Homosexuality is illegal in 34 of Africa’s 56 states. In Mauritania and parts of Nigeria it’s a crime punishable by death and in states such as Gambia, Sierra Leone and Tanzania it could mean up to life imprisonment. Only a handful of states have in place anti-discrimination laws protecting LGBT people. Same-sex marriage, legal only in South Africa, has been constitutionally banned by eight states.
For the most part, the criminalisation of homosexuality in Africa is a direct result of colonialism, with much of the anti-homosexual legislation introduced by European states still in place. But recently, political pandering and religious influence have seen countries such as Gambia and Nigeria introduce laws which further restrict the human rights of their LGBT populations.