By Mustapha Ceesay
The Ghanaian President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has called for reparations for Africa and Africans in the Diaspora over the effects of the slave trade by European nations.
He said Africa deserves a formal apology from the European nations involved in the slave trade for the crimes and damages the trade had caused to African population, among others.
“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.
“The effects of the Slave Trade have been devastating to the African continent and to the African Diaspora, with the entire period of slavery stifling Africa’s economic, cultural and psychological progress.
“The discourse on reparations cannot succeed without emphasis on racial healing. We need to heal from the wrongs of the past in order to capitalise on the opportunities that await us in the future.
“Even before these discussions on reparations conclude, the entire continent of Africa deserves a formal apology from the European nations involved in the slave trade for the crimes and damage it has caused to the population, psyche, image & character of the African the world over.
“It is now time to revive and intensify the discussions about reparations for Africa. Indeed, the time is long overdue.
“It is time for Africa, twenty million of whose sons and daughters had their freedoms curtailed and sold into slavery, also to receive reparations,” he said in a series of tweets.
President Akufo-Addo also referenced other affected races that had received reparations for similar mistreatment.
“Jewish people, six million of whom perished in the concentration camps of Hitlerite Germany, received reparations, including homeland grants and support.
“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.
“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.
“Likewise in the United States, owners of slaves received three hundred dollars for every slave they owned; the slaves themselves received nothing.
“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,” he stated in multiple tweets.
Ghana’s head of state also highlighted the effects of the slave trade on the economic, cultural and psychological progress of the African continent and the African Diaspora.
“The effects of the Slave Trade have been devastating to the African continent and to the African Diaspora, with the entire period of slavery stifling Africa’s economic, cultural and psychological progress,” His Excellency Akufo-Addo further said in a tweet.
President Akufo-Addo re-echoed the called in his speech at a summit on reparations and racial healing, advocacy money to be paid to the continent for damages caused to it and her people by the slave trade.
The global summit which began on 1st August in the Ghanaian capital, Accra is scheduled to end on Thursday.
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