Tanzania: Denmark withholds aid over ‘homophobic comments’


Denmark is withholding almost $10 million in aid to Tanzania over “unacceptable homophobic comments” from a senior politician in the African nation.

Development minister Ulla Tornaes didn’t name the Tanzanian official in question but expressed his concern over the alleged comments, which come after Dar es Salaam called on the public to report suspected homosexuals to the authorities.

Denmark withholding funds over anti-gay comments

“I am very concerned about the negative development in Tanzania. Most recently the totally unacceptable homophobic statements from a commissioner,” Ms Tornaes said on Twitter.

“I have therefore decided to withhold DKK 65m in the country,” she added. “Respect for human rights is crucial for Denmark.”

Denmark is Tanzania’s second-biggest aid donor and its decision to withhold funds places further scrutiny over recent developments in the country. Last month, Paul Makonda, commissioner for the commercial capital Dar es Salaam, formed an official group tasked with scouring social media to pinpoint suspected homosexuals and have them arrested.

He also called upon the country’s citizens to report anyone suspected of being a homosexual to the authorities.

Featured image: By Copyright World Economic Forum www.weforum.org / Eric Miller emiller@iafrica.com – Ulla Tornaes – World Economic Forum on Africa 2009, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7019315

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.