The State of LGBT Equality in Africa

Homophobia thrives in most countries in Africa, making the continent an oppressive place to live for countless LGBT people. A staggering 32 countries in Africa criminalize same-sex sexual contact with jail time. Months after Uganda's Constitutional Court overturned its Anti-Homosexuality Act, nearly identical legislation returned - this time in the Gambia. In October, Chad took up a sweeping bill that calls for 20-year prison sentences for those perceived to be LGBT. In 2013, more LGBT people were arrested in Cameroon than any other nation in the world. 3 African countries - Mauritania, Sudan and Northern parts of Nigeria - issue death penalties for gay sex.

13 African nations have no laws against homosexuality, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Chad, South Africa, Rwanda, Niger, Mali, Lesotho, Madagascar, Ivory Coast, Djibouti and Gabon. South Africa is the only country on the continent with specific protections against discrimination aimed at LGBT citizens. (Please note that the map on Advocate's website lists only 12 of those countries, omitting Lesotho, mistakenly highlights Uganda, neglecting Rwanda and Burkina Faso, and confusingly misnames the DRC).

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The Advocate

Culture Stats & Facts

  • Black African MSM appear twice as likely to contract HIV as other ethnic groups

    (Sigma Research, 2011)

  • BAME MSM make up 0.1% of the total population in the UK, but 13% of MSM diagnosed with HIV.

    (Nastal-3, PHE, 2013)

  • Black MSM are also twice as likely to report homophobic attacks in their local area compared to the white population - 13% compared to 6% respectively

    (Stonewall, 2013)