President Akufo-Addo has opined that it is time for Africa to receive reparation from the Western world for the slavery Africans suffered.
According to the President, some countries including the French, Americas, Japanese, Jewish all receive reparations for slave trade.
“So, it is time for Africa, 20 million of whose sons and daughters had their freedoms curtailed and sold into slavery also to receive reparation,” he stated.
The President underscore that no amount of money could restore the damage caused by the transatlantic slave trade and its consequences which has spanned many years.
Nevertheless, he remarked that it is time to revive and intensify discussions about reparations for Africa.
He, thus, asked participants at the Summit not to overly concern themselves with modalities for the payment of reparations, but, rather, work to establish, unequivocally, first the justice in the call for reparations.
President Akufo-Addo said these on Monday, August 1, 2022, in Accra at a reparation and racial healing summit on the theme: advancing justice: reparations and racial healing.
HISTORY ON REPARATIONS
He observed that when the British ended slavery, all the owners of enslaved Africans received reparations to the tune of twenty million pounds sterling, the equivalent today of twenty billion pounds sterling, but enslaved Africans themselves did not receive a penny. Likewise in the United States, owners of slaves received three hundred dollars for every slave they owned; the slaves themselves received nothing.
Indeed, in the case of Haiti, the country had to pay reparations amounting to twenty-one billion dollars ($21 billion) to French slaveholders in 1825 for the victory of the great Haitian Revolution, the first in the Americas and the Caribbean which freed the slaves.
President Akufo-Addo continued, “Native Americans have received and continue to receive reparations; Japanese-American families, who were incarcerated in internment camps in America during World War II, received reparations. Jewish people, six million of whom perished in the concentration camps of Hitlerite Germany, received reparations, including homeland grants and support”.
Other speakers at the summit included a representative from the African Union, Ambassador Salah S. Hammad, Head of AGA Secretariat and Senior Human Rights Expert.
BACKGROUND TO THE SUMMIT
The summit in Accra is being held to discuss and examine options for addressing the gaps outlined above. With funding support from the MacArthur Foundation through its Equitable Recovery grants, the summit is being co-hosted by the African Union Commission (AUC), the Africa Transitional Justice Legacy Fund (ATJLF); the African-American Institute (AAI) and Global Black.
It is part of a multi-year programme that will support the African continent to develop a unified and comprehensive strategy and advocacy agenda on reparative justice. This summit will serve as an opportunity to leverage on existing initiatives and to bring on board strategic conversations and explore the possibility of harnessing various interests and aspirations from across the globe.
The summit in Accra will present an opportunity to holistically discuss and reflect on the legacies of the Transatlantic slave trade and strategies for reparations and racial healing. It will be both a continuum, as well as a launching point, for renewed and revitalized action toward reparations and racial healing around the world.
Additionally, the Accra summit will seek to create a platform for the unification of a transcontinental plan for reparations. It will also provide an opportunity for various actors on the continent and from the Diaspora to commit to redefining strategy, build bridges and engender trust in the global campaign, and finally, the summit will explore healing approaches from the continent as well as begin a dialogic process that will unpack the role of Africans in the slave trade.
It will offer an avenue for defining and agreeing on areas of collective advocacy and will introduce new approaches for racial communal healing and critical reflections to address various harms suffered.