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Slave Trade: Akufo-Addo rallies reparation for Africa 

Headlines Slave Trade: Akufo-Addo rallies reparation for Africa
AUG 2, 2023 LISTEN

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo Tuesday urged European nations to pay reparations to Africa for the damage wrought by the historic slave trade.

He said the effects of the Trans-Atlantic Chattel Trade had devastated the African Continent and Africans in the Diaspora, with the entire period of slavery stifling her economic, cultural and psychological progress.

The President made the call at a colourful durbar to commemorate the 25th Emancipation Day at Assin-Manso in the Assin South District of the Central Region.

It was on the theme: “Re-Claiming the African Family: Confronting the Past to Face the Challenges of the 21st Century.”

This year's celebration was marked in splendor and glamorous spectacle, amidst solemnness, laced with cultural performances.

A large number of Africans in the Diaspora, Government officials, chiefs, and Ghanaians from all walks of life joined in the celebration.

“The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade reminds us to renew our demand for reparation. If people can be compensated for the holocaust, Africans can be compensated for slavery,” the President said.

“It is now time to revive and intensify the discussions about reparations for Africa, as the Emancipation Day reminds us to celebrate our independence and sovereignty to resist oppressors rule with all our might and strength.”

The celebration should remind the global community of their pledge “Never Again” would they allow such atrocities to be visited on Africans.

For that matter, President Akufo-Addo tasked the global African community to re-engage the African family to be the bridge across the Atlantic Ocean for people of African descent in the Caribbean and the Americas.

He urged Ghanaians and the Diaspora to reflect on the future to confront the challenges of unity to spark development across the continent.

President Akufo-Addo said the African Union had tasked Ghana to organise a conference in October to bring together Africans across the world to reflect and persuade the demand for reparation.

Responding to some demands of Barima Kwame Nkyi XIII, the Paramount Chief of Assin Apimanim Traditional Area, President Akufo-Addo promised to upgrade the road network in the area.

Barima Nkyi urged the President not to bow to the new global forms of mental slavery and indignity, particularly the LGBTQ+.

The Emancipation celebration, marking the abolition of slavery in the British Colonies in 1834, has been observed annually in Ghana since 1998.

The Assin-Manso Memorial Park, which hosts the activity, has the Nnonkosuo (Slave River) where slaves from other parts of the country took their last bath before being sent to the Cape Coast and Elmina castles to be transported overseas.

It also has the slave market, historical edifices and the Reverential Garden hosting the tomb of two renowned African slaves; Carson and Crystal, whose remains were reinterred almost two decades ago.

In remembrance of the gallant Africans who died during the trans-Atlantic slave trade, wreaths were solemnly laid on the tombs to immortalise their souls against the inhumane act of slavery, oppression, and injustice meted out to them.

The Emancipation Day celebrations commenced in full swing on Wednesday, July 19, with a Northern Pilgrimage to experience the historical slave routes and markets where the slaves were paraded before they were taken to the new world.

Particularly, a durbar of chiefs was held at the Pikworo Slave Camp in the Upper East Region, atonement ceremony at the Salaga Slave Camp in the Northern Region, conversation with elders, tour of the Bono Slave market in the Bono East Region and re-enactment of the Assin-Praso river crossing.

The celebration was organised under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture, in partnership with PANAFEST Secretariat, Ghana Tourism Authority, Assin South Assembly, and the Traditional Council.

Mr Mark Okraku Mantey, the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, called for stronger collaboration between the Diaspora and Ghana to reap the full benefits of the “Beyond the Return” project and other policies in the tourism sector to help emancipate African countries from poverty to empower the citizenry.

On behalf of the Diasporan community, Professor James Small said the impact of the celebration on the confidence and spirit of African pride and dignity everywhere should not be underestimated.

GNA

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