93% of Ghanaians can't stand same-sex relationships – Afrobarometer survey

An Afrobarometer survey by the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) has found that even though the majority of Ghanaians are tolerant of ethnicities other than theirs, “fewer than one in 10 (7%) are tolerant toward people in same-sex relationships”.


This means some 93% of Ghanaians are not tolerant of same-sex-oriented people.

“Ghanaians, generally, tend to express more nationalistic than ethnic sentiments, and most think they are more united as a people than divided”, the report concluded, adding: “Although discrimination is not an uncommon occurrence, Ghanaians express high levels of tolerance toward foreigners and citizens from different ethnic groups or religious faiths, though they are highly intolerant toward people in same-sex relationships."

Read the key findings below:

▪ For nine out of 10 Ghanaians (91%), their national identity is at least as strong as their ethnic identity; very few say they feel “more ethnic” (6%) or “only ethnic” (3%).

▪ About three-quarters (73%) of citizens believe there is more that unites Ghanaians as a single people than divides them.

▪ About one in four Ghanaians (25%) say the government treats members of their ethnic group unfairly, a significant improvement compared to 2008 (49%).

▪ About one in five say other Ghanaians treated them unfairly based on their ethnicity (20%) or their religion (18%) during the year preceding the survey. Almost twice as many (35%) say they suffered discrimination based on their economic status.

▪ Overwhelming majorities of Ghanaians express tolerant attitudes toward people of different ethnicities (92%), different religions (91%), different political affiliations (90%), and different nationalities (74%). But fewer than one in 10 (7%) are tolerant toward people in same-sex relationships.

Ghanaian Identity

In general, when asked whether they identify more strongly with their national or their ethnic identities, the largest share of Ghanaians say they identify equally with both (56% in 2019), followed by the group who identify as “only Ghanaian” (29%) (Figure 1).

Overall, nine out of 10 citizens (91%) identify at least as strongly as “Ghanaian” as they do as members of their ethnic group; fewer than one in 10 say they feel “more ethnic” (6%) or “only ethnic” (3%).

These responses have been fairly consistent over time, although surveys in 2012 and 2014 detected a growing identification with the nation that has since retreated.

Identification as “only Ghanaian” varies widely by region1: While almost half of residents in Bono (45%) and Western North (44%) say they feel “only Ghanaian,” the same is true of fewer than one in 10 respondents in Northern (2%), Upper West (3%), and North East (3%) regions.

Poor respondents are less likely to identify as “only Ghanaian” (19% among those experiencing high lived poverty vs. 38% of the economically best-off respondents), as are those with no formal education (20%) compared to their better-educated counterparts (28%-34%).

Are Ghanaians tolerant enough? At least nine out of 10 Ghanaians express tolerant attitudes toward people of different ethnicities (92%), different religions (91%), and different political affiliations (90%), saying they would like it or would not care if they had these people as neighbours.

Three-fourths (74%) indicate the same tolerance toward immigrants or foreign workers. But fewer than one in 10 (7%) say they wouldn’t mind living next door to someone in a same-sex relationship. The 93% who say they would “somewhat dislike” or “strongly dislike” having homosexual neighbours place Ghana near the top in terms of intolerance across 23 African countries surveyed between late 2019 and early 2021, well above the 80% average.

Intolerance toward people in same-sex relationships is pervasive across age groups, religious affiliations, and urban as well as rural locations. Citizens with no formal education are slightly less likely to express intolerance (88%) than their more educated counterparts (91%- 95%).


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