Africans deserve to be paid reparations for the slave trade – Akufo-Addo

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President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has called on the West to pay reparations to Africans that were involved in the North Atlantic slave trade.

He said these payments are long overdue because at the end of the slave trade, slave owners were paid reparations and not those who suffered in the trade.

Addressing participants of the Advancing Justice: Reparations and Radical Healing Summit, in Accra and funded by MacArthur Foundation, on Monday (1 August), President Akufo-Addo said, “the effects of the slave trade have been devastating on the continent and the African diaspora” and that the entire period of slavery meant that Africa’s “progress; economically, culturally and psychologically, was stifled”.

“There are legions of stories of families who were torn apart. You cannot quantify the effects of such tragedies, but they need to be recognized. African, her people, lost out tremendously in that period and its ripple effects are still being felt right to this very day. Reparations for African and the African diaspora are long overdue,” Akufo-Addo said.

“Predictably, the question of reparation becomes a debate only when it comes to Africa and the Africans.

“When the British ended slavery, all the owners of enslaved Africans received reparation up to the tune of 20 million pounds sterling, the equivalent today of 20 billion pounds sterling, but enslaved Africans themselves, did not receive a penny”.

Furthermore, the President indicated that; “likewise, in the United States, owners of slaves received 300 dollars for every slave they owed. The slaves themselves received nothing”.

“Take the case of Haiti, which had to pay reparations amounting to 21 billion United States dollars for French slave owners in 1825 for the victory of the great Haitian revolution, the first in the Americas and the Caribbean which freed the slaves. It was a payment made under duress that impoverished Haiti throughout the 19th century till today”.

“Native American 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 said.

The summit in Accra is being held to discuss and examine options for addressing the reparation intervention gaps in the world.


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