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UNGA: Ghana president demands reparations to Africa for slave trade

UNGA: Ghana president demands reparations to Africa for slave trade
September 21
15:00 2023

Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo has demanded reparations to African nations for the transatlantic slave trade.

Akufo-Addo spoke on Wednesday at the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, US.

The Ghanaian president said US and Europe’s wealth was built on the “blood and horrors of the transatlantic slave trade” and that it is only fair that the subject of reparations be brought to the fore.

“No amount of money will ever make up for the horrors, but it would make the point that evil was perpetrated, that millions of productive Africans were snatched from the embrace of our continent, and put to work in the Americas and the Caribbean without compensation for their labour,” he said.

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Akufo-Addo also said Africa’s inability to compete economically with other continents was as a result of the atrocities committed against the region.

“Maybe we should also admit that it cannot be easy to build confident and prosperous societies from nations that, for centuries, had their natural resources looted and their peoples traded as commodities,” he said.

“We do not seek to shirk any responsibility for the problems we face that are of our own making, and it bears repeating that we are not craving for sympathy, and do not want to be a scar on anybody’s conscience.

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“But, we cannot, and the world should not pretend that the present day economic and social conditions of Africa have nothing to do with the historical injustices that have fashioned the structures of the world.

“Granted that current generations are not the ones that engaged in the slave trade, but that grand inhuman enterprise was state-sponsored and deliberate, and its benefits are clearly interwoven with the present-day economic architecture of the nations that designed and executed it.”

He noted that when slavery was abolished, slave owners were compensated for the loss of slaves, “because the human beings were labelled as property, deemed to be commodities”, adding that there should be no hesitations about the payment of reparations.

“Surely, this is a matter that the world must confront, and can no longer ignore. The AU has authorised Ghana to hold a global conference on the issue in November in Accra,” he said.

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The transatlantic slave trade, which affected millions of Africans, was the largest forced migration in history and one of the most inhumane.

Ghana was one of the points of departure for many of those enslaved in West Africa.

 

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