The Hidden Cost of Homophobia in Africa

Economy Watch

Economy Watch
By David Smith
October 16, 2015

In a two-part article, we look first at the high economic costs of the severe homophobia in modern African states. Lowering the national GDP is a price few developing countries can afford.   In part two, we will look at the astonishing influence of the US right-wing evangelical movement in entrenching homophobia in the African church and state.

Nigerian gay rights activist Adebisi Alimi has personal experience of how African homophobia is not only a human-rights issue, but also an economic one. Back in 2004, Alimi had a burgeoning career as an actor on prime-time television, but there were persistent rumours about his private life. He took the bold step of becoming the first Nigerian to declare openly his sexuality on national TV.

Almost immediately, the show axed Alimi’s character. Disowned by his family, he fled Africa in fear of his life in 2007. Alimi has written about how “like many gay men and lesbians in Africa, my choice was between economic freedom and mental imprisonment”.

For the full article, click here.