Ghana President Akufo-Addo contrasts lack of reparations for enslavement to the awarding of reparations for other atrocities
Ghanaian President has joined the calls for reparations for slavery across Africa and the African diaspora.
While addressing crowds at the Reparations and Racial Healing Summit last week, President Akufo-Addo said that atoning for the horrors of the trans-Atlantic slave trade had been “long overdue.”
He called for demands to be heightened in the fight for reparations which featured prominently on the Royal tour earlier this year of Caribbean nations like Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda and Jamaica and blasted the “doubled standard” for other ethnic groups impacted by colonial rule.
“It is time for Africa, 20 million of whose sons and daughters had their freedoms curtailed and sold into slavery, also to receive reparations,” he said.
“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.
“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 Hitler’s Germany, received reparations, including homeland grants and support.”
The President hit back at the claims that his call is a distraction from his government’s underperformance saying the legacy of slavery has been “devastating” to the continent and the diaspora, which tampered “Africa’s economic, cultural and psychological progress”.
Mr Addo went onto slam the £20ml loan that compensated formed slave owners when the Slavery Abolition Loan act came into force in 1833, which left many of the African diaspora in Britain unwittingly paying of a loan that left them and their ancestors penniless.
In 1825, reparations were also paid to French slaveholders from Haiti after the Haitian Revolution to amount worth $21bn.
Although, he stressed that money alone could not restore the endemic damage of slavery, “nevertheless, it is now time to revive and intensify the discussions about reparations for Africa. Indeed, the time is long overdue.
“And, 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 and character of the African the world over.”