At least 20 Christian right-wing groups in the US have poured more than 50 million euros into the continent of Africa to oppose sex education, contraception, abortion and LGBT rights, which are turning cash into what openDemocracy says in a new report describe. of Africans.
“It seems like Americans are really invested in the politics around the personal … there is very little ground to win … so they are looking for new ground to win, which is imperialist, not that imperialism is foreign to American identity not, “says Lydia Namubiru, open democracyA Uganda-based African editor.
The report by the British political website, says since 2008, a number of American Christian right-wing groups, many of which are closely linked to the Donald Trump administration, have spent millions of euros in sub-Saharan Africa for their influence on the form of reproductive rights and LGBT -issues.
The message takes different forms as the groups report their conservative message to each country in which they work.
Invest in ideology, not people
“In Uganda, it first increased abstinence, which proved problematic because it was not effective. Money that could be used to save lives promoted this ideological message and avoided having sex,” Namubiru told RFI.
One group that opposes contraception and abortion, Heartbeat International, has created affiliated ‘crisis pregnancy centers’ that actually try to convince women not to have abortions, according to openDemocracy.
In Uganda, where abortion is illegal, these types of ‘clinics’ also call on women not to use contraceptives.
They tend to target teenagers, poor people, people who are basically more vulnerable and do not have access to other information, Namubiru says.
And young people, according to Patricia Machawira, receive confusing and conflicting messages about relationship, sex and even gender. UNESCO health and education adviser for eastern and southern africa.
“The government and the education sector in sub-Saharan Africa have both an opportunity and an urgent responsibility to sharpen sexuality training programs,” said Harare, Zimbabwe-based Machawira.
Clinics such as those operating in South Africa are also considered illegal according to a previous person report by openDemocracy.
“These centers do not have the regulation of health authorities because they do not register as health centers, it is a charity,” she says, adding that they offer counseling, which is a health service.
The American right-wing group Family Watch International is trying to force ten African countries, including Ethiopia, Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania, Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, Zambia, Namibia and Malawi, to ban comprehensive sexuality education (CSE). It has its own “Stop CSE” website that offers petitions against sex education.
Winnie Byanyima, executive director of UNAIDS, agrees, saying that comprehensive sexuality training ‘is not optional, not negotiable’.
“Their general aim is to make progress on any progress made with sexual reproductive rights for women and LGBTIs,” Namubiru said, adding that in Uganda, the American Christian conservative legal focus of abstinence has shifted to homophobia.
In 2009, Ugandan MP David Bahati introduced an anti-homosexual bill to parliament that advocates the death penalty for gay people who are HIV-positive and have sex, known as the “Kill the Gays” bill. Bahati is a member of the mysterious US-based Christian right-wing group Fellowship Foundation, which promotes these values.
The Fellowship Foundation has put the most money behind these initiatives, with a total of 29.5 million euros across the continent, reports openDemocracy.
Forcing American personal politics on Africa
U.S. Christian right-wing groups, including the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Human Life International and Bethany Christian Services, are among the biggest contributors to their conservative values on the continent, according to the report.
Namubiru says the American Christian right wing is setting its agenda not only in Africa but also around the world.
“Part of the American national identity is to consider themselves exemplary, and therefore the one example that other nations should follow – the US is extraordinary so that it can go and evangelize,” she says.
While in the United States, Americans are invested in personal politics, around pregnancy and body politics, the battles have been going on for a long time and there is little ground to win because it is so polarized, Namubiru says.
American evangelicals who make it a mission to impose these conservative views on non-Americans are imperialist, she claims.
“People who are driven by imperialism are not necessarily going to listen to the people who oppose them against imperialism. This is not exactly a consensus relationship,” she says, noting the manipulation.
What she wants to see is that people on the continent come up with their own arguments to counter it.
“It really is the most disappointing for me – the kind of blindness or unwillingness to look at this and separate us from it,” Namubiru says.
“We do not have to be proxies for cultural issues that take place elsewhere,” she adds.
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