CPH Post

News

Denmark accused of absurd double standards in Africa

Reactions to corruption and anti-gay bills in African countries are two-faced, say experts


Being gay in Uganda can cost you your freedom (Photo: Scanpix)

July 25, 2014
14:51

by AJ


When Uganda earlier this year signed an anti-homosexuality law criminalising same-sex relations, it lead Denmark to impose sanctions and rearrange development aid to the African nation.

But there were no consequences when Nigeria passed a similar law. In two weeks time, Denmark will open an embassy there.

READ MORE: Gay minister braves lion's den to get Ugandan assurances about homophobic law

Absurd behaviour
Stig Jensen, the head of the centre for African studies at the University of Copenhagen, told Jyllands-Posten that he found Denmark guilty of practising double standard in Africa.

"From an African perspective, our behaviour seems absurdly two-faced," he said, adding that there was no Danish reaction either, when a court in Egypt this year sentenced hundreds of supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi to death.

"There's no problem in limiting the rights of homosexuals as long as the West can get jobs. But it's a major concern if aid money is at stake."

Media controls aid money
Economy professor Christian Bjørnskov of Aarhus University agreed.

"We are guilty of double standards. A lot happens if a case turns up in the media, but no-one bothers if the media don't report on it. It's largely the media that really control Denmark's aid of more than 16 billion kroner a year," Bjørnskov said.

"We claim we don't support corrupt regimes but the country that gets most of our aid money, Tanzania, still struggles with massive corruption, without worrying either Danida or politicians."

READ MORE: African advocates ignore the elephant in the room, says expert

Foreign Ministry denies
Development and trade minister Mogens Jensen rejected the accusations.

"Denmark's aid builds upon clear stances and clear values. That's why we redirected some of our aid to non-governmental organisations after the Ugandan law was passed. It's a matter of respect and human rights – which I don't see as a distinctly western value – but something Uganda itself has signed that it would respect."



Related stories



Latest Comments

Hi can assure you Danes waste waaaaaay more than 100 work hours a year in...

(Paulo Claro on October 24, 2014 12:03)

It's infuriating to have one bike's stolen. I know. But you know miffs me?...

(Lorenzo Luis Albano Farias on October 24, 2014 00:03)

Ban all religions also... People should put their faiths in themselves and...

(Alex DeGre?t on October 23, 2014 22:41)

Either way... Letting Turkey or any muzlim country to join the EU is sheer...

(Alex DeGre?t on October 23, 2014 22:33)

?We know that Denmark is a cultural capital of the world ? there are so many...

(Kl Queteimporta on October 23, 2014 21:40)

Jensen is a mug . what a tool

(Hamish Carey on October 23, 2014 17:34)

Misplaced priorities . GCs are brought in to add value to the economy , They...

(Rajiv Banerjee on October 23, 2014 11:12)

Hoi Helena, bedankt, en ja - hopelijk tot ziens!

(Karina Lins on October 23, 2014 10:24)

Encoding is broken.

(Jon Ask Jacobsen on October 23, 2014 10:14)

Forced genital cutting is unethical. The law must protect the defenseless so...

(Ron Low on October 22, 2014 23:50)