The UK Prime Minister, David Cameron has threatened Commonwealth countries of withholding general budget support if they do not reform legislation banning homosexuality.
He raised this at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth, Australia last week. Ending the bans on homosexuality was one of the recommendations of an internal report into the future relevance of the Commonwealth. But leaders failed to reach agreement on that at the summit.
Mr Cameron says those receiving UK aid should “adhere to proper human rights”. He told the BBC that “British aid should have more strings attached and that he had spoken with “a number of African countries” and more pressure had been applied by Foreign Secretary William Hague.
Some 41 nations within the 54-member Commonwealth have laws banning homosexuality. Malawi has already had some of its budget support suspended over concerns about its attitude to gay rights. Concerns have also been raised with the governments of Uganda and Ghana.
Meanwhile, Tanzania, whose top donor is Britain, issued a statement saying this time the West has gone too far with its aid strings by trying to enforce practices that go against the country’s culture and religious values. The President said the country will not be forced into accepting this at any cost.
Ordinary Africans meanwhile have taken to social media venting their anger, saying their leaders should not wait for countries like Britain to stop aid support, but should take the first step in refusing such aid and reducing investments from Western countries that have been exploiting them for far too long.
In this edition of the show we ask; Can African leaders say ‘NO’ to David Cameron imposing Western values on Africa?