Ghanaian president revives reparations debate

Published on : 02/08/2022 – 22:37Modified : 03/08/2022 – 00:36

In a series of tweets this Tuesday, August 2, Nana Akufo-Addo pleads for financial reparations to be paid to victims of slavery in Africa, adding that it is high time there was a debate on the subject.

« It’s time for Africa – whose 20 million sons and daughters had their freedom curtailed and sold into slavery – to receive reparations too », écrit Nana Akufo-Addo. « Now is the time to revive and intensify discussions on reparations for Africa. The time has long come “, he believes in conclusion of a series of tweets published this Tuesday morning. ” There are myriad stories of torn families: fathers gone fishing who never returned, boys gone to play who never came home, girls gone to fetch water who never saw their parents. The effects of such a tragedy cannot be quantified, but they must be recognized! “, he insisted.

The day before, at a summit on slavery reparations, the Ghanaian president recalled the devastating effects of the slave trade for the continent, adding that this period had set back the economic, cultural and psychological progress of the country. Africa. ” While no amount of money can repair the damage caused by the slave trade and its consequences that spanned centuries, we must heal from the wrongs of the past “says the Ghanaian president again.

Nana Akufo-Addo believes that the entire African continent deserves an apology from the European nations involved in this slave trade. And he urges the African Union to engage with Africans in the Diaspora and form a united front to advance the cause of reparations.

The issue of reparations for victims of slavery is not new, notes historian Miriam Cotthias; it was approached from the beginning of the 20th century by Pan-African leaders. It then returned repeatedly, driven both by African-Americans in the United States and by the European abolitionist movement, without ever being completely successful. ” There were leading countries like Jamaica, which created the commission on reparations and which united all the Caribbean states around this request by determining ten main points which were necessary for the development of these former slave colonies, further recalls the historian. But on the African side, this has never been posed in such a rigorous and clear-cut way. »

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