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Brian S. Brown, President of the World Congress of Families

The World Congress of Families is Expanding its Homophobic Agenda into West Africa

The far-right organization recently held a regional conference in Accra.

Last year, Ghanaians took to the streets to protest against laws criminalizing homosexuality. The protests were primarily in response to a 72-page report published by the Human Rights Watch which detailed how violence towards members of the LGBT community by mobs or their own family members was on the rise. Scores of protesters insisted that the country's Penal Code was not only a dated colonial-era relic but that it led to LGBT Ghanaians being treated as second-class citizens without basic human rights. While countries such as Botswana and Angola made huge strides this year and decriminalized homosexuality, Ghana's discriminatory laws have remained and lives continue to be affected because of it.

On November 1st, the World Congress of Families (WCF), a far-right organization that has been pegged a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, hosted a regional conference in Accra, Ghana. The two-day gathering included Ghana's political and religious leaders who subscribe to the conservative "pro-family" and "natural law" ideologies which condemn homosexuality, Islam, abortion and other reproductive health rights. There is increasing concern among members of the LGBT community, activists and allies, that LGBT people will experience even more targeted violence not only in Ghana but other African countries where homosexuality has still not been decriminalized.


You'd be forgiven for not knowing who the WCF are and what they're about. Davis Mac-Iyalla is the Executive Director of the Interfaith Diversity Network of West Africa. The organization "builds bridges across all religions or faiths" with the ultimate aim of changing attitudes towards LGBT people. In a statement to OkayAfrica, Mac-Iyalla says that, "Their footprint in promoting and sponsoring anti-LGBT laws in West Africa is known but the wider general public doesn't know much about them and their agenda." He continues, "That's why they mostly target influential politicians and religious leaders as their entry points." According to Mac-Iyalla, numerous Ghanaian government officials including former president Kufuor Mahama and speakers of parliament are giving the WCF considerable attention.

LGBT rights organization OutRight Action International has also spoken out about the WCF's expanding homophobic agenda in West African countries. Jessica Stern, the Executive Director of the organization, says in a press release that, "This is not the first instance of American Evangelicals and organizations exporting homophobia and transphobia around the world." Stern adds that, "Their agenda stands in stark contrast to basic human rights standards, instead openly inciting attacks on human dignity, and promoting a long out-dated world of religious domination and stark gender inequalities." She ends off by saying that, "We have to work across civil society and state boundaries to support activists in West Africa and ensure that an already hostile environment for LGBTIQ people and women does not become even more so."

Explaining how activists on the ground and lobby groups plan to counter the resource-backed efforts of the WCF, Mac-Iyalla says that, "We have monitored and documented their activities properly. In the coming weeks to months, we will develop strategies to resist and counter their activities. Ours is to expose their homophobia and discrimination in West Africa." He ends off on a hopeful note and says that, "We are creating awareness and educating our people on the real Africa Families and Values which is not only based on biological ideas but on love and compassion."

While the WCF did not respond to our attempts to contact them for comment at the time of publishing, in a report entitled A Call for Civil Dialogue and Constructive Engagement, the organization defends itself by saying that it "stridently condemns any violence against homosexuals and would never support any legislation that would advocate such" and that "[WCF] has never taken a position on the criminalization of homosexuality."

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Sarkodie Is Not Feeling Any Pressure

The elite Ghanaian rapper affirms his king status with this seventh studio album, No Pressure.

Sarkodie is one of the most successful African rappers of all time. With over ten years of industry presence under his belt, there's no question about his prowess or skin in the game. Not only is he a pioneer of African hip-hop, he's also the most decorated African rapper, having received over 100 awards from close to 200 nominations over the span of his career.

What else does Sarkodie have to prove? For someone who has reached and stayed at the pinnacle of hip-hop for more than a decade, he's done it all. But despite that, he's still embracing new growth. One can tell just by listening to his latest album, No Pressure, Sarkodie's seventh studio album, and the follow-up to 2019's Black Love which brought us some of the Ghanaian star's best music so far. King Sark may be as big as it gets, but the scope of his music is still evolving.

Sonically, No Pressure is predominantly hip-hop, with the first ten tracks offering different blends of rap topped off with a handful of afrobeats and, finally, being crowned at the end with a gospel hip-hop cut featuring Ghanaian singer MOG. As far as the features go, Sark is known for collaborating mostly with his African peers but this time around he branches out further to feature a number of guests from around the world. Wale, Vic Mensa, and Giggs, the crème de la crème of rap in America and the UK respectively all make appearances, as well as Nigeria's Oxlade, South Africa's Cassper Nyovest, and his fellow Ghanaian artists Darkovibes and Kwesi Arthur.

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