U.S Gov’t Issues Business Alert Over Uganda’s Anti-Gay Law, Endemic Corruption

U.S Gov’t Issues Business Alert Over Uganda’s Anti-Gay Law, Endemic Corruption

By Spy Uganda 

Kampala: The U.S. government has issued a business advisory to notify U.S. businesses, individuals, and other U.S. entities, including healthcare providers, academic institution members, and investors, about potential risks they might encounter while engaging in, or considering engagement in, business activities under Uganda’s recently enacted Anti-Homosexuality Act.

According to the business advisory statement issued by the US Departments of State, Labor, Health and Human Services, Commerce, and the U.S. Agency for International Development, Uganda has continued to portray high cases of “violence against human rights activists, media members, health workers, members of minority groups, LGBTQI+ persons, and political opponents.”

“Uganda’s enactment of the Anti-Homosexuality Act (AHA) on May 29, 2023, further increases restrictions on human rights, to include restrictions on freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly, and exacerbates issues regarding the respect for leases and employment contracts,” the statement reads in part.

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Click here to read full statement from US government

Regarded as one of the worst laws in the world, the Anti-Homosexuality Act, signed into law by President Yoweri Museveni in May, has garnered international condemnation due to its severe penalties, including the possibility of a death sentence for “aggravated homosexuality.”

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This latest business advisory is just one among several measures taken in response to anti-LGBTQ legislation, posing a potential risk to a portion of the billions of dollars in annual foreign aid that the country receives.

In June, the United States put visa restrictions on Ugandan officials. Still, on the punitive trend, the World Bank suspended Uganda’s funding over human rights concerns tied to the anti-homosexuality law.

Aside from the Anti-Homosexuality Act, the US also stressed the potential financial and reputational business risks resulting from endemic corruption.

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According to the advisory, several Ugandan officials frequently engage in corrupt practices with impunity, and many corruption cases have been pending for years despite anti-corruption laws extending to family members of officials and political parties, in practice and many well-connected individuals enjoy de facto immunity for corrupt acts and are rarely prosecuted in court.

“This endemic corruption can impede U.S. businesses’ ability to engage in government procurement processes and obtain necessary permits,” the statement added.

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