Discrimination against sexual minorities in Kenya is costing it 1.7% of gross domestic product (GDP) per year, translating to over Ksh 100 billion, a report by Open For Business, an alliance of big companies including tech companies Google and Microsoft and Deutsche Bank.
The report ‘The Economic Case for LGBT+ Inclusion in Kenya’ says this is as a result of poor health outcomes, reduced tourism and low productivity.
“A focus on LGBT+ inclusion can help provide the infrastructure necessary for sustained economic growth,” reads the report. “LGBT+ inclusion can act as an enabler in achieving the economic transformation Kenya is seeking and can help Kenyan companies thrive.”
Out of 54 countries in Africa, Kenya is one of the 36 that have criminalised homosexual behaviour or acts, four of which impose the death penalty (Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria, and Mauritania).
Kenya’s Penal Code pronounces carnal knowledge as an act against the order of nature and anyone guilty of carnal knowledge is liable to 14 years’ imprisonment.