Aid conditionality will not prevent homophobia in Africa. So what are the policy alternatives?

Development and Human Rights

The counter-movement against the Western gay rights revolution is showing no signs of abating in Africa, where legal recognition of LGBT rights in all but South Africa remains a distant dream. Yet for Western governments, interventions into this sensitive international arena can prove disastrously counter-productive. A policy focus on reactive aid conditionality and public condemnation by Western leaders has only served to fuel accusations of colonialism and further marginalise LGBT Africans. Thus far, it appears that the impact of the transnational LGBT rights movement has been overwhelmingly negative in Africa.

LGBT rights remains a difficult foreign policy space to navigate, raising questions of where Western intervention in the affairs of African nations is proportionate and appropriate, and crucially whether it can be successful. So what could effective foreign policy regarding LGBT rights in Africa look like? Possible solutions for Western governments can be found in low-key diplomacy, and an Afro-centric…

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