afeyram Dugbaza