President Nana Akufo-Addo has urged European nations to pay reparations to Africa for the damage wrought by the historic slave trade.
The president at the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly bemoaned the years of global unwillingness to confront the realities and the consequences and horrors of the slave trade and charged that such sensitive horrors must not be neglected.
“For centuries, the world has been unwilling and unable to confront the realities of the consequences of the slave trade, but gradually this is changing, and it is time to bring the subject of reparations firmly to the fore. Granted that current generations are not the ones that engaged in the slave trade, but that grand inhuman enterprise was state-sponsored and deliberate, and its benefits are clearly interwoven with the present-day economic architecture of the nations that designed and executed it.”
Akufo-Addo also told global leaders in New York that though no amount of money would ever make up for the horrors perpetuated against Africans during the slave trade, paying reparations would be a bold acknowledgement that evil was done against Africans.
“Reparations must be paid for the slave trade. No amount of money will ever make up for the horrors, but it would make the point that evil was perpetrated, that millions of productive Africans were snatched from the embrace of our continent, and put to work in the Americas and the Caribbean without compensation for their labour.
“If there are any hesitations in some minds about the paying of reparations, it is worth considering the fact that, when slavery was abolished, the slave owners were compensated for the loss of the slaves, because the human beings were labelled as property, deemed to be commodities. Surely, this is a matter that the world must confront, and can no longer ignore. The AU has authorised Ghana to hold a global conference on the issue in November in Accra.”