President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has called upon European nations to acknowledge their historical role in the transatlantic slave trade and provide reparations to Africa for the profound damage it inflicted. Speaking at the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, he lamented the long-standing global reluctance to confront the brutal realities and consequences of the slave trade, emphasizing the urgency of addressing this sensitive issue.
“For centuries, the world has shied away from facing the harsh realities and consequences of the slave trade. However, this attitude is gradually changing, and it is high time we brought the matter of reparations to the forefront,” President Akufo-Addo asserted. He noted that while present generations were not directly responsible for the slave trade, it was a state-sponsored and deliberate enterprise whose benefits continue to be intertwined with the contemporary economic structures of the nations that orchestrated it.
President Akufo-Addo further conveyed that although no amount of money could ever compensate for the unspeakable horrors inflicted on Africans during the slave trade, the act of paying reparations would signify a bold acknowledgment of the historical evil committed against Africans. He stated, “Reparations must be provided for the slave trade. While no sum of money can fully redress the atrocities, it would serve as a symbolic recognition that heinous wrongs were perpetrated, as millions of industrious Africans were forcibly taken from our continent and compelled to toil in the Americas and the Caribbean without any compensation for their labor.”
He also drew attention to the historical precedent of compensating slave owners for the loss of their human “property” when slavery was abolished, underscoring the need for the global community to confront this issue that can no longer be ignored. President Akufo-Addo disclosed that the African Union (AU) had authorized Ghana to host a global conference on this matter in November in Accra, signaling the continent’s commitment to addressing this crucial issue on the world stage.