Most tolerant countries
The Afrobarometer network, which conducts public opinion surveys in Africa, recently listed the continent’s most and least homophobic countries.
In these four African countries, the majority of residents say they would welcome or would not be bothered having a homosexual neighbor:
- Cape Verde, 74%.
- South Africa, 69%.
- Mozambique, 56%.
- Namibia, 55%.
Least tolerant countries
These five are the countries where the smallest percentage said they would welcome or would not be bothered having a homosexual neighbor:
- Senegal, 3%.
- Guinea, 4%.
- Uganda, 5%.
- Burkina Faso, 5%.
- Niger, 5%.
Most tolerant among countries with anti-gay laws
Among countries with laws against homosexual activity, these are where residents are most tolerant of homosexuality, as measured by the percentage saying they would welcome or would not be bothered having a homosexual neighbor:
- Namibia, 55% (where sodomy is illegal under the common law).
- Mauritius, 49% (where the punishment for sodomy is up to 5 years in prison).
- Botswana, 43% (where the punishment for sodomy is up to 7 years in prison).
- Tanzania, 21% (where the punishment for sodomy is 30 years in prison).
- Tunisia, 17% (where the punishment for sodomy is 3 years of imprisonment).
- Morocco, 16% (where the punishment for sodomy is at least 3 months in prison).
- Nigeria, 16% (where the punishment for sodomy is 14 years in prison).
- Liberia, 16% (where the punishment for sodomy is up to one year in prison).
- Kenya, 14% (where the punishment for sodomy is 5 years in prison).
The Afrobarometer study found that:
- Tolerance levels are particularly high in regions and countries that are ethnically and religiously diverse, suggesting that experience is an important factor in inculcating an attitude of tolerance among African citizens.
- Similarly, tolerance for people living with HIV/AIDS is highest in countries with high HIV/AIDS prevalence, providing further evidence that intolerance and stigmatization can be unlearned through personal encounters.
- Christians, urban residents, and younger citizens tend to be more tolerant than, respectively, Muslims, rural residents, and older people.
Because today’s younger Africans tend to be more tolerant than their elders, the study concluded that “while current attitudes are largely negative, it is possible that Africa will become progressively less homophobic over time.”
The report added:
“While our data do not yet permit analysis of trends over time, the findings of this study tell us that tolerance in Africa is not a constant. Rather, it can be nurtured and learned.
“In addition to the likely effects of contact with people of different backgrounds, education and news media exposure are drivers of a tolerant society, as more educated individuals and those who have greater exposure to the media tend to embrace more tolerant attitudes.
“The fact that younger citizens are more tolerant than their elders also bodes well for an increasingly tolerant future in Africa.”
For more information, read the full Afrobarometer report.
- On [Cape Verdean] island, ‘Tchindas’ goes beyond LGBTI acceptance (July 2015, 76crimes.com)
- Senegal jails seven men for ‘being gay’ (Aug. 21, 2015, BBC)
- Mozambique drops anti-gay law, as blog readers know (July 2015, 76crimes.com)
- 79 countries where homosexuality is illegal (with links to this blog’s coverage of them)