Accra, Sept. 2, GNA - The International Conference on the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade on Thursday ended with a call on UNESCO to mobilize extra budgetary funding for slave related projects in Africa. Participants also requested for large scale of funding to deal with the ramifications of the slave trade and slavery on the continent. The larger funding pool could be raised through the United Nations to begin the process of reparation and reconciliation, not only in research but also towards large scale developmental and educational programmes as well as the facilitation of the return of African descendants in the Diaspora to their roots.
Dr Mrs Akosua Perbi, a lecturer in history at the University of Ghana, Legon, and a participant, read the declarations of the conference, which recommended that between 2004 and 2007, there should be series of short triangular lecture tours to enhance wider participation of researchers and archaeologists to expand the knowledge on the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.
She said a follow-up conference will be organized in the year 2005 and 2006 to continue with academic discussions and to prepare for a bigger conference to beheld in 2007 as part of the worldwide conference activities in the same year.
Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, Minister of Tourism and Modernization of the Capital City, who expressed his happiness about the success of the conference, said presentations of the participants helped to tell the truth about the Slave Trade which could lead to the healing process of reconciling the beneficiaries and the victims of the trade. The Minister said the African Excellence would be celebrated in 2007, "as African labour is the brain behind the success of most European countries".
Mr Bob Hensen, a representative of the Dutch Embassy in Ghana, pledged the assistance of his country to the publication and dissemination of the result of the conference report, since that country was involved in Slave Trade.
The Conference, was attended by scholars, researchers, and representatives from the West African Sub-Region, Africans in the Diaspora and participants from Europe and America. It was organised by the Ministry of Tourism and Modernisation of the Capital City in collaboration with UNESCO.
More than 175 people participated in the four day international conference with more than 30 papers presented and about 16 discussion periods.