In response to the abhorrent transatlantic slave trade, Ghana’s President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has demanded compensation from the US and Europe.
He believed that the European countries that participated in the slave trade owed a formal apology to the entire continent of Africa for the crimes and harm the trade had caused to the people, psyche, image, and character of Africans around the world.
He spoke on Monday, August 1, during a summit co-hosted by the AU Commission, the Africa Transitional Justice Legacy Fund (ATJLF), the Africa-American Institute (AAI) and Global Black, with funding from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the African leader, said reparations for Africa and the African Diaspora are long overdue.
He recalled that when the British abolished slavery, all the owners of enslaved Africans received reparations totaling 20 million pounds sterling, which is equal to 20 billion pounds sterling in today’s money. However, he claimed that the Africans who were held in slavery did not receive a single penny.
“Reparations for Africa and the African Diaspora are long overdue. Predictably, the question of reparation becomes a debate only when it comes to Africa and Africans. We believe the calls for reparations for Africa are just,” President Akufo-Addo said at the opening of a four-day summit on the theme: “Advancing justice: Reparations and racial healing” in Accra on Monday
He added that no quantity of money could undo the harm caused by the transatlantic slave trade and its long-lasting ramifications.
He further said no amount of money could restore the damage done by the trans-Atlantic slave trade and its consequences which spanned many centuries, adding: “We need to heal from the wrongs of the past in order to capitalise on the opportunities that await us in the future.”
President Akufo-Addo said the Caribbean community had taken the lead in the reparations debate and, therefore, urged the AU to engage with “our kith and kin from the Diaspora and form a united front to advance the cause for reparations”.